"Central Asia plus Japan" dialogue held in Sofia, Bulgaria (On the occasion of the 12th Meeting of the OSCE Ministerial Council)

December 7, 2004

  1. On 7 December 2004, Ms. Yoriko Kawaguchi, Special Advisor to Prime Minister of Japan, currently visiting Sofia, Bulgaria to participate OSCE 12th Ministerial Council, held a breakfast meeting with the representatives for the Ministerial Council from Central Asian countries (Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan (See note)) as a part of the "Central Asia plus Japan" Dialogue.

    (Note: The participants of the meeting from Central Asian countries are Mr. K. Tokaev, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan, Mr. T. Nazarov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Tajikistan, Mr. B. Norov, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan, Mr. E. Mamkulov, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kyrgyzstan. Ms. Kawaguchi also had a separate meeting with Mr. R. Meredov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan.)

  2. This meeting is a follow-up of the "Central Asia plus Japan" Dialogue which was launched during the round visit to Central Asia by then Minister for Foreign Affairs Ms. Yoriko Kawaguchi in August 2004.

  3. In this meeting in Sofia, Ms. Kawaguchi and the representatives of Central Asian countries reaffirmed the importance of "Central Asia plus Japan" Dialogue and their intention to continue this dialogue. They exchanged views on the regional situation including the developments in the Ukrainian presidential election and Afghanistan. The participants in the meeting shared the view that the occasion of the OSCE meeting could provide a useful opportunity for the holding of this dialogue in the future.

  4. In the meeting with Mr. R. Meredov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan, Ms Kawaguchi referred to the opening of Japanese Embassy in Turkmenistan next January, and they exchanged views on the bilateral relations and regional situation.

(Reference note) "Central Asia plus Japan" Dialogue

(1) When then Minister for Foreign Affairs Ms. Yoriko Kawaguchi visited Central Asia in August 2004, she announced Japan's renewed policy toward Central Asia consisting of two pillars; 1) to continue the effort for further enhancing bilateral relationships, 2) to engage in dialogue with Central Asians countries. Ms. Kawaguchi and the Foreign Ministers of Central Asians countries held a "Central Asia plus Japan" Dialogue/Foreign Ministers' meeting in Astana (Kazakhstan) to put the second pillar into a concrete shape.
(2) In the meeting in Astana, the participating foreign ministers shared the view that the "Central Asia plus Japan"
Dialogue would be pursued at various levels, and that they would seek further possibilities to promote intra-regional cooperation in Central Asia, to overcome common challenges in the region such as terrorism, drugs, transportation, effective use of water and energy, trade, and environment, for ensuring peace, stability and prosperity in Central Asia.

(END)


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