"Central Asia plus Japan" Dialogue/Senior Officials Meeting (SOM)
March 4, 2005On March 4, Central Asian countries and Japan held the first Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) of the "Central Asia plus Japan" Dialogue in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
- This is the first senior official-level meeting under the framework of the "Central Asia plus Japan" Dialogue, which was launched by the Foreign Ministers' meeting in Astana, Kazakhstan in August last year. The meeting was held to take stock of the current status of the Dialogue and to discuss future cooperation between Central Asia and Japan under this framework. Participants actively exchanged views on the direction of the Dialogue and specific cooperation between Central Asia and Japan. Each country sent a delegation to the meeting. The countries were represented by Deputy Foreign Minister Mr. Askar Shakirov (Kazakhstan), Deputy Foreign Minister Mr Elkin Mankurov (Kyrgyz Republic), Deputy Foreign Minister Salokhiddin Nasriddinov (Tajikistan), Deputy Foreign Minister Mr. Ibragim Mavlyanov (Uzbekistan), and Deputy Director-General, European Affairs Bureau of the Foreign Ministry Mr. Kenji Shinoda (Japan). Ambassador of Turkmenistan to Uzbekistan H.E. Mr. Soltan Pirmuhamedov attended the meeting. Each delegation was comprised of related ministries and agencies. The Japanese delegation includes MOFA, METI, JICA, JBIC, JETRO, The Japan Foundation and ROTOBO (private economic organization).
- At the Meeting, the participants reconfirmed the significance of the "Central Asia plus Japan" Dialogue and shared the view that further cooperation under the framework of this Dialogue will be appropriately and successfully pursued through the following five pillars: (1) political dialogue, (2) intra-regional cooperation, (3) business promotion, (4) intellectual dialogue and (5) cultural and people-to-people exchange (including tourism). For intra-regional cooperation, which is particularly important not only for realizing peace and stability of the region but also for economic prosperity in the region, they exchanged views on the following 10 fields as possible areas of intra-regional cooperation: (short-term fields) counter terrorism, drugs, mines, poverty alleviation, health, (mid and long-term fields) environment, water, energy, trade and investment, and transportation.
- Based on the discussions held at the meeting, the Central Asian countries and Japan will promote concrete cooperation in the areas mentioned above, utilizing of the framework of the Dialogue.
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