Tenth Senior Officials Meeting of the "Central Asia plus Japan" Dialogue
November 25, 2015
On November 24, the tenth Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) of the “Central Asia plus Japan” Dialogue was held in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. The overview of the meeting is as follows.
1. In this meeting, Mr. Toshihiro Aiki, Special Representative in charge of Central Asia (Ambassador), Ministry of Foreign Affairs, participated from Japan while vice-foreign minister-level officials participated from the Central Asian countries.
2. At this SOM, in order to follow-up with the previous visit to Central Asia by Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister, which took place last month, while also making preparations for the next Foreign Ministers’ Meeting of the “Central Asia plus Japan,” which is scheduled to be held in Turkmenistan in 2016, participants exchanged views on three topics: “agricultural cooperation,” “transportation and logistics cooperation,” and “the way forward for the ‘Central Asia plus Japan’ Dialogue.”
3. In regard to agricultural cooperation, participants shared progress with cooperation since the previous SOM and the current situation, and a lively exchange of views took place on future cooperation.
4. In regard to transportation and logistics cooperation, the view was shared that the transportation and logistics field will be newly taken up as a priority area of practical cooperation at this dialogue. On that basis, each country’s interests and needs in this field were presented, and a lively exchange of views took place on the possibility of cooperation going forward.
5. Regarding the way forward for the “Central Asia plus Japan’ Dialogue,” the view was shared that in the run-up to the next foreign ministers’ meeting scheduled to be held in 2016, going forward concrete preparations will proceed while utilizing expert meetings, the “Tokyo Dialogue” and other opportunities and continuing to coordinate with each country.
(Reference 1) The “Central Asia plus Japan” DialogueThe “Central Asia plus Japan” Dialogue was established in August 2004 as a framework for dialogue and cooperation between Japan and the countries of Central Asia. Japan has been promoting regional cooperation in Central Asia through this Dialogue based on the belief that in order for Central Asia to develop as an open and stable region, it is essential for countries in the region to deal with common challenges together. Under the framework of this Dialogue, the foreign ministers’ meeting has been held five times, the Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) has been held nine times, and the intellectual dialogue (Tokyo Dialogue) has been held six times.
(Reference 2) Participants from the five Central Asian countries
Turkmenistan (chair country) Vepa HAJIYEV , Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Republic of Kazakhstan Yarkebulan BEKTURGANOV, Minister-Counsellor to Turkmenistan Kyrgyz Republic Dinara KEMELOVA, First Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Republic of Tajikistan Nizomiddin ZOHIDI, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Republic of Uzbekistan Gayrat FAZILOV, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs