Twelfth Senior Officials Meeting of the “Central Asia plus Japan” Dialogue
January 29, 2018
On January 26 (the same day local time), the twelfth Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) of the “Central Asia plus Japan” Dialogue was held in Dushanbe, the Republic of Tajikistan.
The overview of the meeting is as follows.
1. Amb. Toshihiro Aiki, Special Representative in charge of Central Asia and Deputy Director-General of the European Affairs Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, participated in this meeting from Japan, while foreign vice-minister level officials participated from the Central Asian countries.
2. At this SOM, the participants exchanged views on four topics: “transportation and logistics”, “cooperation in the tourism”, “regional security” and “the way forward for the “Central Asia plus Japan” Dialogue.
3. To begin with, as a follow up to the Sixth Foreign Ministers’ Meeting of the “Central Asia plus Japan” Dialogue held in Turkmenistan in May last year, the Japanese side provided the update of the progress in “transportation and logistics”, which is a practical field of cooperation, and the participating countries highly appreciated the progress of projects. In addition, the participants agreed to continue cooperation in this field.
4. Furthermore, the participants shared the view that “tourism” will be the next practical field of cooperation following “transportation and logistics” and that they will cooperate through the close collaboration of their foreign ministries and agencies in charge of the tourism field.
5. The participants shared the recognition that, with regard to problems which are common to each country, they should treat them as those of the entire region, including neighbouring areas, and engage in regional cooperation. Those problems include measures to combat terrorism and narcotics, border controls and measures to deal with violent extremism.
6. With regard to way forward for the “Central Asia plus Japan” Dialogue, the participants shared the view that they will prepare for the upcoming Seventh Foreign Ministers’ Meeting of the “Central Asia plus Japan” Dialogue, and dialogne formats other than the SOM, such as experts’ meetings and Tokyo dialogues, should also be proactively utilized for their purpose.
[Reference 1] The “Central Asia plus Japan” Dialogue
The “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, stable and autonomous 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 six times, the Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) has been held 11 times, the intellectual dialogue (Tokyo Dialogue) has been held 10 times, experts’ meetings have been held three times and a business dialogue has been held once.
[Reference 2] Participants from the five Central Asian countries
Republic of Tajikistan (chair country) Nizomiddin Zohidi, First Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Republic of Kazakhstan Alibek Bakayev, Director of Asian Cooperation (on behalf of SOM) Kyrgyz Republic Dinara Kemelova, First Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Turkmenistan Vepa Hajiyev, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Republic of Uzbekistan Saidikrom Niyazhodzhaev, Deputy Foreign Minister