"Central Asia plus Japan" Dialogue/Foreign Ministers Meeting
- Relations between Japan and Central Asia enter a New Era -

photo(Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi) photo(meeting)


28 August 2004
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan

On August 28,2004, Foreign Ministers of Japan and the countries of Central Asia* met together in Astana, and held "Central Asia plus Japan" Dialogue/Foreign Ministers Meeting. During the Meeting, they discussed how to further strengthen and deepen the cooperative relations between Central Asia and Japan, and a joint statement [PDF] (attached to this press release) was issued. They confirmed this Dialogue would be continued.

*The Ambassador of Turkmenistan to Kazakhstan attended the meeting on behalf of Foreign Minister of Turkmenistan.

1. First Joint Dialogue Between Japan and Central Asian Countries

This was the first meeting among the foreign ministers of Japan and the Central Asian countries, and a new forum for dialogue was launched as "Central Asia plus Japan" Dialogue. The holding of this dialogue demonstrates the fact that relations between Japan and Central Asian countries have been elevated to a new stage.

2. Results of the Meeting

(1) Deepening Japan-Central Asia Relations

During the meeting, the participants shared the recognition that peace and stability in Central Asia has great importance not only to the stability and prosperity of Eurasia but also to the international community as a whole. Based on this recognition, they discussed further enhancement of relations between Japan and Central Asia, given their historical and cultural ties.

(2) Importance of Intra-Regional Cooperation

The participants discussed the importance of intra-regional cooperation aiming for stability and development of the Central Asia region as a whole. The Central Asian countries expressed their intention that they would take steady steps for intra-regional cooperation, and Japan expressed its willingness to support and assist such efforts. Japan, as a measure which demonstrates such intention, announced that it would accept more than 1000 trainees in total from Central Asian countries over the next three years.

(3) Cooperation in the International arena

Furthermore, during the meeting the participants discussed cooperation between Japan and Central Asia in the international arena. They exchanged views on matters such as United Nations reform, environment, the World Trade Organization (WTO) and Human Security.

3. Continuation of Dialogue

The participants shared the view that "Central Asia plus Japan" Dialogue would be continued at various levels and that "the 2005 World Exposition, Aichi, Japan" could provide an important opportunity in this regard.

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