Economic growth in Kazakhstan as a regional power is a key factor of stability and development in Central Asia – Japanese FM Fumio Kishida


Economic growth in Kazakhstan as a regional power is a key factor of stability and development in Central Asia - Japanese FM Fumio KishidaMore than a year has passed after the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan came to power and the implementation of the new economic policy, the so-called “Abenomics”. What Kazakhstan should expect from the Japan’s new economic policy and governance? Will the relations between our countries change? Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida answered the questions in an interview with Kazinfrom correspondent.

– Mr. Kishida, how do you assess the current state and prospects of Kazakh-Japanese relations in general?

– January 26 the current year marked the 22nd anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Kazakhstan. I am very pleased that during these years, our country surely deepened bilateral relations in broad areas such as politics, economy and culture.

Japan attaches great importance to collaboration with Kazakhstan. President Nursultan Nazarbayev noted that Kazakhstan, as a country, connecting Asia and Europe, has great economic and political potential.

In addition, Kazakhstan has achieved high economic growth owing to rich reserves of natural resources and energy.

Japanese business community is interested in joint project including in the field of natural resources. Furthermore, I am aware that the economic growth of Kazakhstan as a regional power is a key factor of stability and development in Central Asia.

Kazakhstan is making active efforts to solve important problems of international scale, such as disarmament and non-proliferation and climate change. Thus, your country is an important partner for Japan.

– What is the situation in the sphere of trade, economic and investment cooperation between our states?

– Kazakhstan is Japan’s largest partner in Central Asia. Until recently, Japan was mainly interested in oil exploration on the territory of Kazakhstan. However, according to promotion data of Japanese mini markets in Almaty and the planned commissioning of «TOYOTA» car assembly plant in Kostanay, Japanese companies have been active in other areas as well.

Japan plans to promote as far as possible cooperation in the implementation of high technology and training. A good example is the installation of training equipment for industrial automation at Nazarbayev University.

– This year “Central Asia plus Japan” Dialogue celebrates its 10th anniversary. Would you like to tell us about the plans and prospects of the dialogue platform?

– One of the main objectives of the Dialogue “Central Asia plus Japan” is to promote our country as a “catalyst” for activation the Central Asian States’ efforts to promote regional cooperation.

5th Meeting of Foreign Ministers to be held in the Kyrgyz Republic. The roundtable is scheduled for the end of 2014.

– How do you assess the role of Kazakhstan in the nonproliferation of nuclear weapons and a new international initiative of Kazakhstan – ATOM Project?

– Japan, as the only country affected by war atomic bombings, appreciates Kazakhstan’s actions to close the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site and the elimination of nuclear weapons inherited from the Soviet Union. Japan country through the Sino-Kazakhstan Cooperation Committee on the elimination of nuclear weapons, established in 1994, provides accounting and control of nuclear materials.

I really appreciate Kazakhstan’s initiative “world without nuclear weapons”. In particular, it should be noted that “ATOM” project, urging people around the world to unite in support of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, and Japan’s actions on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation have the common goal.

– What is your opinion regarding the CICA ?

– Japan supports greater development of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-building Measures in Asia (CICA) in joint efforts for peace, security, stability and prosperity.

– What can you say about the new “Kazakhstan-2050” Strategy?

– I know that Kazakhstan on the basis of the Strategy seeks to overcome the economy’s dependence on natural resources, mainly through innovation introduction in manufacturing and knowledge-based industry. In this regard, I am confident that Japan, which has high technology in the field of energy efficiency and renewable energy, is an attractive partner for Kazakhstan.