KAZAKHSTAN - JAPAN
The diplomatic relations between Kazakhstan and Japan were established on January 26, 1992. The Embassy of Kazakhstan opened in Tokyo in February, 1997. Since April 2007 the Ambassador of Kazakhstan to Japan is Akylbek A. Kamaldinov.
In the context of strengthening economic and political ties in Asia Kazakhstan's relations with Japan are of strategic significance.
The years of 1994 and 1999 were marked by milestone visits of President Nursultan Nazarbayev to Japan. "Joint declaration on friendship, partnership and cooperation" was signed, as well as a number of other important documents in economic and cultural spheres.
The foreign policy strategies of Kazakhstan and Japan are similar. The idea of multipolarity of the world is close to both states. Japan proclaimed new diplomacy concept of Eurasian Diplomacy in July, 1997. Kazakhstan being a bridge between European and Asian civilizations plays an active role in realization of the Eurasia idea.
Japan made a significant contribution to the formation of Kazakhstan as a new independent state. This was confirmed in the Joint Statement on Strengthening of Bilateral Relations between Kazakhstan and Japan during the visit of the State Secretary - Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev to Japan on December 3-7, 2002. Both sides confirmed the priority of cooperation for further interaction in different spheres.
During the visit of the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan Yoriko Kawaguchi to Kazakhstan in August, 2004 the Governments of Japan and Kazakhstan issued the Joint Statement on Further Development of Partnership and Co-operation.
Both sides expressed their intention to exert joint efforts to maintain peace and stability and ensure prosperity in Asia. In this context, Kazakhstan expressed its strong support for the initiative of Japan to initiate dialogue between the states of Central Asia and Japan. The Dialogue is aimed to promote integration process between the states of the region. The first ministerial meeting of the Dialogue "Central Asia plus Japan" was held in Astana on August 28, 2004.
The Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Danial Akhmetov paid an official visit to Japan on June 14-16, 2005 to participate at the opening of the National Day of Kazakhtsan in 2005 World Exposition Aichi. During the visit the issues of enhansing bilateral economic cooperation in different fields were discussed. Joint Statement on Kazakhstan's Accession to the WTO was adopted.
An official visit of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to Kazakhstan on 28-29 August, 2007 became a milestone in the development of bilateral relations between our two countries. On the results of the negotiations between President Nursultan Nazarbyaev and Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, the leaders of the two states signed a joint statement on further development of friendship, partnership and collaboration between Kazakhstan and Japan. Also the President of Kazakhstan and the Prime Minister of Japan witnessed the adoption of a memorandum on promoting collaboration in the area of peaceful use of atomic energy.
The visit of Prime of Japan bacame an evidence of the Japanese Government’s intentions to further develop its collaboration with Kazakhstan. Junichiro Koizumi stressed that amongst the Central Asian countries Kazakhstan is experiencing most impressive development due to President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s management. These achievements were noted not only by Japan, but also by the world community.
Issues of developing economic collaboration between Kazakhstan and Japan including strategic partnership in the area of industrial technologies and atomic energy (exporting natural uranium, nuclear fuel production, technology exchange in the area of reactor building, personnel training) were discussed during the meeting of the Head of State Nursultan Nazarbayev with Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan Akira Amari on April 30, 2007.
Akira Amari underscored the huge interest of Japanese companies in broadening collaboration, investments and partnership between the two countries, what was demonstrated with the unexampled membership of the delegation, which arrived in Kazakhstan. The delegation includes top-managers and chiefs of leading energy and fuel companies and financial institutes of Japan.
On the results of the visit of Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan to Kazakhstan, Prime Minister Karim Massimov and Akira Amari signed a Joint Statement on strengthening of strategic partnership in peaceful use of atomic energy. Besides, Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Baktykozha Izmukhambetov and Director-general of the Natural Resources and Energy Agency of Japan Harufumi Mochizuki became the signatories of the memo on co-operation in training specialists for installation of light-water resources. Parties also signed 24 deals to increase Kazakh uranium exports to Japan, as well as co-operation in the sphere of reactor technologies, production of nuclear fuel and natural uranium.
Kazakhstan is willing to expand traditionally friendly relations with Japan in all areas. Tokyo is a prominent partner of Astana, especially in the realm of investment and trade, ecology and environment, as well as in coordinated efforts to ensure regional integration in Central Asia.
Kazakhstan and Japan have active contacts between the representatives of the governments, parliaments, business, culture, health-care, education, etc. Several visits of the members of the Japan Parliamentary League of Friendship with Kazakhstan were fruitful in promoting better understanding and more productive interaction. Thus, members of Senate (Upper house) and Majilis (Lower house) of the Parliament of Kazakhstan established Parliamentary Friendship Groups with Japan in 2004 and 2005 respectively.
Kazakhstan and Japan show deep interest in developing investment co-operation in the spirit of strategic partnership. Since the start of the relations, the Official Development Assistance projects have amounted to around of 1 billion dollars. There are large and medium Japanese companies doing business in Kazakhstan. The Japanese business is engaged in transportation, energy, manufacturing, trade, service and mining. The volume of bilateral trade in 2006 reached about 584 million dollars.
Kazakhstan appreciates Japan's assistance in overcoming of consequences of nuclear tests in Semipalatinsk region as wel as the preservation of Aral sea and elimination of consequences of the ecological catastrophe which has a great importance for the countries of Central Asia. For the time being the International Fund for Aral Rescue is functioning and the Program of Actions until 2010 is elaborated.
The visit of H.E. Mr. Nursultan Nazarbayev, President if the Republic of Kazakhstan to Japan on 18-21 June 2008, has became a milestone in the history of bilateral relations. Durng his visit President Nazarbayev met with Prime
Minister of Japan Yasuo Fukuda. Prospects of developing Kazakhstani-Japanese cooperation
were discussed at the meeting. President
Nursultan Nazarbayev and Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda stated that the stands of
the two countries coincide on many actual important issues of international
policy. The President
very high evaluated the outcomes of the talks, which open new opportunities for
interaction in policy and economy, technology and cultural humanitarian areas
for the two countries.
At a press briefing, Nursultan Nazarbayev noted that the intensification of Kazakhstani-Japanese
cooperation is a matter of time in strategic perspective. In their joint Statement, Kazakhstan’s President and Japan’s Prime
Minister confirmed their intention to fruitfully develop political dialogue.
Promising areas of economic interaction were
outlined during the talks. Our country is interested in cooperation with Japan
in the areas of high technologies and attracting Japanese investments in
Kazakhstan’s economy. The President expressed
the firm intention to offer Japanese companies, which are ready to come to
Kazakhstan’s market and to invest to high-tech technological manufactures, the
strong support of the state. Japan’s
entrepreneurs can take part in projects in developing processing complex,
machinery, energy, transport and communication infrastructure, construction
industry. As an example, Nursultan Nazarbayev
talked about cooperation between Kazakhstani Kazatomprom and Toshiba Company.
Memorandum to the project of convention between
the Republic of Kazakhstan and Japan on preventing double taxation and
preventing taxation avoidance in relation to income taxes and Memorandum on
mutual cooperation in the area of developing trade and investments were signed
within the visit. The President also noted that
Kazakhstan considers the possibility of ratification of the Kyoto Protocol.
“We all believe that Kazakhstani-Japanese
strategic partnership has a shining future and will develop in the way of
sincere friendship and mutual understanding,” Kazakhstan’s President said.
On March 23-25, 2010 Secretary of State – Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan Kanat Saudabayev visited Tokyo for top-level meetings with Japanese officials focused on promoting political dialogue and expanding partnership in peaceful nuclear energy development.
In Tokyo, Kanat Saudabayev met Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada, Speakers of the House of Representatives Takahiro Yokomichi and the House of Counselors Satsuki Eda, as well as Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Masayuki Naoshima. Together with Minister Masayuki Naoshima, Kanat Saudabayev oversaw the signing of an agreement between the Central Asian country’s National Atomic Company Kazatomprom and Sumitomo Corporation establishing a joint enterprise in mining and processing rare-earth metals.
In a special statement issued at the end of their meeting, Saudabayev and Okada said they welcomed expansion of economic ties between Kazakhstan and Japan. The Japanese side announced its intention to give a loan for financing the construction of a highway in South Kazakhstan, which would serve as part of an international transport corridor being developed by the Central Asian Regional Economic Cooperation framework. The two sides also welcomed the recent implementation of intergovernmental agreements on avoiding double taxation and noted the important role of the Joint commission of private and public sectors on Kazakh-Japanese economic cooperation.
On the political front, Kanat Saudabayev and Katsuya Okada praised the work of “Central Asia + Japan” dialog format between involved foreign ministries, noting the success of the latest, fourth meeting of the dialog participants that took place in Tokyo recently. The two sides also confirmed they would coordinate their participation in the upcoming Global Summit on Nuclear Security in Washington on April 12-13, 2010 and the NPT Review Conference later this year.
On the same day, Kazakhstan’s national atomic company Kazatomprom and one of Japan’s largest firms, Sumitomo Corporation signed an agreement establishing a joint enterprise “Summit Atom Rare Earth Company” (SARECO). The project stipulates construction of a mining and enrichment complex dealing with extraction and processing of rare-earth metals, mainly from used mineral deposits in East Kazakhstan. It is expected SARECO would start operating in June 2010 and deliver its first products to international markets in 2012.