Foreign ministers of Central Asia’s nations (Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan) and Japan will gather in Dushanbe next week for the 7th meeting of foreign ministers of The Central Asia plus Japan Dialogue scheduled for December 15-16, a source in Tajik government told Asia-Plus in an interview.   .

According to him, the sides are expected to discuss issues related to providing regional security, resolving the situation in Afghanistan and expanding cooperation in economic, cultural and humanitarian fields,

They will also exchange views on problems of climate change and preventing natural disasters, the source added.

The meeting will result in signing of a joint statement.  

The Central Asia plus Japan Dialogue is a political initiative between Japan and the Central Asian nations of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, with the goal to create “a new framework for cooperation, thereby elevating relations between Japan and Central Asia to a new level.”  The dialogue, according to the Japanese Foreign Ministry, is also meant to serve as a forum to promote inter-regional cooperation.  Turkmenistan, maintaining its policy of neutrality, participates only as an observer.

The dialogue was formally declared on August 28, 2004 in Astana, Kazakhstan at a meeting of foreign ministers from the four participating Central Asian governments and Japan.  A joint statement was issued which outlined the parties’ views on four areas: fundamental principles and values, expansion of Japanese-Central Asian relations, intra-regional cooperation within Central Asia, and cooperation in the international arena.  The joint statement also outlined several areas of potential Japanese-Central Asian cooperation.