Nazarbayev meets Japan's PM Shinzo Abe in Astana23 november 2015, 17:20
President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev has met the Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe in Astana, Tengrinews reports.
Prime Minister Abe visited Kazakhstan for the first time. Nazarbayev expressed confidence that Abe's visit would boost Kazakh-Japanese relationships, and added that development of relations with Japan was one of the highly prioritized directions in Kazakhstan's foreign politics.
"Kazakhstan and Japan are distant neighbors, but close friends. It is a sincere feeling. For all these years Astana and Tokyo have remained reliable partners. We have always supported each other. We have lots of things in common. We are allies in nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation and peaceful use of nuclear energy," Nazarbayev said.
President Nazarbayev added that Kazakhstan's capital Astana was a symbol of Kazakh-Japanese friendship as the architectural concept of the city belonged to Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawa.
"In 2013-2014 bilateral trade turnover amounted to almost $2 billion. In the first half of 2015, the trade turnover went up to $600 millions. Over the past 10 years Japanese investments to Kazakhstan have amounted to almost $5 billion. In addition, the country granted $1.2 billion in aid to Kazakhstan," Nazarbayev said.
According to Nazarbayev there were a number of major Japanese companies working in Kazakhstan. In addition, there were 50 joint ventures. Kazakhstan and Japan had 6 large scale projects and were working on 10 more projects together.
"Opening of a Toyota plant in Kostanay has become a key event," Nazarbayev added. The President reminded that an agreement between Kazakhstan and Japan on Mutual Protection and Stimulation of Investments came into force on October 25.
In turn, the Prime Minister noted that although he had met Nazarbayev on various international events, it was his first visit to Kazakhstan.
"Japanese government and business sector will continue supporting Kazakhstan's efforts directed at economic reforms," Abe said.
After the meeting with Nazarbayev, Abe confirmed Japan's readiness to assist in construction of an atomic power station (APS) in Kazakhstan.
"Kazakhstan, the major economy of Central Asia plays an important role on the international arena as well as remains Japan's close partner. Today we have had an informative dialogue with Nazarbayev. (...) I want to introduce three important outcomes of our meeting. Japan continues to support economic reforms in Kazakhstan as agreed. We are going to cooperate in construction of an APS in Kazakhstan. We have confirmed it. In addition, a new cooperation starts to train highly qualified professionals in the industry and introduce Japanese methods of diagnostics in medicine. We will continue discussing these things since we have already agreed on everything," Abe said during the press-conference after the meeting in Astana.
Abe's visited Astana as part of his tour of Central Asian capitals to encourage Japanese businessmen to work in Central Asia.
Reporting by Assemgul Khassenova, writing by Gyuzel Kamalova