Japan And The 5 Central Asian Countries Held A Foreign Ministers Meeting To Counterbalance China And Russia

According to a report on December 24th, Japan’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Yoshimasa Hayashi met with foreign ministers of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan in Tokyo.

It is reported that Japan’s dialogue with the above-mentioned 5 central Asian countries dates back to 2004, and this year saw the 9th gathering. Meanwhile, this is the first time the 5 central Asian countries’ foreign ministers are all present in Tokyo for the meeting. The meeting discussed security of the energy transportation line, and extension of a new energy route circumventing Russia via the Caspian Sea. The ministers also talked about the situation in Afghanistan, which sits in central Asia. In addition, regarding the ban on women from receiving University level education in Afghanistan by the incumbent government, Islamist Taliban, the meeting agreed to roll out packaged actions to respect women and protect minority group’s rights. The 5 central Asian countries were member states of the Soviet Union. This year, Russia launched an invasion war against Ukraine, also a former Member of the Soviet Union, which made the 5 central Asian nations distrust Moscow. Moreover, the five nations are worried about dependency on Beijing, due to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)’s influence cast from the Belt and Road Initiative. Minister Yoshimasa said that Japan regards the five nations as important partners in maintaining and withholding free and open rule-based international order, and expects them to work closer with Japan.

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Translator: NFSC News
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