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The future appears bright for people of Kazakhstan and Japan – Dr. Akihiko Tanaka

15 February 2020 12:23

NUR-SULTAN. KAZINFORM – President of the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS), Japanese scientist in the field of international politics Dr. Akihiko Tanaka who had recently visited Nur-Sultan for the first time sat down with Kazinform correspondent Akbota Kuzekbay to express his opinion on the role of Kazakhstan in the international arena and developing cooperation between Kazakhstan and Japan, Kazinform reports.

Dr. Akihiko Tanaka delivered his lectures at the Academy of Public Administration under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan and Nazarbayev University in the Kazakh capital. The main focus of his lectures was theories of international systems, modern international relations in East Asia, Japan-U.S. and Japan-China relations.

«The topic of my lecture was about international politics in East Asia and Japan and pointed out the characteristics of East Asia for the last three-four decades. East Asia means areas from Japan, Korean Peninsula, China and Southeast Asia. I also touched upon an economic development of East Asia over the last four decades. Economic development in East Asia has been sometimes called ‘miraculous’. In the 1960s the most part of East Asia, except Japan, was regarded as the poorest region in the world. But now East Asia is regarded as one of the most dynamically developing regions. And secondly, my lecture touches upon political security situation in East Asia over the last three-four decades», GRIPS President said.

Dr. Akihiko Tanaka also shared his thoughts on the level of diplomatic relations of Japan with the countries of Central Asia, including Kazakhstan.

«The basics of Japan’s foreign policy has been close relations with the United States since the end of the World War II. Japan made efforts to help East Asian region to develop beyond the strong relations with the United States. Current administration under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is putting a new vision which he called ‘free and open’ Indo-Pacific strategy. Traditionally, Japan followed the center of gravity of the world economy. I want to mention that Japan doesn’t ignore other regions, for example, Central Asia. Japan has engaged in «Central Asia plus Japan dialogue». So we are going to maintain strong relations with the region, including Kazakhstan», he said.

It should be noted that in October last year, the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan - Elbasy Nursultan Nazarbayev visited Japan and took part in the enthronement ceremony of the Japanese emperor Naruhito.

«The first President [of Kazakhstan] personally attended the coronation ceremony in October. I am sure that Japanese people feel friendship extended by the First President. When Japanese look back on ancient history, we think there are strong similarities (between the Japanese and Kazakh languages) in linguistic structure. If you look at my face and your face – Japanese and Kazakh do look similar», added Dr. Tanaka.

«Also, the fact that the First President asked Japanese [Ed.Note: Shigeo Katsu has been President of Nazarbayev University since 2010] to head the Nazarbayev University… I believe, in diplomatic areas we have actually no problems and no obstacles. So, the future appears quite bright for the two peoples», the Japanese scientist told the Kazinform correspodent.

The GRIPS President also pointed out that ‘Kazakhstan is the biggest country in Central Asia not just in area, but also in the size of economy’. «Your country has rich resources. It has a significant influence on international relations,» Dr. Tanaka pointed out.

«I am very pleased and honored to be given an opportunity to deliver lectures at the institutions of higher education of Kazakhstan. We are hopeful that Kazakhstan and Japan could increase educational exchanges. My school - National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies - educates many civil servants. We have each year several students from Kazakhstan. I saw nine alumni of our school during my visit to Nur-Sultan. In a small way, our school has been engaged in very important educational exchanges. I am strongly hopeful that more and more professionals in public and private sectors in Kazakhstan will come to our school«, Dr. Akihiko Tanaka said in conclusion.