By Aynur Jafarova
Japan and Kyrgyzstan share fundamental values such as democracy, freedom and human rights, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said at a meeting with Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev, who is paying an official visit to Japan on February 27-28.
The prime minister said that Kyrgyzstan is an important partner of Japan, the Kyrgyz Telegraph Agency reported.
Abe also expressed high appreciation for Kyrgyzstan's resolve in democracy building.
In turn, the Kyrgyz president expressed gratitude for a friendly reception and invited the Japanese prime minister to pay a visit to his country. Abe accepted his invitation.
During the meeting, Atambayev and Abe also signed a joint statement on friendship, partnership and cooperation, as well as a number of memorandums.
Both countries voiced commitment to the diversification of economic ties, strengthening of relations in the fields of exploration and production of mineral resources, energy, transport and communication, agriculture, processing industry, training of specialists, tourism, social and financial sectors.
The Kyrgyz side noted that it highly assesses the Official Development Assistance (ODA) of Japan in the amount of $500 million and the role of Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in the implementation of economic projects.
Kyrgyzstan also expressed its intention to open Istanbul-Bishkek-Tokyo flights.
Japan and Kyrgyzstan also expressed their intention to develop cooperation in the spheres of energy efficiency and renewable energy sources and cited the importance to develop cooperation between the Kyrgyz Energy and Industry Ministry and the Japanese Organization of New Energy and Industrial Technology Development.
The sides also stressed the importance of developing relations in cultural, educational, health, tourism, sport, and information and youth policy spheres, as well as to promote stability and peace in Afghanistan.
Furthermore, the parties signed a memorandum between Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and Kyrgyz Ministry of Economy, a memorandum of cooperation in the sphere of education between Japan's ministry of education, and Kyrgyz ministry of education and science; a memorandum on cooperation in fighting disasters was inked as well.
The sides also signed a joint note on the project for reconstruction of the bridge over the Kok-Art River on the Bishkek-Osh highway.
During his visit, President Atambayev also met with Japanese Emperor Akihito, who expressed confidence for further strengthening of mutual understanding between the two countries.
Atambayev, in turn, expressed gratitude to Japan for providing support and aid to Kyrgyzstan since its independence.
In a meeting with the Speaker of the House of Representatives of Japan Bunmei Ibuki, the Kyrgyz president said Kyrgyzstan relies on the support of Japan for the development of democracy in Kyrgyzstan.
The meeting mulled issues of cooperation in various fields, particularly the experience of development of the parliamentary democracy in Kyrgyzstan and Japan.
"Taking into account the broad experience of Japan in the development of parliamentary democracy, promotion of inter-parliamentary cooperation will give an impetus to bilateral relations," Atambayev said, noting that Kyrgyzstan relies on further support from Japan in democratic development and implementation of massive economic and infrastructural projects.
The official visit of Atambayev will continue in Kyoto, one of the ancient cities of Japan which was the capital of the country from 794 till 1869.
Before leaving for Kyoto, Atambayev met with the friends of Kyrgyzstan in Japan in the format of a business luncheon. During the meeting, the president said that Kyrgyzstan highly appreciates the support of Japan provided by opening an embassy in Kyrgyzstan in 2010.
This is the first foreign visit of Atambayev in 2013. The visit is believed to open a new page in the relations of Kyrgyzstan and Japan and serve as a new stage of development of bilateral relations and mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries.