ISLAMABAD — In a rare move, Japan has been consolidating ties with Central Asia. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited the five Central Asian Republics (Kazakhstan,Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan) on Oct 22-28 as part his efforts to strengthen economic relations with the resource-rich region. Mongolia also strongly matters in Japanese diplomacy and it was included in the itinerary.
Japan is energy-strapped. There lie two big regions on its eastern and western flanks with an abundance of energy and natural resources. They could fulfil Japans’ needs. On the northeastern flank lies Siberia and on the western flank lies China and Central Asia. Unfortunately, Japan’s relations with both these regions are marred by actuate differences and historical rivalry.