Ms. Mariko TSUNOKAKE is Third Secretary of Japanese Embassy in Astana. She participated in Annual Convention of JACAFA 2017 and we had chance to ask some questions about JACAFA, Japan and Kazakhstan.
Galiya Razym: Ms. Tsunokake thank you very much for your time. It is a great pleasure for us to meet you. Ms. Tsunokake let us to ask the first question. What can you say about the relationship between Kazakhstan and Japan? What is the importance of Kazakhstan for Japan and vice versa?
Ms. Tsunokake: The relationship between Japan and Kazakhstan is developing. This year marks 25th anniversary for diplomatic relationship between the two countries. Recent’s high level bilateral visits such as Japanese Prime Minister Mr. Shinzo Abe’s visit to Kazakhstan in 2015 and the President of Kazakhstan H.E. Mr Nazarbayev’s visit to Tokyo in 2016 has been stimulating bilateral relationships. Kazakhstan has rich national resources and talented human resources. Japan, on the other hand, does not have special national resources though has experienced human resources and high technologies. Therefore, the two countries can cooperate by complementing each other.
Galiya Razym: Could you mention about profile of Japanese firms and people living/working in Kazakhstan?
Ms. Tsunokake: Currently, approximately 130 Japanese citizens are living in Kazakhstan. Most of them are businessman and their families. Japan’s main trading companies, banks, manufacturing and logistics companies have their own office in Kazakhstan and working actively.
Galiya Razym: What can you say about JACAFA? Do you think that JACAFA can make contributions to relationship between two states?
Ms. Tsunokake: JACAFA’s activity is not targeted for the bilateral relationship: JACAFA has been giving students from Central Asian countries to create the bond of friendship among them. All scholarship students have common experiences through participating the number of events organized by JACAFA, which helped them to understand each other. They keep contacts after the graduation from universities in Turkey. The alumni association gives a good opportunity to broaden their network.
Galiya Razym: What kind of possible projects can JACAFA and the embassy implement in the near future?
Ms. Tsunokake: I personally welcome the initiatives of JACAFA and Nippon Foundation in the region to create the transnational network of young generation. JACAFA gives inspiration and opportunities to the members through sharing their experiences. I believe that this association will sure be the great wealth for the alumni in the future.
Galiya Razym: Thank you very much!