Japan asks Kazakhstan to stay in line with international community over Ukraine

Japan asks Kazakhstan to stay in line with international community over Ukraine

The Japanese Foreign Ministry said on Friday that Kazakhstan was asked to stay in line with the international community against Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi made a request during a meeting with his Kazakh counterpart Mukhtar Tileuberdi, in Nur-Sultan. Kazakhstan abstains from the UN General Assembly resolution last month condemning Russia for its war against Ukraine.

Tileuberdi, who doubles as the deputy prime minister, responded by saying his country is ready to make diplomatic efforts toward a peaceful solution, according to the Foreign Ministry.

Hayashi met with Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev earlier in the day. The ministry said they agreed to develop bilateral relations.

The Central Asian nation has maintained close relations with both Russia and Ukraine and avoided condemning Moscow over its invasion, which began on February 24.

Hayashi is on a five-day trip through Monday, during which he will visit Mongolia and Uzbekistan.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of Japan s establishment of diplomatic ties with Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan after their independence from the former Soviet Union.

Tokyo is trying to improve economic relations with Central Asia in an effort to counter the increasing influence of China, which continues to invest in large-scale infrastructure projects in the region through its Belt and Road initiative.

In 2004, Japan launched a foreign ministerial dialogue with five Central Asian countries for regional development.