Japan’s Caucasus Initiative: On Japan-Georgia Relations

On September 4, the Deputy Press Secretary of Japan, Mitsuko Shino, met with Georgian media to discuss Japan’s Caucasus Initiative and Japan-Georgia relations.

Japan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan, Taro Kono, visited Georgia for the first time this week and met with his Georgian counterpart David Zalkaliani. Kono also signed the EN loan for Phase 2 of the East-West highway. As Shino mentioned during the media-meet, “The Foreign Minister is quite happy to visit Georgia, as we find Georgia to be a partner who shares common values of human rights, democracy, rule of law and freedom. And this is quite an important factor for a partner, hence our decision to launch Japan’s Caucasus Initiative.”

Japan’s Caucasus Initiative is segregated into three parts. The basic principle sees Japan supporting self-sustained development in the Caucasus region and raising awareness of the issues which can be of common interest across the region (for example, water and disaster reduction).

The first pillar consists of assistance for the development of architects for state building, which will include several parts: Firstly, the Rule of Law will include inviting young lawyers to Japan, which will be a part of MOFA’s invitation program and will further provide opportunity for training in Japan. The second part will consist of Environment and Disaster Reduction through the JICA Training Program, which will include nature conservation, rescue techniques, water related disaster management, soil and water disaster, disaster management on infrastructure, disaster risk reduction, irrigation water management and management of land and water resources. Furthermore, the JICA Training Program will support economic and social infrastructure through transportation, natural resources and energy, economic policy, private sector development, agricultural/rural development, urban/regional development and governance, health and social security programs. Finally, the initiative will introduce Japanese culture and assist Japanese language education in cooperation with the Japan foundation.

The second pillar of the initiative will help to pave the way to an “Appealing Caucasus.” This will include the introduction of multiple visas, an investment treaty and ISDS Seminar, Connectivity and Transportation Infrastructures (the East-West Highway Improvement Project Phase 2), provision of hybrid cars and electric cars (96 cars in total) to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and the installation of solar panels at Tbilisi International Airport and Ilia State University. The final part of the second pillar will include Bilateral Investment Treaty principles and agreements.

By Anna Zhvania

06 September 2018 18:57