ASTANA – A Japanese delegation headed by Deputy Director of International Exhibitions Promotion Office of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan Koki Otsuka recently visited Astana to “observe and analyse.”
“The purpose of our visit today is to gather information about Kazakhstan in general, the people who live here, about the country’s society and we want to take into account Kazakhstan’s situation,” Otsuka told The Astana Times in an exclusive interview.
According to Otsuka, the Future Energy theme of the upcoming EXPO 2017 is relevant for Japan.
“Japan has already received a strong message from the Kazakh side. In March 2014, EXPO 2017 Commissioner Rapil Zhoshybayev paid a visit to our country to discuss Japan’s participation in the global exhibition. As you well know, both the Japanese and Kazakh pavilions are very popular currently at Milan’s EXPO 2015, [hence the EXPO society has been formed] and we want to expand our leadership for EXPO 2017. We have a lot of experience in advanced technology and we are very concerned about energy security [that’s why the theme of the Future Energy is very relevant for Japan]. We also want to show our experience and history during EXPO 2017,” he said.
The participation of the Japanese side had been already confirmed and Japan has a clear strategy on the further steps.
“The Japanese government decided to participate in EXPO 2017 last February. Our next step will be appointing our EXPO commissioner, developing the pavilion’s concept.”
Although the visit lasted only a couple of days, the delegation was shown examples of EXPO 2017 construction.
“Fortunately, I have visited the EXPO 2017 construction site and I was informed about the current work and my first impression was that construction is going well and smoothly, the EXPO 2017 company’s work is convincing,” he said.
On a personal note Otsuka was also impressed by Kazakhstan and its people.
“This is my first visit to Kazakhstan and it is very short, but I have good impressions about Astana and Kazakhstan on the whole. Kazakhs are very sincere and very honest people and are very responsible. First of all, I would like to say that I appreciate the Kazakh people and this cooperation between Kazakhstan’s government and the Kazakh embassy in Japan. Kazakh high officials [treat] us very well and I believe it was a fruitful visit. We are not the last delegation. There are more Japanese delegations who will visit Kazakhstan and I look forward to the continued good relations with Kazakhstan.”