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Central Asia Plus Japan Dialogue Holds Session In Bishkek

Foreign ministers from the five Central Asian countries and Japan are convening in the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek, for a conference known as the Central Asia plus Japan Dialogue.

Cultural, educational, business, and intellectual cooperation between the six countries is being discussed at the gathering.

According to information released prior to the session, Japan will provide Kyrgyzstan with $118 million in aid this year.

The Central Asia plus Japan Dialogue is a political initiative between Japan and the nations of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Turkmenistan participates in the group as an observer.

The initiative was officially launched in Astana, Kazakhstan, in August 2004.

Other sessions have been held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, and Tokyo.