Japan keen to help pipeline construction in Central Asia

Jun 05, 2006 02:00 AM

Japan is keen to help in the construction of a gas pipeline from Turkmenistan to Pakistan and India via Afghanistan, Japan's Foreign Minister Taro Aso said.
Earlier, Aso and foreign ministers from Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan signed an action plan that called for closer cooperation in areas covering anti-terrorism, drugs, economy and energy development.

A high official of Afghanistan's government attended the meeting as an observer.
"Japan suggested building pipelines from Central Asia running through Afghanistan (to Pakistan and India) to the sea, and Central Asian countries have accepted the suggestion. That's why the Afghan official is here," Aso said.

However, for the time being, there is no concrete plan for such pipeline construction, an official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said subsequently.
Central Asia, with its rich reserves of crude oil, natural gas and uranium, is strategically very important for Japan, which lacks resources and depends on the Middle East for the bulk of its energy imports.

Source: Dow Jones Newswires
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