Japan to invest into oil field development in Kazakhstan

On Wednesday, Kazakhstan's State Secretary, Foreign Minister Kosymzhomart Tokayev began his visit to Japan.

In Tokyo he will take part in a session of the joint Kazakh-Japanese economic committee, as well as meet Japanese ministers and members of parliament.

In connection with Tokayev's visit, Japan's Ambassador to Kazakhstan Toshio Tsunozaki held a press conference in Alma Ata. Japan "intends to make investments in hydrocarbon field development in the Kazakh sector of the Caspian shelf", he told journalists.

A Japanese oil company has already invested $200 million in the Kazakh oil industry, according to the Ambassador. These funds were allocated to conduct exploration works together with the National oil company, and a rich field was discovered as a result.

During his visit to Japan, Tokayev is expected to discuss a possibility of receiving grants to develop the railroad industry, health care, environment protection, and culture. He will also coordinate the project on the water-supply system for the republic's capital Astana, Japan is to allocate 21 billion yens for.

Direct Japanese investments in the Kazakh economy in 1993-2001 amounted to $336 million. The funds were used to develop railway transport, to build a bridge across the Irtysh River, to reconstruct Astana international airport and highways in Western Kazakhstan.

Trade volume between Kazakhstan and Japan last year equalled $160 million.