The 4th Japan - Black Sea Area Dialogue was held in Tokyo

The 4th “Japan - Black Sea Area Dialogue” was held on 20-21 February 2013, in Tokyo, Japan, co-organized by the Global Forum of Japan (GFJ) and the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC), with the support of the Worldwide Support for Development (WSD) and the Tokyo Club, under the auspices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan.

Discussions took place under three themes, namely, “The Black Sea Area in a Changing World”, “The Development Strategy of the Black Sea Area” and “The Role of Japan for the Future of the Black Sea Area”.

The event enabled the two sides to focus on how to develop cooperation between Japan and the Black Sea area, and especially BSEC.

For the first time, in addition to high level diplomats and officials from the two sides, also representatives from the academia and business community attended the Dialogue.

Participants of the Dialogue highlighted the significant potential that exists in BSEC-Japan relations. In this context, in addition to recent political and economic developments, opportunities for concrete cooperation and joint activities were discussed in three fields - namely, environment, transport and energy - which have been identified as spheres of common interest in developing BSEC-Japan relations, as well as emergency assistance.

Various project ideas were proposed by the representatives of the BSEC Member States. One of them pertains to the creation of a consortium for the management of the Black Sea Ring Highway. The Black Sea Ring Highway is an ongoing flagship transport infrastructure project of BSEC which is envisaged to connect the BSEC Member States with each other through an approximately 7700 km long four-lane ring highway system.

The possibilities of elaborating projects for the protection of the marine environment in the Black Sea and the exchange of expertise and best practices on emergency assistance, especially in earthquake disaster response, were also discussed during the Dialogue.

Japan is a Sectoral Dialogue Partner within BSEC since 2010. “Japan-Black Sea Area Dialogue” is an event organized every two years with the initiative of the Global Forum of Japan, jointly with BSEC, in Tokyo, Japan.

A Study Group on “Japan-Black Sea Area Relations” has been established in September 2012 within the Global Forum of Japan for the purpose of giving organizational support for the preparations of the “Japan - Black Sea Area Dialogue” as well as to contribute to strengthening Japan-Black Sea area relations.

It is envisaged that the next Dialogue will be held for the first time in Istanbul, in 2015.



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