JCIE organized the Japan-Russia/Central Asia Dialogue Mission in 1997 in order to explore possible avenues of cooperation and promote mutual understanding among Japan, Russia, and the countries of Central Asia. From June 28 to July 10, 1997, a delegation of 60 Japanese leaders from the political and economic sectors, academia, research institutions, and government-related organizations traveled to Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, led by Keizo Obuchi, then Member of the House of Representatives.
In Moscow, a seminar was held on the topic of “Japan-Russian Relations in Asia Pacific,” featuring discussions on such topics as mutual security concerns in Asia Pacific and Japan-Russian cooperation in promoting regional stability and development. In addition, some of the delegation members had the opportunity to engage in an opinion exchange with Russian First Vice-Premier Anatoly Chubais. In Central Asia, the delegation engaged in informal talks with the host countries’ respective presidents and also participated in discussions with business and political leaders with the goal of building relations with each country.
This project led to the initiation of the Russia-Japan Policy Dialogues in 2000.