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Japan recognized the independence of the Republic of Kazakhstan on December 28, 1991.
Diplomatic relations between Kazakhstan and Japan were established on January 26, 1992.
Embassy of Kazakhstan in Japan was opened in February 1996. Since April 2016, Ambassador of Kazakhstan to Japan is Yerlan Baudarbek-Kozhatayev.
Embassy of Japan in Kazakhstan was opened in January 1993 in Almaty (since January 2005 it has been operating in Nur-Sultan). Since February 2019, Ambassador of Japan to Kazakhstan is Tatsuhiko Kasai.
President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev visited Japan four times: in 1994, 1999, 2008 and 2016.
In 2008, during the meeting with Emperor of Japan, President Nursultan Nazarbayev was awarded the highest order of Japan – “Grand Cordon of the Supreme Order of Chrysanthemum" for his personal contribution to strengthening friendship and mutual understanding between two nations. Emperor Akihito was awarded the highest state order of Kazakhstan – the Order “Altyn Kyran".
The main result of the official visit of the President Nursultan Nazarbayev to Japan in November 2016 was the enhancement of bilateral cooperation to the level of extended strategic partnership.
In 2006 and 2015, Prime Ministers of Japan Junichiro Koizumi and Shinzo Abe visited Kazakhstan with official visits, respectively.
From 1992 to 2016, the following visits were carried out from Kazakhstan to Japan: 2 visits of Secretary of State (2009, 2015), 2 visits of Prime Minister (1996, 2005), 2 visits of Secretary of State - Minister of Foreign Affairs (2002, 2010), 4 visits of Minister of Foreign Affairs (1992, 1999, 2012, 2014), 12 visits at the level of the members of the Government.
During the same period, the following visits were carried out from Japan to Kazakhstan: a visit of Deputy Prime Minister (2014), 2 visits of Minister of Foreign Affairs (2004, 2010), 5 visits at the level of the members of the Government (1997, 2007, 2012, 2014) and 17 visits of the members of Japanese Parliament holding key governmental positions.
Kazakhstan participates in the Central Asia + Japan Dialogue (at the level of Ministers of foreign affairs), the first meeting of which was held in 2004 in Astana on the initiative of the Japanese side.
In 2004, members of the Senate of the Parliament of Kazakhstan formed a group for the development of cooperation with Japan. In 2005, members of the Mazhilis of the Parliament of Kazakhstan created the similar group.
The Japanese Parliamentary League of Friendship with Kazakhstan was established in 1994. Currently, the Chairman of the League is former Secretary-General of the Government of Japan Takeo Kawamura.
Inter-parliamentary cooperation was further intensified during the visits of parliamentary delegations of Kazakhstan to Japan led by the Senate Chairmen Nurtay Abykayev in November 2006 and Kayrat Mami in April 2013, as well as the Mazhilis Chairman Ural Mukhamedzhanov in November 2006 and 2010.
An additional impetus to inter-parliamentary cooperation was given by President Nursultan Nazarbayev's historic address to the members of both houses of the Parliament of Japan on November 8, 2016. President of Kazakhstan became the first leader from the post-Soviet region who addressed the members of the Parliament of Japan.
Kazakhstan and Japan have similar positions on topical issues on the global agenda. Japan became the only developed country that co-authored the UN General Assembly resolution proclaiming August 29 as the International Day Against Nuclear Tests.
In 2015-2017 Kazakhstan and Japan co-chairs the 9th Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of CTBT. On October 27, 2015, in Astana, President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev and Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe signed a Joint Statement on CTBT. On April 1, 2016, in Washington, Kazakhstan and Japan adopted the Second Joint Statement on CTBT.