Abstract. In this article has a comprehensive sense about Kazakhstan`s contemporary development in terms of political, economic and social development. Ideas depicted in the article show Kazakhstan`s outstanding achievements and at the same time prioritizes necessary aims for enhancing the further developments of the country. Following actual spheres of research within country`s development are considered: economic front, country`s leadership in the promotion of regional economic, political cooperation system, role of the SCO within Kazakhstan`s regional policy, the role of the "world religious leaders"in promotion of peace, Kazakhstan`s promotion to the denuclearization of the CA region, perspectives of democracy development, increasing of welfare and some mentions on "Strategy for Kazakhstan 2050".
For more than 25 years, I have been watching the development and changes of the Kazakhstan society, sometimes as an advisor to a minister of the Kazakhstan government, sometimes as an honorary professor of several universities in Kazakhstan, or as an advisor to the Japan- Kazakhstan Joint Economic Committee, as well as through participation in several international conferences held in Kazakhstan. Currently I serve the ruling Nur Otan Party as a member of its committee of overseas advisors. To come right to the point, the country has realized an outstanding high economic growth in the former Soviet Union zone, supported by its rich endowment of natural resources. Based on the growth and under the excellent leadership of its first President Nazarbayev, it has increased its Asian democracy and national welfare, thus making its big presence felt in the world.
Now let me focus on two points that are distinctive about the relationship between Kazakhstan and Japan. The first is the fact that the basic city planning of Astana, the new capital of Kazakhstan, was made by a world-class Japanese architect Mr. Kisho Kurokawa. Now Astana has grown to a city of skyscrapers, often referred to as “New York in East Eurasia”. This can be said as a part of a successful cultural exchange between Japan and Kazakhstan. The second is on the economic relationship. Looking from the Japanese perspective, development of natural resources and their imports and the increased market participation of car makers in Kazakhstan have been the prominent characteristics in their relationship, but further efforts are required, in addition to the already started cooperation in the area of fostering of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which is an area of Japanese specialty, and encouragement of value added agriculture, to promote cooperation in such areas as environmental countermeasures, support for higher education, and provision of medical technology and equipment.
On the Kazakhstan side, the followings are expected for the sake of its nation building and development of its society.
- First on the economic front, it is necessary for the country to further diversify its economic structure. The country has already achieved a substantial progress on the reform of its economic structure that heavily depends on the development and exports of energy resources. However, the country is not in a position to fully cope with the fluctuations in international energy prices.
- Secondly, the country is hoped to exercise a leadership in the promotion of formation of regional economic and political cooperation system. The change of presidents in the neighboring Uzbekistan and its inclination to good-neighbor policy will give a good condition to Kazakhstan for promoting its effort on that. It is indispensable to the realization of economic and political stability in Central Eurasia that through this cooperation long-confusing issues of intraregional distribution of water resources can be solved.
- In this regard, it is also important for Kazakhstan to strengthen its economic cooperation in the Central Asian region while on the level of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) balancing the economic relations with China and Russia. Kazakhstan should promote, not one-sidedly, an appropriate and well-balanced cooperation both with China’s “One Belt One Road” initiative and Russia’s “Eurasian Economic Union.”
- Already Kazakhstan has hosted several meetings of “world religious leaders” and it is in a position to seek for a pilot or model nation in the long run that has a system that enables peaceful coexistence of “multiple races, multiple tribes and multiple religions.”
- In light of the damages caused in the former Soviet days in the nuclear testing site (Semipalatinsk), Kazakhstan has contributed to the campaign for the extinction of nuclear weapons in Central Asia by promoting the “Treaty on Nuclear Weapon Free Zone in Central Asia” (also called Treaty of Semei, 2006). The country is expected to continue to play a leading role for a worldwide anti-nuclear campaign including in the place in the UN. The visit of President Nazarbayev in November 2016 to Hiroshima which suffered a big damage by the first use of nuclear weapon in the war has been highly evaluated internationally. Of course the Japanese people support the continuation of the global anti-nuclear campaign by Kazakhstan.
- “Democracy in the East Eurasian way” has many aspects in it. In an economic system and policy aspect, it means a market economy that allows a certain degree of intervention by an incorrupt and efficient government. In electing president, the country has a democratic system based on a multi-political party system, but for the moment it may have to take into account the traditional election system and spirit for electing leaders of kurultai, a general assembly of representatives of nomadic tribes, that has been formed with a long historical background. In the future, however, it will be desired that the country adopt a presidential election system that forbids a third term under a two-party system.
- Further, it will be desired for Kazakhstan to improve its national welfare system including pension, health care and expenditures for education. In the medium and long run, the country should make it a goal to build a welfare society of Scandinavian style. In preparing for the case the population still continues to increase in that phase, it will have to establish an economic structure that can be easily understood and that secures a room for a certain degree of economic growth and fiscal expansion.
- “Strategy for Kazakhstan 2050” makes it a goal for the country to become one of the 30 advanced economies in the world by 2050. Given the large national land ranking the 9th in the world and rich endowment of natural resources, there will be a good chance the country ranks even within the highest 20 countries in terms of “competitiveness and presence of the nation” if the following conditions are ensured. These conditions include (i) continuation of a stable and strong presidential system that is based on a democratic election, (ii) diversification of industrial structure that does not depend only on resources development and their exports, (iii) promotion of human values such as coexistence of “multiple races, multiple tribes and multiple religions” and anti-nuclear campaign, (iv) highly transparent policy management and economic structure. Efforts to achieve these conditions will surely increase the trust on the country from the international society.
This article is a speech of Dr.Tetsuji Tanaka, Executive Director of the Central Asia and Caucasian Research Institute (Tokyo) on the IV Congress of Sociologists of Kazakhstan “Modernization Strategy of Kazakhstan in Sociological Dimensions: New Values, New Coordinate System and New Time” (27-28 September 2018, Astana)