ASTANA (Kyodo) Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada agreed with his Kazakh counterpart, Kanat Saudabayev, on Monday to promote cooperation to help achieve a world free of nuclear weapons, Japanese officials said.

Okada and Saudabayev also agreed to accelerate cooperation in the development of natural resources and energy, including uranium, the officials said.

In his meeting with Saudabayev in the Kazakh capital, Okada was quoted as saying, “It is important for the two countries to work together to help achieve a world without nuclear weapons.”

In response, Saudabayev agreed to promote efforts toward the elimination of nuclear weapons, the officials said.

While touching on the 65th anniversary on Monday of the U.S. atomic bombing of Nagasaki during World War II, the Kazakh foreign minister said it was a tragic day for the history of Japan and the world, the officials said.

Saudabayev was also quoted as saying he can well understand the pain and suffering of the victims of the atomic bombing as many people living near the former nuclear test site of Semipalatinsk have suffered health problems.

On the economic front, Okada was quoted as saying there is more room for mutually beneficial cooperation as Kazakhstan is rich in natural resources and energy while Japan has relevant technologies.

Okada arrived in Kazakhstan on Monday after visiting Uzbekistan to attend Saturday’s Central Asia plus Japan dialogue involving Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

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