Message from the Chief Representative

Nice to meet you, who kindly visited our website! I am IMAI Seiju, assigned as Chief Representative of JICA Tajikistan Office in March 2023.

Tajikistan became independent country from Soviet Union in 1991. In addition to the deterioration in the socio-economic system caused by the collapse of USSR and the steep decline in productivity of various industries due to the suspension of financial and technical assistance from Moscow, Tajikistan experienced a fierce civil war from 1992 to 1997.

I joined JICA in 2000, and one of my first works was to implement Tajikistan's "Democratization Seminar" and "Parliamentary Management Seminar," projects that invited Tajik parliamentarians and parliamentary secretariat staff to Japan to learn about Japan parliamentary management. These projects were part of the "Acceptance of 500 trainees to Japan in five years" announced by the Government of Japan to support peace and democratization, based on the will of UNMOT Civil Affairs Officer, Prof. AKINO Yutaka, who was engaged in peace monitoring process after the civil war in Tajikistan and unfortunately killed in 1998.


In addition, my first business trip to Tajikistan was to prepare accepting Foreign Minister KAWAGUCHI Yoriko, who visited Tajikistan for the first time as Japanese Foreign Minister in 2004. At that time, even though six years had passed since the civil war, the capital was still with very rough and dusty roads except for the main roads, and brown water and twigs came out when you turned on the faucet of the hotel.

Since 2000, Tajikistan has achieved an average annual economic growth rate of 6-7%, but according to the World Bank, its GNI per capita in 2022 is still the lowest among the former Soviet Union countries, at 1,150USD. However, today when I walk around the capital Dushanbe, I am amazed at the development of the city, which is completely different from the impression I had when I first visited Dushanbe 19 years ago, and I do not think of it as a developing country. It is a green, clean and truly wonderful city.

Japan and Tajikistan celebrated the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations in 2022. This year (2023) marks the ¼ century of Prof. AKINO's passing and the 30th anniversary of the start of Japanese ODA to Tajikistan. During this period, approximately 2,500 trainees and more than 100 scholarship students (they are mainly government officials) have been dispatched from Tajikistan to Japan under the ODA framework, including the aforementioned 500 trainees.

Today, Tajikistan has once again highlighted its socio-economic vulnerabilities due to the Coronavirus, the situation in Afghanistan, and Russia's invasion against Ukraine.

JICA's mission here, I believe is to contribute to the development of Tajikistan into a sustainable and resilient society in cooperation with Tajik human resources who have studied in various sectors in Japan and other people, while inheriting the peace aspirations of our predecessors. I sincerely ask for your support and cooperation.


Photo by the Tajikistan President's Press Service

April 2023
IMAI Seiju
Chief Representative
JICA Tajikistan Office