In 1960s the Aral Sea was the fourth largest sea in the world. However, over the years, the sea has been gradually shrinking, leading to one of the greatest global environmental catastrophes of the desiccation of the Aral Sea.
Located on the eastern shore of the Caspian Sea, the Aktau International Sea Trade Port is the only maritime gate of the land-locked Kazakhstan enabling transportation of dry cargoes, grain, crude oil and petroleum products by sea.
Due to the geopolitical location and the natural resources of Central Asia wide range of nations has focused its attention on the region, developing various strategies towards the regional states. Japan is one of those nations.
Among the Central Asian countries, Turkmenistan has grown significantly due to the high amount of natural resources, mainly hydrocarbons. After the breakup of the Soviet Union, having great natural gas deposits, Turkmenistan improved its economy by implementing structural reforms.
Due to its geographical location the Republic of Uzbekistan is far away from seaports and international transit routes leading to them. Therefore, since getting its independence in 1991, the country has begun construction of new railways in order to create integral railway system.