Relationship between Japan and ASEAN

December 1998

I. The Japan-ASEAN Dialogue Scheme

(1) Japan-ASEAN Summit Meeting

(a) The First Japan-ASEAN Summit Meeting

In 1977, on the occasion of the second official ASEAN summit meeting, the first summit meeting between Japan and ASEAN was held, with Japan represented by then Prime Minister Fukuda. Japan expressed its recognition on the establishment of ASEAN as a regional mechanism and its intention to promote cooperation with ASEAN.

(b) The Second Japan-ASEAN Summit Meeting

The second summit meeting was held on the occasion of the third official ASEAN summit meeting in 1987, with then Prime Minister Takeshita in attendance. Japan and ASEAN confirmed their "New Partnership for Peace and Prosperity."

(c) The Third Japan-ASEAN Summit Meeting

The third summit meeting was held in December 1997, on the occasion of the second unofficial ASEAN summit meeting in commemoration of the ASEAN's 30th anniversary, where then Prime Minister Hashimoto proposed three initiatives for strengthening the relationship between Japan and ASEAN.

(2) Ministerial-level Meetings

(a) Japan-ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting

In 1978 the first Japan-ASEAN Foreign Ministers meeting was held in Pattaya, Thailand. Since 1979, Foreign Ministers meetings between Japan and ASEAN have taken place annually, as part of the ASEAN PMC

(b) ASEAN Economic Ministers-Minister of International Trade and Industry Consultations (AEM-MITI)

This consultations began in 1991 at the invitation of ASEAN for the purpose of exchanging views on a broad range of economic issues, covering from international economic situations to industrial cooperation programs. Since 1992, the AEM-MITI meeting has been held annually as part of the ASEAN Economic Ministers Meetings.

(c) Japan-ASEAN Finance Ministers Meeting

This meeting is held at regular intervals for the purpose of exchanging views on regional economic and financial issues, based on an agreement reached at the meeting in December 1997.

(d) AEM-MITI Economic and Industrial Cooperation Committee

This committee is established as an organ under the AEM-MITI (Japan's representative is the Minister of International Trade and Industry). The Committee's purpose is to enhance industrial cooperation between Japan and ASEAN, improve the industrial competitiveness of the ASEAN member countries, and provide development assistance to the new ASEAN member countries. The first meeting was held in November 1998.

II. Political and Security-related Issues

Political and Security dialogue Japan is promoting cooperative dialogues with ASEAN on political and security issues by means of the multilateral discussions in the ASEAN Regional Forum and through various bilateral frameworks with Southeast Asian countries.

Japan is also pursuing bilateral security dialogues with ASEAN member countries, as agreed at the JAPAN-ASAN summit meeting held in December 1997.
Defence-related Japan is conducting bilateral defense exchanges with ASEAN member countries in order to promote mutual understanding, friendship and mutual confidence between them.

III. Economic Relations

(a) Japan's trade, investment, and ODA toward ASEAN
( Figures in parentheses indicate percentages of overall totals.)

1990 1997 From1990 to 1997
Trade 8.9613 trillion yen (11.9%) 14.4964 trillion (15.8%) yen Increased by 1.6 times (approx)
Investment 599.2 billion yen (7.2%) 961.4 billion yen (14.5%) Increased by 1.6 times (approx)
ODA $2.299 billion (33.1%) $1.354 billion (20.5%) Increased by 0.6 times (approx)

Note 1: Due to the influence of the economic crisis in Asia, Japan's exports to ASEAN in the first half of 1998 declined by 27% in comparison to the figure for the same period in 1997, and imports from ASEAN also declined by 15%.

Note 2: Features of Japanese direct investment in ASEAN:
(1) Large amounts of investment go to manufacturing industries;
(2) In the automobile and electronics industries, the leading role has been played by local Japanese manufacturing companies;
(3) The adverse economic climate resulting from the 1997 currency crisis in Asia has affected direct investment as well.

Note 3: Japanese ODA
Regional breakdown of Japanese ODA (per $100 million)

  • Half of all Japanese bilateral ODA goes to countries in Asia. Bilateral ODA provided to the nine ASEAN member countries in 1997 (amounting to $1.354 billion) accounted for 20% of all Japanese bilateral ODA (the total value of which was $6.6 billion).
  • Indonesia was the second largest recipient of Japanese bilateral ODA in 1997, Thailand the fourth, the Philippines the fifth , and Vietnam the sixth.
  • Based on net disbursements in 1996, Japan was the largest donor of assistance to all of the ASEAN member countries, with the exception of Malaysia.

(b) Major Japan-ASEAN economic cooperation activities

ASEAN Promotion Centre on Trade, Investment, and Tourism

  • The Centre promotes exports to Japan from the ASEAN member countries, investment and tourism from Japan to ASEAN.

Contribution as the Solidarity Fund to the ASEAN Foundation

  • In May 1998, then Foreign Minister Obuchi announced in a policy speech delivered in Singapore that Japan would contribute $20 million as the Solidarity Fund.
  • Japan contributes to promote ASEAN's strategies for development cooperation aimed at helping to develop human resources, alleviate poverty and others.
  • Japan supports ASEAN's measures to develop regional projects for overcoming the economic crisis.

Japan-ASEAN Program for Comprehensive Human Resources Development

  • In order to develop the human resources necessary for sustainable economic progress,this program aims to train 20,000 people over a five-year period to perform such roles as those of (1) political and community leaders, (2) administrators involved in social and economic management and administration in the local government, and (3) private-sector technicians and business people.

Japan-ASEAN South-South Cooperation Promotion Program

  • Japan supports ASEAN's efforts to resolve intra-regional disparities within the region and the efforts of the ASEAN member countries to promote their cooperation toward developing countries.

IV. Support for Efforts to Overcome the Economic Crisis

(1) Assistance measures for Asia
The assistance measures for Asia which have been announced by the Japanese Government since July 1997 totals $44 billion. Much have already been implemented, and for others concrete arrangements for implementation are being worked out.

(2) "New Initiative to Overcome the Asian Currency Crisis"
(New Miyazawa Initiative)
In October, 1998, Japan announced to provide a package of support measures totaling approx. $30 billion of which $15 billion will be made available for the medium and long-term financial needs for economic recovery in Asian countries, and another $15 billion will be set aside for their possible short-term capital needs during the process of implementing economic reform. This initiative will be implemented in addition to the above $44 billion assistance measures.
Japan is dispatching missions to the related countries and working to implement the initiative.

(3) "Asian Growth and Recovery Initiative"
On November 16, 1998, Prime Minister Obuchi and President Clinton jointly announced the initiative to support several Asian countries which face difficulties in financing their measures for restoring growth because of world-wide liquidity shortage. Japan and the United States, with the support of the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank will prepare $5 billion. Japan intends to apply a part of $3 billion national bond which will be donated to ADB (the fiscal measure required for this will be included in the 3rd supplementary budget currently under deliberation by the Diet for FY 1998).

(4) Emergency Economic Package (Measures to assist Asia) The emergency economic package announced on November 16 includes measures to assist Asian countries amount to about 1.0 trillion yen (approx. 8.3 billion) as a measures to reduce risks to the Global Economy. The measures necessary to realize both the "New Initiative to Overcome the Asian Crisis" and the "Asian Growth and Recovery Initiative" are included in this package.

Japan's Assistance in the Asian Economic Crisis

V. Cultural and People-to-People Exchanges

Cultural and people-to-people exchanges are carried out through the mechanisms below, in addition to those on bilateral basis.

VI. Global Issues

Japan's Assistance to help the ASEAN member countries on global issues

Transnational Problems Measures
Forest Fires Grant Aid : Malaysia (approx. 9.05 million yen) Indonesia (approx. 8.6 million yen)

Disaster relief: Dispatch of Japan's disaster relief team (expert team) and provision of emergency relief supply
Forest Conservation (Measures to cope with acid rain) In 1993, Japan proposed formation of the Acid Deposition Monitoring Network in East Asia. The first intergovernmental meeting was held in March 1998. It was agreed to officially commence operations in mid-2000 and to set up a provisional network headquarters in Niigata, Japan.
International Terrorism "Japan-ASEAN Network for Counter-terrorism"
Established in June 1997. The network facilitates exchanges of views and information between Japan and the ASEAN member countries on terrorism.

"Japan-ASEAN Counter-terrorism Conference"
This conference was held in Tokyo in October 1997, with the participation of officials of police agencies and Foreign Ministers from Japan and the nine ASEAN member countries.
Illegal Drugs Through the United Nations International Drug Control Program, Japan contributes to counter-drugs projects for the ASEAN member countries.
International Organized Crime "Asia Regional Ministerial Meeting on Transnational Crime"
This meeting was held in Manila in March 1998 as part of the activities of the United Nations. Discussions were held on efforts to deal with international crime in the Asian region.
Japan intends to cooperate with the ASEAN member countries in the efforts of the Asia-Pacific Group on money laundering.

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