Japan-ASEAN Relations

August 4, 2022
Photo session of ASEAN-Japan Foreign Ministers’ Meeting
(Photo) Foreign Minister HAYASHI is making a speech at the conference.

On August 4, commencing at 9: 50 a.m. local time (11:50 am, JST) for approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes, the ASEAN-Japan Foreign Ministers’ Meeting was held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Mr. HAYASHI Yoshimasa, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, attended the meeting. The meeting was co-chaired by Minister Hayashi and Thai Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai. The official Logo and Catchphrase for the 50th Year of ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation were announced at the meeting. The overview of the meeting is as follows.

1. Opening Remarks

Following the opening remarks of Minister Don of Thailand, Minister Hayashi stated delivered his opening remarks and stated as follows:

  • (1)Since the adoption of Vision Statement at the ASEAN-Japan Commemorative Summit for the 40th Year of Friendship and Cooperation in 2013, ASEAN-Japan relations have made significant progress through comprehensive cooperation in line with the four Partnerships, namely: Partner for Peace and Stability, Partner for Prosperity, Partner for Quality of Life, and Heart to Heart Partner.
  • (2)Since 2020, Japan has been implementing concrete cooperation projects based on the Joint Statement of the ASEAN-Japan Summit on Cooperation on ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific.
  • (3)Next year marks the 50th Year of ASEAN-Japan relations. Japan wishes to invite the ASEAN Leaders to Japan to hold a Commemorative Summit and then jointly announce a vision for future ASEAN-Japan relations on this historic occasion.
  • (4)Today, we welcome the joint announcement of the Official Logo-Design and Catchphrase of the 50th Year of ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation which have been selected from many entries to the contest.
  • (5)We would like to continue working closely with the ASEAN side in order to liven up the 50th Year and further strengthen ASEAN-Japan relations.

2. Review of ASEAN-Japan Cooperation and its Future Directions

  • (1)Minister Don of Thailand reviewed ASEAN-Japan cooperation in each area of Political and Security, Economic Cooperation, and Social and Cultural on behalf of the ASEAN and especially expressed his gratitude towards Japan’s support for the ASEAN Centre for Public Health Emergencies and Emerging Diseases (ACPHEED). Other countries also expressed high evaluation on the progress of ASEAN-Japan and support for the Commemorative Summit on the occasion of 50th Year in 2023 and hope for further strengthening the ASEAN-Japan relations in various areas.
  • (2)In response, Minister Hayashi stated as follows:
    - Japan has been supporting efforts of the ASEAN countries to counter COVID-19 through, among others, the donation of over 23 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, grant assistance worth more than 327 million US dollars in providing medical supplies and equipment, and technical cooperation, as well as the contribution of 1 million US dollar to the COVID-19 ASEAN Response Fund.
    - Japan has been fully supporting ACPHEED and strongly hope for its expeditious operationalisation.
    - Japan supports the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework (ACRF). In order to support economic recovery of the ASEAN countries, Japan extended a total of 2.73 billion US dollars worth of financial emergency support loans. With its fair and transparent development finance, Japan continues to support sustainable growth of the ASEAN countries.
    - Japan has been consistently supporting ASEAN centrality and unity, and was the first to announce its support for AOIP. Japan continues to steadily implement concrete cooperation projects towards the realization of both FOIP and AOIP. Moreover, Japan continues to work for maintaining and strengthening the rule-based free and open international order under “Kishida Vision for Peace” and advance new development of the “Free and Open Indo-Pacific.”

3. Regional and International Issues

  • (1)Situation in Myanmar
    - On the situation in Myanmar, Minister Hayashi stated Japan seriously deplores the execution of detainees these actions, as they completely go against the “release of the detainees” which Japan has consistently called for. Minister Hayashi expressed that Japan would continue its support for ASEAN’s efforts for the implementation of “the Five Point Consensus” and strongly urged the Myanmar side to take concrete actions to (i) immediately stop the violence, (ii) release those who are detained, and (iii) swiftly restore Myanmar’s democratic political system. Minister Hayashi stated that Japan would continue to actively provide humanitarian assistance and called on the Myanmar side to ensure safe and unhindered humanitarian access.
    - The ASEAN side also expressed concerns over the situation in Myanmar including their strong disappointment over the executions of detainees. They stressed the importance of the implementation of “the Five Point Consensus.”
  • (2)Situation in Ukraine
    Minister Hayashi stated that Japan strongly condemns Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, which is a blatant violation of international law prohibiting the use of force and a grave breach of the Charter of the United Nations. He said that Japan believed it shared the view with the ASEAN countries that unilateral change of the status quo by force is unacceptable in any region and that respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity is important. Minister Hayashi also stressed the importance of humanitarian assistance and protection of civilians as well as on the point that any threat or use of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) should not be tolerated. He also pointed out that Russia’s aggression against Ukraine has caused energy and food prices hikes, and expressed his intention to act in unity to call on Russia to stop its aggression. The ASEAN side also mentioned the situation in Ukraine.
  • (3)East and South China Seas
    - Minister Hayashi expressed Japan’s strong opposition to any unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force which were continuing and intensifying in the East and South China Seas. Minister Hayashi also stated that all maritime claims and activities in the oceans and seas should be based on the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). In addition, Minister Hayashi touched on the Arbitral Tribunal's award as to the disputes between the Republic of the Philippines and the People’s Republic of China in 2016 and the Code of Conduct (COC) on the South China Sea and stressed that COC should be consistent with the UNCLOS and should not prejudice the legitimate rights and interests of all stakeholders using the South China Sea.
    - The ASEAN side also spoke on the importance of the freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea and of the peaceful resolution of disputes in accordance with international law, in particular UNCLOS, among other matters.
  • (4)North Korea
    - Minister Hayashi stated that the full implementation of the relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions (UNSCRs) is critical towards achieving the complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantlement of all of North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles of all ranges, and also asked for continued understanding and cooperation in relation to the abductions issue.
    - The ASEAN side spoke on the importance of the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and the full implementation of the relevant UNSCRs, and expressed their support for the efforts towards the resolution of the abductions issue.
  • (5)Other issues
    Many participants expressed condolences to the passing of Former Prime Minister Abe and Minister Hayashi expressed his gratitude for them.

4. Concluding Remarks

Minister Hayashi and Minister Don made concluding remarks and reaffirmed that ASEAN and Japan continued to work closely together for the success of this year’s Summit and the 50th Year of ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation next year.

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