Asia

15th ASEAN Plus Three Foreign Ministers’ Meeting

August 9, 2014
Japanese

The 15th ASEAN Plus Three Foreign Ministers' Meeting was held on August 9, 2014 in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar. Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida attended the meeting. The following is a summary of Foreign Minister Kishida's statement delivered during the meeting.

Opening Remarks
Foreign Minister Kishida opened his statement by expressing his appreciation to Foreign Minister Wunna Maung Lwin and the Government of Myanmar for the preparation and warm hospitality of the meeting.  He also made reference to the entry into force of the investment agreement and the progress of FTA negotiation and welcomed the development of the ASEAN Plus Three (APT) economic cooperation. 

Global and Regional Issues

North Korea
Foreign Minister Kishida emphasized that North Korea continues to pursue becoming a nuclear state, and has also repeatedly launched ballistic missiles in late June and July, clearly in violation of UN Security Council resolutions.  
In this regard, he reiterated that the APT member states should fully implement relevant UN Security Council resolutions including on export control, and must continue to urge North Korea to take positive, concrete actions on the nuclear and missile issues. 
Furthermore, the Minister introduced that North Korea has begun a comprehensive and full-scale investigations on all Japanese nationals, including the abductees, noting the need to cautiously assess the result of the investigations.  He also addressed that the abductions issue is not only a critical issue concerning the sovereignty of Japan and the lives and safety of Japanese citizens, but also a universal issue among the international community as violation of fundamental human rights, and asked for the parties' understanding and cooperation. 

Review and Way Forward of APT Cooperation

(1) Overview
Foreign Minister Kishida stated that Japan will steadfastly advance practical APT cooperation based on the APT Cooperation Work Plan which was reviewed at last year's APT Summit.
 
(2) Financial Cooperation
He welcomed that each member is making efforts in completing its respective domestic process for the signature of the Agreement Establishing AMRO (APT Macroeconomic Research Office). He also welcomed that the function of the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralisation (CMIM) had become strengthened by the amendment of the CMIM Agreement which came into effect this July. 
  
(3) Trade and Economy
The Minister stated that he would like to closely cooperate with each of the APT countries, aiming at concluding the negotiations of RCEP by the end of 2015 and achieving a comprehensive, high-level agreement.
 
(4) Energy
Minister Kishida stressed that promotion of highly efficient coal-fired power generation technology, due to the affordability and availability of its fuel, is a pragmatic measure in addressing climate change, and that Japan would like to contribute to increasing energy efficiency of relevant countries.
 
(5) Food Safety
Foreign Minister Kishida recalled that it has been over three years since the Great East Japan Earthquake, and asked countries in a position to do so for relaxing and lifting restrictions on imports from Japan while welcoming efforts by some countries.
 
(6) Food Security
The Minister stated that Japan has been assisting in providing rice through the APT Emergency Rice Reserve (APTERR) framework responding to the flooding in Lao PDR and the Philippines' typhoon damage since 2013 and will continue to strengthen coordination with Southeast Asia in food security.