Special ASEAN Plus Three (Japan-China-ROK) Summit
on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
On April 14, from 4:00 p.m. for approximately two and a half hours, Mr. ABE Shinzo, Prime Minister of Japan, attended an the Special ASEAN+3 Summit on Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19). The overview of the videoconference is as follows. This meeting was held at the request of Vietnam, the Chair of ASEAN for 2020. It was the first time a videoconference had been held between ASEAN+3 leaders. The conference was attended by Prime Minister Abe and the leaders of China, the Republic of Korea (ROK) and ASEAN Member States as well as the Secretary General of ASEAN and the WHO Director-General. A joint statement (English (PDF) / Japanese (PDF)) was issued after the meeting.
1. In the meeting, a discussion was held about the economic conditions of Japan, China, the ROK and each ASEAN Member State regarding COVID-19 and regional preventive measures against the spread of the virus.
2. At the outset, after presenting the situation in Japan, Prime Minister Abe stated that expansion of cooperation in ASEAN and the Asian region is extremely important in order to settle the situation where the threat of COVID-19 currently prevails, and that, as a condition thereof, each nation must share its information and knowledge freely, transparently and timely.
3. In addition, Prime Minister Abe stated that nations must confront this virus spreading infection across borders through solid cooperation, such as by establishing an ASEAN Centre for emerging diseases and public health emergencies (tentative), and supported by participating countries. Also, bearing in mind that some supplies to protect medical sites from infection depend on imports from the ASEAN region, he emphasized that nations must work together in the present crisis and maintain the flow of goods. He also remarked that any measures must be consistent with WTO rules, supported by participating countries.
4. Furthermore, regarding Avigan, which was mentioned by several leaders, Prime Minister Abe explained that he would expand clinical researches, and leaders agreed on the importance of prompt development of medicines that would become an invaluable card in the fight against the virus.