Third Mekong-Japan Summit (Outline)

December 21, 2011


(Photo) Third Mekong-Japan Summit(Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office)
(Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office)

The Third Mekong-Japan Summit was held in Bali, the Republic of Indonesia, on November 18. Attending the Summit were Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda of Japan (chair), Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, Prime Minister Hun Sen of the Kingdom of Cambodia, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra of the Kingdom of Thailand, President Thein Sein of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar and Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong of the Lao People's Democratic Republic. An outline of the Summit follows.

1. Overview of Summit

(1) At the outset, Prime Minister Noda extended his sympathy and condolences on damage caused by floods in the Mekong region. He also said to the effect that Japan had pushed forward with Mekong-Japan cooperation based on the "Mekong-Japan Action Plan 63" adopted at the First Mekong-Japan Summit in 2009.

(2) Subsequently, discussions were held about Mekong-Japan cooperation in the Mekong region. Prime Minister Noda said Japan had decided to carry out feasibility studies on the development of Dawei, Myanmar, from the perspective of enhancing connectivity in this region, focusing on the development such as the connectivity of Dawei, Myanmar and a special economic zone. He also spoke of the importance of public-private cooperation as well as the importance of assistance in the areas of the environment and climate change; maternal, newborn and child health and infectious diseases; and food security and safety.

(3) In reply, the Mekong region countries expressed their gratitude to Japan for continuing various forms of cooperation despite difficulties after the Great East Japan Earthquake. Specifically, for example, they referred to the importance of the water resource management of the Mekong River. Moreover, they expressed their expectations for Japan's continued assistance to the "CLV Development Triangle Area".

(4) The leaders of Japan and the Mekong region countries concurred in the perception that the 2012 Mekong-Japan Summit would be held in Japan and that they would map out new themes of cooperation, building on the "Mekong-Japan Action Plan 63."

(5) The leaders adopted the Joint Statement in which they took note that Mekong-Japan cooperation had developed substantially and reaffirmed that they would further promote cooperation through the framework of Mekong-Japan cooperation.

(6) Finally, Prime Minister Noda concluded the meeting by noting that following the Great East Japan Earthquake, Japan had received assistance from all over the world, including the Mekong region countries, and that this showed what Japan had been doing was not wrong and that Japan would continue to provide necessary assistance without becoming inward-looking.

2. Outline of Joint Statement

The leaders adopted the Joint Statement of the Third Mekong-Japan Summit in which they shared the perception of substantial progress in Mekong-Japan cooperation and reaffirmed that they would promote cooperation further through the Mekong-Japan cooperation framework.

(1) Overview

  • Welcomed progress in Mekong-Japan cooperation. Committed to continued cooperation.

(2) Mekong-Japan cooperation

(a) Comprehensive development in Mekong region

  • Reaffirmed the importance of further synergy between Mekong-Japan cooperation and other efforts to enhance Mekong-region and ASEAN connectivity towards ASEAN community building in 2015. In this regard, the leaders of the Mekong region countries appreciated Japan’s decision to conduct feasibility studies in Myanmar, initiated by the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) with the use of the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF).
  • Appreciated the steady implementation of the Action Plan of the "Mekong-Japan Economic and Industrial Cooperation Initiative (MJ-CI)."
  • Noted the necessity to further promote public-private cooperation, holding the Mekong-Japan plenary meeting of the Forum for Promotion of Public-Private Cooperation in December 2010 and again in November 2011.

(b) Construction of Society Valuing Human Dignity.

  • Appreciated Japan's assistance to alleviate damage caused by floods in the Mekong region. Reaffirmed the importance of further strengthening cooperation for disaster management.
  • Recognized the need to further strengthen cooperation in tackling environmental and climate change issues.
  • Shared the view that food security and safety as well as maternal, newborn and child health and infectious diseases were priority issues to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in this region.

(c) Expansion of human and cultural exchange.

  • Appreciated the fruitful outcome of people-to-people exchanges between Japan and the Mekong region in broad areas such as politics, security, the economy, culture, tourism, the environment and disaster management.

(3) Regional and global issues

  • Emphasized the importance of North Korea's abandonment of all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs, including uranium enrichment, of addressing humanitarian concerns such as the abduction issue.
  • Emphasized the importance of enhancing cooperation for disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation.
  • Reaffirmed support for U.N. reform. The Mekong region countries continuously support Japan's bid for a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council.
  • Recognized the importance of oceans as international common goods. Reaffirmed the commitment to universally recognized principles of international law, including the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea.

(4) Mekong-Japan cooperation in 2012 and beyond

  • Reconfirmed the Fourth Mekong-Japan Summit to be held in Japan in 2012. Decided to establish new pillars of Mekong-Japan cooperation for the next three-year period from 2013 to 2015.

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