Japan-Brunei Foreign Ministers’ Meeting
February 11, 2018
On February 11 at midday, H.E. Mr. Taro Kono, Minister for Foreign Affairs, who is currently visiting Brunei, held a Foreign Ministers’ Meeting for the first time with the Honorable Dato Seri Paduka Haji Erywan bin Pehin Datu Pekerma Jaya Haji Mohd. Yusof, Second Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Brunei Darussalam. The overview is as follows. The Honorable Dato Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Rtd.) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Awang Halbi bin Haji Mohd Yussof, Second Minister of Defence of Brunei Darussalam, also attended the meeting.
- At the beginning, Minister Kono congratulated Minister Erywan and Minister Halbi on their appointments on January 30 this year. He also stated that he would like to deepen collaboration and strengthen extensive cooperation with Brunei, which now serves as the ASEAN’s coordinating country for Japan, and during the 45th Year of ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation this year.
- Regarding bilateral relations, which is characterized by LNG trade and Japanese companies’ investment in the energy field, Minister Kono stated his expectations for extensive cooperation, including technical cooperation to assist with Brunei’s efforts in economic diversification, expansion of defense exchange cooperation, and the resumption of direct flights between Japan and Brunei for the first time since 1998. Both ministers agreed on promotion of cooperation in these areas, including the need for an early signing of the technical cooperation agreement under negotiation.
- Minister Kono gave an explanation of the Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy that Japan is promoting. He emphasized the importance of the understanding of Brunei and other ASEAN countries for the promotion of the Strategy, as they are geographically located to connect the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. Minister Erywan stated that he would like to deepen understanding on the direction of the Strategy, and continue to cooperate with Japan.
- Regarding the North Korean issue, both ministers agreed on applying maximum pressure on North Korea, including the implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolutions.
In addition, the two leaders exchanged opinions on extensive topics that included the regional situations, and the promotion of free trade including the TPP.