Speech at the Opening Ceremony of ASEM5
by H. E. Mr. Junichiro KOIZUMI
Prime Minister of Japan
October 8, 2004
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I would like to express my appreciation to the Prime Minister of Vietnam, Mr. Phan Van Khai, and his staff for their thorough preparations to ensure the success of this Summit.
Since the last Summit two years ago, we have witnessed a significant change in the entire East Asian region. It is the birth of dynamism towards building a community where people would work together in harmony while recognizing their diversity in culture, ethnicity and tradition.
ASEAN is striving toward the formation of the ASEAN community in the areas of security, economy and in the socio-cultural field. At the same time, Japan, China and Korea are taking steps forward, together with ASEAN, to build an East Asian community. I believe that the development of various kinds of functional cooperation in the region, including economic partnerships, will provide the foundation for this community building.
For a community to be stable and prosperous, it needs to uphold common principles of democratic governance, the rule of law, promotion and protection of human rights and markets that are supported by an advanced economic system. At the Japan-ASEAN Commemorative Summit in December last year, my ASEAN colleagues and I agreed to hold these ideas as fundamental principles for the future relations between Japan and ASEAN.
At this Summit, ten European countries and three Asian countries have newly joined ASEM. Their participation has made ASEM a framework for a dialogue and cooperation between ASEAN+3, which is in the center of the dynamism I mentioned earlier, and the EU, which continues to develop vigorously after its enlargement.
For the advancement of the newly enlarged ASEM, we must undertake the following four tasks at this Summit.
First, we should expand the areas of cooperation under the ASEM framework with the spirit of solidarity and partnership, in such a way as we solved the issue of ASEM enlargement.
Second, with a view to strengthening effective multilateralism, we should have further discussion on the reform of the United Nations and express our strong will to jointly tackle such threats as terrorism and the issue of non-proliferation.
Third, we should further promote the revitalization of cooperation within ASEM. We must start taking concrete measures to achieve closer economic partnership as well as to cope with the issue of cultural diversity in the era of globalization.
Fourth, we should initiate discussions on the future of ASEM. It is important to expand the possibilities of ASEM which has now entered a new chapter in its history after the enlargement.
Japan is ready to give further momentum to the ASEM process by hosting the Seventh ASEM Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Kyoto in May 2005, based on the results of this Summit.
I would like to conclude my remarks by expressing my confidence that this meeting will produce significant achievements thanks to the wisdom and the spirit of cooperation of all the leaders attending this Summit as well as the leadership of Prime Minister Khai. I am committed to doing my utmost to contribute to that success.
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