Diplomatic Bluebook 2014 Summary

Chapter 2

Japan’s Foreign Policy that Takes a Panoramic

Perspective of the World Map


1. The ASEAN–Japan Commemorative Summit

The ASEAN–Japan Commemorative Summit was held on December 14, 2013. It was the first time since 2003 that Tokyo hosted a high- level meeting of this grouping, which was attended by leaders from the 10 ASEAN member states. Because 2013 marked the 40th Year of ASEAN–Japan Friendship and Cooperation, more than 600 events were held throughout the year on themes including politics, economy, culture, youth exchange, and tourism. As the culmination of the year of events, the summit presented an opportunity to further deepen exchange between Japan and ASEAN, with a variety of programs including a gala dinner featuring percussionists from Japan and ASEAN member states and J-pop artists such as AKB48 and EXILE. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe also held bilateral meetings with each of the 10 ASEAN leaders, deepening discussions on individual issues to strengthen relations with ASEAN.

The 40th Year of ASEAN–Japan Friendship and Cooperation
2. History of the Relationship between ASEAN and Japan

The partnership between ASEAN and Japan began in 1973 with the establishment of the ASEAN–Japan forum on synthetic rubber. In 1977, then-Prime Minister Takeo Fukuda held the first ASEAN–Japan Summit during a visit to Southeast Asia, laying the foundation for the future development of the ASEAN–Japan relationship with the declaration of the “Fukuda Doctrine” outlining the principles for Japan’s diplomacy toward ASEAN. Since that time, despite setbacks such as two economic and financial crises, many Japanese companies have established a presence in Southeast Asia, and trade built on strong areas of each side has expanded considerably. Since 2000 in particular, Japan and ASEAN have concluded bilateral economic partnership agreements, bilateral investment treaties, and the ASEAN–Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership (AJCEP) agreement, and have further deepened their mutual dependence by expanding production networks across the region.

aseanjapan01 Prime Minster Abe speaking during the ASEAN–Japan Commemorative Summit (December 14, 2013, Tokyo; Source: Cabinet Public Relations Office)
3. Vision Statement and the Future ASEAN–Japan Relationship

At the first ASEAN–Japan Commemorative Summit a decade earlier, Japan and ASEAN announced the “Tokyo Declaration for the Dynamic and Enduring ASEAN–Japan Partnership in the New Millennium.” ASEAN began building a community, and has played a leading role in creating regional forums such as the ASEAN Regional Forum, ASEAN Plus Three, and the East Asia Summit. Through this process the ASEAN–Japan relationship became a “strategic partnership,” playing a critical role for the stability and prosperity of the entire East Asia region.

During this latest ASEAN–Japan Commemorative Summit, the leaders adopted the “Vision Statement on ASEAN–Japan Friendship and Cooperation: Shared Vision, Shared Identity, Shared Future,” * and issued the “Joint Statement of the ASEAN–Japan Commemorative Summit: Hand in hand, facing regional and global challenges.” ** The leaders expressed continued support for ASEAN’s effort to establish the ASEAN community in 2015 and the intention to develop ASEAN–Japan cooperation beyond 2015, as well as reaffirmed that the scope of ASEAN–Japan cooperation extends beyond the region to encompass global challenges. We expect ASEAN and Japan to develop even closer relations in the future.

aseanjapan02 Commemorative photo of leaders attending the ASEAN–Japan Commemorative Summit (December 14, 2013, Tokyo; Source: Cabinet Public Relations Office)
  • * The Vision Statement reaffirms that ASEAN and Japan will strengthen cooperation in the following four areas of partnership:
  1. 1. Partners for Peace and Stability (politics and security)
  2. 2. Partners for Prosperity (economics and economic cooperation)
  3. 3. Partners for Quality of Life (new socio-economic issues)
  4. 4. Heart-to-Heart Partners (people-to-people exchanges)
  • ** The Joint Statement expresses a common understanding between Japan and ASEAN of the global and regional challenges, from the standpoint of “the ASEAN–Japan relationship in the world.”