“The 9th ARF Inter Sessional Meeting on Maritime Security” (Results)
1. On February 8, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs held the 9th ARF Inter Sessional Meeting on Maritime Security, which is a framework on concrete cooperation within the ARF, in Tokyo.
2. Officials from ARF members, as well as scholars and experts attended this meeting, which was co-chaired by Japan, the U.S. and the Philippines. Officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Japan Coast Guard (JCG) represented the Japanese delegation.
3. An overview of the meeting is as follows:
(1) Participants had discussions on such topics as “Exchange of Views on Maritime Security”, “Maritime Security and Cooperation”, “Safety of Navigation”, and “Marine Environment and Sustainable Development,” while having presentations by scholars and experts on maritime security.
(2) The Japanese delegation stated that it is indispensable for the peace, stability and prosperity of the entire international community to ensure free, open and stable seas and rule of law at sea, and that, in particular, Japan advocates the importance of free and open Indian and Pacific Oceans. The Japanese delegation also pointed out three challenges in particular for ensuring free, open and stable seas; (i) the importance of observing international law including UNCLOS, (ii) anti-piracy measures, and (iii) capacity building assistance for maritime law enforcement capability of coastal countries and enhancing coordination among maritime law enforcement agencies, and touched upon Japan’s initiatives on them, while expressing Japan’s commitment to further contributing to the peace, stability and prosperity of the region and the world.
(3) While having participation of policy-makers and practitoners of ARF members, participants had exchanges of views based on their latest initiatives regarding challenges and threats that they face. It is expected that this meeting will strengthen coordination among ARF members, international organizations, and regional frameworks, and further promote cooperation on maritime security.
(For reference) ARF Inter Sessional Meeting on Maritime Security
(ⅰ) The establishment of the ARF Inter Sessional Meeting on Maritime Security was approved in the Fifteenth Meeting of the ARF in July 2008. Its purpose is to promote dialogue regarding challenges and threats that ARF members face and concrete cooperation on maritime security.
(ⅱ) Japan, the U.S. and the Philippines are currently serving as the co-chairs (August 2014 - Summer 2017). The Philippines held the last meeting in April 2016.