The Fifth Expanded ASEAN Maritime Forum
1. On December 7, the Fifth Expanded ASEAN Maritime Forum (EAMF) was held in Jakarta, Indonesia, and Mr. Fumio Shimizu, Deputy Director-General, Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, attended the Forum from Japan.
2. The EAMF was established based on the proposal from Japan and this was its fifth Forum. At the East Asia Summit held in November 2011, Japan proposed to establish a forum where the EAS member states can discuss maritime cooperation. Followed by the consideration among the ASEAN member states, it was decided that the EAMF would be held back to back with the ASEAN Maritime Forum, where only ASEAN member states attend.
3. During the Forum, active discussions were held on such themes as maritime cooperation between ASEAN, which celebrates its 50th anniversary, and dialogue partners, in the area of maritime security, maritime safety and maritime environment protection and the way forward for the EAMF. At the Maritime Security session, Mr. Shimizu highlighted through his presentation the importance of maintaining and strengthening a free and open maritime order based on the rule of law in the Indo-Pacific region and of making this region a global commons that brings stability and prosperity to any country, while introducing Japan’s efforts in the area of maritime security including capacity building assistance for maritime law enforcement capabilities such as anti-piracy measures and Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA).
4. Many participants stated that the EAMF is an important framework in which the participants discuss maritime issues and maritime cooperation in the region and that the framework should be further strengthened. In addition, the Phillipines announced that it would host the Sixth EAMF next year, which the participants welcomed.