ASEAN+3 Foreign Ministers' Meeting

July 30, 2002
Ministry of Foreign Affairs

On July 30, the third meeting of foreign ministers of ASEAN+3 (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations plus Japan, the People's Republic of China, and the Republic of Korea) was held in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei. The meeting, which lasted from 16:15 to 18:20, is summarized below.

1. The Role of the ASEAN+3 Foreign Ministers' Meeting

Almost every country stressed the importance of East Asian cooperation through the ASEAN+3 framework. Japan noted that consultations are taking place among relevant ministers in a wide variety of areas under ASEAN+3 and that, if necessary, the foreign ministers meeting should play an active role in coordinating these consultations in order to link them effectively with the process of summit meetings.

2. Institutionalization to Strengthen ASEAN+3 Cooperation

Many countries expressed support for promoting the institutionalization of the ASEAN+3 framework and for holding working-level meetings of senior officials with a view to strengthening cooperation in East Asia.

3. The Range of Issues Covered by ASEAN+3

Ministers expressed the view that the scope of issues handled under the ASEAN+3 framework should be expanded to encompass not only the economic field but also political and security issues including transnational issues.

4. Assessing the Progress of the East Asia Study Group (EASG)

On receipt of a report from the Republic of Korea on the progress made by the EASG, Ministers expressed the view that the report should be finalized so that it can be presented at the ASEAN+3 Summit Meeting in November. The opinion was also voiced that it was important to move toward implementing the concrete measures set out in the report.

5. The Initiative for Development in East Asia (IDEA)

Japan outlined the aims and objectives of the IDEA Ministerial Meeting scheduled to take place in Tokyo on August 12, and the participating nations offered a series of comments praising this initiative.

6. The Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI)

Japan stressed that strengthening integration in ASEAN was important for the stability and prosperity not only of ASEAN but of East Asia as a whole and expressed its desire to examine how it could cooperate with the IAI.

7. Other Issues

Ministers exchanged views on moves relating to the conclusion of free-trade agreements in East Asia. Thailand requested countries to take part in the informal meeting of Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) that is currently under consideration with a view to holding it at the time of the United Nations General Assembly. Japan outlined its initiative on energy security.

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