Press Statement by Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori
25 November 2000
Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong of Singapore, who chaired this Summit Meeting, will also be giving his views of the meeting in a press conference in a little while, but if I dare give you my own view, I will say that this meeting enabled us to have a fruitful and positive discussion on the future of East Asia cooperation in the 21st century.
I can summarize the major achievements of this Summit in the following three points.
Firstly, in order to promote cooperation through the framework of ASEAN+3, I announced "Building Partnership," "Open Regional Cooperation" and "Comprehensive Dialogue and Cooperation including Political-Security Fields" as the three principles for enhancement of East Asia cooperation. Based on these principles, the leaders discussed actively on the future of East Asia, which made it appropriate for this meeting to be called the last meeting of East Asia Summit in the 20th century. At the ASEAN+3 meeting of yesterday, the idea of establishing the "East Asia Summit" was also proposed. For my part, based on these three principles, I hope to deepen the discussion with ASEAN countries, in the framework of the "East Asia Study Group" among others, as to the appropriate form of ASEAN+3 in the future.
Secondly, we agreed on specific measures of cooperation to meet challenges that globalization and the IT revolution impose on East Asian countries. As for IT in particular, it is an epoch-making achievement for the future of East Asia cooperation that Japan, China and the Republic of Korea agreed to engage in and to cooperate with the efforts of ASEAN, such as the promotion of "e-ASEAN." Based on the idea that we should make use of IT opportunities, I proposed to hold a "Joint Conference of Government Officials, Prominent Academics and Business Leaders for IT Cooperation in East Asia" in Japan in 2001 to consider the measures to promote IT cooperation. This proposition was supported by the leaders. As for the "Comprehensive Cooperation Package" of 15 billion dollars, Japan intends to attach importance to Japan-ASEAN cooperation in its implementation and make efforts to materialize it through the dispatch of policy-dialogue missions on IT cooperation, etc.
Thirdly, at the Japan-ASEAN Summit Meeting, which has just finished, taking into account the recommendation of "Towards Vision 2020: ASEAN-Japan Consultation Conference on the Hanoi Plan of Action," we confirmed our will to strengthen Japan-ASEAN relations as the "Japan-ASEAN New Partnership" in the 21st century. Recognizing the importance of exchange of people, particularly the exchange of the youths, who will play a major role in the 21st century, I proposed a new scholarship program inviting senior high-school students from ASEAN member countries to Japan. This proposition was welcomed by the leaders of ASEAN member countries. Regarding ASEAN as a partner for the peace and prosperity of East Asia, I intend to make every effort for further development of our cooperative relations.
So much for my evaluation on the meetings with ASEAN. Concerning the tripartite Summit meeting of Japan, China and the Republic of Korea, it is my great pleasure to see this meeting take place and to have agreed with China and the ROK on the regular holding of this meeting. Continuing this kind of meeting will contribute to the peace and prosperity of North East Asia and that of the entire world as well. The fact that we were able to discover a broad direction of concrete measures of cooperation in the field of IT cooperation, cultural and people-to-people exchange, environmental cooperation, etc., including the launching of the joint research on the economic cooperation, will surely become a first step forward in the promotion of tripartite cooperation among Japan, China and the ROK for the 21st century.
Let me share with you an episode during the Japan-ASEAN meeting this morning. Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong, as chairman of the meeting, appreciated Japan's IT cooperation policy plan toward ASEAN, including the IT comprehensive cooperation package amounting to 15 billion US dollars, and suggested that the plan be called "Mori e-action," considering the fact that Japan's past cooperative plans toward ASEAN were named after prominent contributors, such as the "Fukuda Doctrine," the "New Miyazawa Initiative," and the "Obuchi Plan." I responded by saying that it was an honour but that the actual implementation of the plans for promoting the Japan-ASEAN cooperation towards the 21st century through advancing the IT and bridging the digital divide in the region as well as cooperation with relevant countries was most important, not the naming.
I would like to conclude by expressing my deep gratitude to Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong and to the entire Government and the people of Singapore for so successfully hosting this Summit.
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