ASEAN + 3 Summit Meeting

The ASEAN + 3 (The Association of Southeast Asian Nations plus Japan, China, and the Republic of Korea) summit was held on November 4, and the promotion of cooperation in East Asia was discussed. The following are the main points of discussions at the summit.

1. Situation of the Korean Peninsula

(1) Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi explained that Japan placed the highest priority on the abduction issues and security issues, including the nuclear problem at Japan-North Korea normalization talks. Regarding the nuclear problem, he explained that the Japanese side conveyed the concerns of Japan and the international community to the North Korean side in detail at the normalization talks. He expressed his determination to strenuous1y work on North Korea for the resolution of the various issues through normalization talks and the security consultations in accordance with the Japan-DPRK Pyongyang Declaration.

(2) Concerning North Korea's nuclear development, several leaders stated that North Korea should observe its international commitments, and this problem should be peacefully resolved. They released a clear message as the Chairman's Press Statement regarding the dismantlement of the nuclear development program.

2. Strengthening of Economic Cooperation

(1) China announced a reduction of debts for developing countries. Also, with regard to the report by the East Asia Study Group (EASG), many leaders emphasized the significance of forming an East Asian free trade area.

(2) Prime Minister Koizumi referred to Japan's efforts to strengthen economic partnerships, including the Initiatives for Japan-ASEAN Comprehensive Economic Partnership, and stated that these efforts would lead to the energizing of economic activity and the strengthening of competitiveness in East Asia as a whole.

3. Report of the East Asia Study Group

(1) Most leaders referred to the East Asian Free Trade Area and East Asian Summit Meeting mentioned in the report.

(2) Prime Minister Koizumi stated that, for the steady implementation of the report, the state of implementation should be discussed at meetings of related ministers and, if necessary, a progress report should be compiled at the meetings of foreign ministers, and submitted to the annual summit meeting. Prime Minister Kim of ROK proposed the holding of an East Asia Forum.

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

(1) Overview of Japan-ASEAN Summit Meeting) Prime Minister Koizumi delivered a report on the IDEA ministerial meeting in August. He referred to the importance of a follow-up to that meeting's joint statement and said that he would like to make preparations for the next meeting.

(2) Many leaders made statements that they highly evaluated the IDEA.

5. Efforts to Strengthen ASEAN Integration

(1) Many ASEAN leaders stated that cooperation for the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI) from Japan, China, and the ROK is important.

(2) In response, Prime Minister Koizumi announced that Japan wanted to positively contribute to the IAI. The ROK announced that it was prepared to offer US$5 million to the IAI project.

6. Cooperation for promoting "exchange of People"

(1) Prime Minister Koizumi proposed that concrete network building among think-tanks, as suggested in the EASG report, should be started and that eminent persons should be asked to submit a report to next year's summit on ways to promote human resources development and exchange of people. He also announced the promotion of tourist exchange.

(2) China suggested that a forum should be held in Yunnan Province in October 2003 with the participation of all social sectors.

7. Cooperation for Transnational Issues

(1) China proposed the holding of a ministerial meeting on transnational crime, and many leaders expressed their support.

(2) Regarding terrorism, many leaders declared their antiterrorism intentions. The Philippines proposed the holding of a seminar on antiterrorism measures either in December or at the beginning of next year. Prime Minister Koizumi announced the acceptance of more training seminar personnel as a measure to support antiterrorism capacity building.

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