Remarks by Mr. Kiyohiko Toyama, Ph.D,
Vice-Minister (Parliamentary) for Foreign Affairs

June 28, 2006

Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentleman,

First of all, on the behalf of the Government of Japan, I would like to extend my very warm welcome to all of you. Your participation in today's Dialogue is deeply appreciated, and, it gives me a great pleasure to join you and host this luncheon.

It is my strong belief that, with the long history of friendship and mutual trust, ASEAN and Japan have established the firm and strong partnership, which enabled us, on a truly equal footing, to build the future of the region.

Today, we are confronting new challenges which can only be addressed through our concerted efforts. With the increasing interdependence in the East Asia, ASEAN-Japan relations have become the pivot of regional cooperation, which is in rapid progress, towards the building of an East Asian community.

In order for us to achieve this common objective, we have many areas to strengthen our cooperation; consolidation of peace and nation building, trade facilitation, efficient energy utilization and overcoming the issue of environmental degradation, prevention and containment of such infection diseases as avian influenza. And, among others, so called non-traditional threat such as terrorism, piracy and international crimes, which go beyond national boundaries, are the issues which particularly require regional cooperation.

Today, we are here for counter-terrorism cooperation. This is one of the major challenges which we have to face together. Terrorism poses a major threat to Southeast Asia. It not only threatens the daily lives of the people and have adverse affect on political and security situation, but also erodes the environment for foreign direct investment and tourism which would have a longer term economic consequences. For this reason, I hope this Dialogue, ASEAN-Japan Counter-Terrorism Dialogue, can contribute to pave a new way for our closer cooperation to tackle this difficult challenge.


I would like to conclude my remarks by underlining my sincere wish that ASEAN and Japan will further deepen and broaden the strategic partnership and continue to be the driving force for enhancing the peace and prosperity of the region. I would also like to extend my best wishes for your continued health and success.

Thank you.

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