The Fifteenth Japan-ASEAN Summit 2012

  • [Summary] The Fifteenth Japan-ASEAN Summit 2012 1
    (Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office)
  • [Summary] The Fifteenth Japan-ASEAN Summit 2012 2
    (Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office)
November 19, 2012

The Fifteenth Japan-ASEAN Summit was held on November 19th, 2012 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Prime Minister Noda attended the meeting. The following is a summary of Prime Minister Noda’s statement delivered during the Summit.

1. Opening Remarks

Prime Minister Noda opened his statement by emphasizing that, amid the changing Asia-Pacific security and economic environment, the importance of ASEAN, which is growing and progressing towards unity, is increasing for the peace and prosperity for Japan and the East Asian region as a whole. He stated that Japan will continue to actively assist in the establishment of the ASEAN Community for 2015 through the steady implementation of the Bali Declaration adopted at the last year’s Summit.

2. Japan-ASEAN 40th year of Friendship and Cooperation

Prime Minister Noda reiterated that Japan has been paying great attention to this region’s development, and mentioned the significance of Japan’s contribution to Cambodia’s peace process that led to the realization of ASEAN-10. He also expressed his delight that Japan’s assistance through ODA on infrastructure development, such as the economic corridor development in the Mekong region, and human resource training in ASEAN Member States have built the foundation for growth in ASEAN and is linked to the future as a basis for today’s enhancement of ASEAN Connectivity.
He also added that the “heart-to-heart” relationship that was introduced in 1977 through the Fukuda Doctrine has been deeply rooted in Japan-ASEAN relationship. During the 1997 Asia Financial Crisis and the 2004 Great Sumatra Earthquake, Japan extended its hand as a friend of ASEAN. In turn, during last year’s Great East Japan Earthquake, ASEAN Member States provided Japan with their warm assistance, and the Prime Minister thanked the leaders for this. Furthermore, ASEAN Member States showed their bond by calling for a Special Japan-ASEAN Foreign Minister’s Meeting immediately after the tragedy.
Prime Minister Noda emphasized that passing on their experience of the past 40 years to the next generation, and building an even closer and deeper Japan-ASEAN relationship towards the future will be extremely important for the region’s stability and prosperity.
He announced that Japan would like to host the Japan-ASEAN Commemorative Summit that was agreed upon during the July Foreign Minister’s Meeting in December 2013. He invited all ASEAN leaders to join and discuss a mid-to-long term vision of strengthening Japan-ASEAN relationship. He stressed that Japan would like to take the opportunity of the 40th anniversary to strengthen and deepen the relationship and that Japan has begun to discuss its way forward in an all-Japan effort.

3. ASEAN Connectivity

Prime Minister Noda reported on the steady progress of Japan’s “List of Flagship Projects for enhancing ASEAN Connectivity” that he himself announced last year, and expressed his intention to further cooperate in “Institutional Connectivity” and “People-to-People Connectivity” as well.

4. Trade and Investment Cooperation

Prime Minister Noda underlined the importance of AJCEP (ASEAN Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership) as a framework for advancing cooperation on economic issues between Japan and ASEAN. He expressed satisfaction at the fruitful discussions held in each area during the joint committee at the end of this October. He also welcomed the launch of the RCEP expected to be announced tomorrow and expressed his determination to contribute to the realization of a comprehensive and high-quality RCEP.

5. Disaster Management

Prime Minister Noda introduced that Japan continues to promote cooperation on disaster management as a priority for Japan-ASEAN cooperation. He specifically raised the concept of the ASEAN Disaster Management Network which was announced July last year and promised to promote the materialization of the network “from outer space to rural communities.” He added that Japan will continue to actively cooperate in the field of disaster management, introducing Japan’s ongoing assistance in providing IC Technology equipment and emergency stockpile among others to the ASEAN Coordinating Center for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management (AHA Center).

6. Regional Issues: General Remarks

Prime Minister Noda reiterated that, as a national policy, Japan has consistently pursued the path as a peace-loving nation for the past decades, and has greatly contributed to peace and prosperity in Asia. He also expressed his view that Japan’s efforts as a responsible and democratic nation in the Asia Pacific region has been duly appreciated by ASEAN through the 40 year history of exchange.

7. South China Sea

Prime Minister Noda raised the issue of the South China Sea, noting that this is of common concern for the international community, which would have direct impact on peace and stability of the Asia-Pacific. He also reaffirmed Japan’s position that all parties concerned in the South China Sea should settle in accordance to international law including UNCLOS. He also confirmed the success of the Expanded ASEAN Maritime Forum, and looked forward to the continuance of this effort for next year and on.

8. China

Prime Minister Noda mentioned that Japan-China relationship is one of the most important bilateral relationships for Japan. He added that although the current bilateral relations is in a difficult state, Japan remains committed to dealing with any outstanding issues in a calm and peaceful manner and promote a “Mutually Beneficial Relationship based on Common Strategic Interest” from a broad perspective, based on the four significant political documents made by the two nations since the normalization of diplomatic relations in 1972.

9. North Korea

Prime Minister Noda stated that Japan remained concerned about the situation in North Korea, and pointed out that North Korea must take concrete actions to demonstrate its will to fulfill obligations and commitments under the 2005 Six-Party Talks Joint Statement and the related UN Security Council Resolutions. The Prime Minister also raised the abductions issue, which is a violation of basic human rights and therefore a universal problem. He stated that the Japanese Government is making its utmost effort including through the Japan-North Korea talks held in Mongolia last week for the first time in four years, and sought understanding and cooperation from ASEAN Member States.

10. United Nations Security Council Reform 

Prime Minister Noda stressed the urgent need for UN Security Council reform and hoped for the early realization through continued cooperation with each ASEAN Member States.

11. Closing Remarks

Prime Minister Noda concluded his statement by reiterating the importance of strengthening dialogue and exchange in 2013 “Japan-ASEAN 40th Year of Friendship and Cooperation,” in order to connect the deep and strong Japan-ASEAN relationship and the thoughts of our forefathers to the next generation, promising to closely coordinate with the ASEAN leaders in order to achieve a fruitful commemorative year. He ended by congratulating and thanking the outgoing Secretary General Dr. Surin Pitsuwan for his invaluable contribution to the strengthening of Japan-ASEAN relationship.

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