Seventh East Asia Summit 2012
- The Seventh East Asia Summit was held on November 20th, 2012 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Prime Minister Noda attended the Plenary Session. The following is a summary of Prime Minister Noda’s statement during the Plenary Session.
(1) Opening Remarks
Recognizing the situation in the Asia-Pacific as a region that are going through significant change, Prime Minister Noda opened his statement stressing that the need for frank and strategic discussion among the regional leaders continues to increase. He also noted that, with the new membership of the United States and the Russian Federation since last year, the East Asia Summit has further grown into a significant opportunity to strengthen cooperation on practical issues as well as in security and political areas. He reiterated his strong commitment in developing the EAS into a leaders-led forum that reconfirms common principles and basic rules in the region, and leads to tangible cooperation. Toward the establishment of the ASEAN Community in 2015, he affirmed his support for ASEAN so that the whole region will be able to build a win-win relationship. He emphasized that maintaining ASEAN centrality is important to ASEAN itself as well as to its dialogue partners.
(2) Maritime Cooperation</ br> Prime Minister Noda welcomed the success of the Expanded ASEAN Maritime Forum (EAMF) held this October, which was proposed by Japan during last year’s EAS. He also welcomed the productive discussions at the Forum and commended the efforts by the Philippines as Chair. The Prime Minister believes that this framework is of significance as a confidence building measure, and called for this effort to be endorsed by the EAS leaders. He looked forward to the continuance of this effort and that discussions would further deepen.
(3) Connectivity Prime Minister Noda addressed that Japan has been paying great attention to this region’s development, and expressed his delight that Japan’s assistance through ODA on infrastructure development 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 reported on the progress of Japan’s “List of Flagship Projects for enhancing ASEAN Connectivity” and expressed his intention to further cooperate in “Institutional Connectivity” and “People-to-people Connectivity” as well.
The Prime Minster added that, in light of the current situation in which supply chains of East Asia are expanding to regions such as India, Japan would like to deepen the discussion on the connectivity of East Asia as a whole, beyond the ASEAN region. He stated that the enhancement of Connectivity will contribute to the narrowing of regional development gaps, and proposed to utilize ERIA as one example to discuss the idea of “Connectivity Master Plan Plus.”
(4) Low-Carbon Growth
Prime Minister Noda mentioned that low-carbon growth is the key to realizing sustainable growth in the region. He recalled the 1st East Asia Low Carbon Growth Partnership Dialogue which was co-chaired by Japan and Indonesia last April, which was an important opportunity to enhance regional cooperation towards realizing low-carbon growth, and asked the EAS members for their cooperation for the second dialogue to be co-chaired by Japan and Cambodia next spring.
(5) Disaster Management
Prime Minister Noda stated that Japan will continue to actively cooperate in the field of disaster management, explaining Japan’s ongoing assistance in providing ICT equipment and emergency stockpile among others to the ASEAN Coordinating Center for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management (AHA Center). He also reported on the outcome of the World Ministerial Conference on Disaster Reduction in Tohoku held last July that reaffirmed the importance of building resilient societies and mainstreaming disaster reduction at all levels, and called for support from EAS members towards Japan’s offer to host the Third United Nations World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in 2015.
(6) Democratic Values
Prime Minister Noda commended the efforts of Indonesia for hosting the Bali Democracy Forum and providing the opportunity to expand and deepen democracy in the international community.
2. The Plenary Meeting was followed by the East Asia Summit Retreat Session. The following is a summary of Japan’s statement during the Retreat Session.
(1) Regional Issues: General Remarks
Japan reiterated that ever since the end of the last world war, Japan has always been, and is “a nation devoted to peace.” In Asia, as well as in other regions, through ODAs and other efforts, Japan has been modestly contributing to peace and prosperity of the entire region, adding that here in Cambodia, Japan has been helping its friends in their efforts in peace-building and reconstruction of their own nation.
Japan addressed that it has worked very hard as a responsible democracy in the Asia-Pacific region, and believes that it is fully shared by all ASEAN Member States, who have gone through striding developments together with Japan in the 40 years of close friendship and cooperation. Japan also raised that, today, the Asia-Pacific region is facing challenges in the security environments, and despite these challenges, it remains firmly committed to actively contribute to maintaining peace and prosperity of the region.
Democratic process, national reconciliation and economic reforms are making steady progress in Myanmar under the leadership of H.E. President Thein Sein. Japan wholeheartedly welcomed these positive developments and urged the entire international community to strongly encourage Myanmar’s efforts. Japan, on its part, encouraged Myanmar to continue their reforms, extending maximum support on wide-ranging agenda, including support for Myanmar’s minority population.
(3) North Korea
Japan stated that it remains concerned about the situation regarding North Korea. The Six Party Talks serves as the effective framework to address various issues related to North Korea. Japan stressed that before the resumption of the talks, North Korea must take concrete actions toward denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and that it is also important that the EAS members send a strong message to North Korea, by implementing the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions on North Korea including export control.
Japan emphasized that it is also gravely concerned about the human rights situation in North Korea, including the fate of the abducted Japanese citizens. Japan attaches great importance to the support of the international community on the UN Resolution on North Korea’s human rights situation. Japan expressed that it is counting on the continued support for Japan in its efforts toward resolving the abduction issue with North Korea.
Japan explained its bilateral talks with North Korea last week after four years of suspension, raising the issue of abduction, nuclear issue, missile issue and other issues, with both sides agreeing to hold the next round of bilateral talks soon.
(4) South China Sea
Issues and challenges that are seen in the South China Sea are the matter of common concern to all EAS members, because they are all connected by seas and thus any problems arising in the region directly impact peace and stability of the entire Asia-Pacific region. Japan reiterated that this was why Japan keeps emphasizing the importance for all nations to respect and abide by UNCLOS and the principles of international law.
Japan acknowledged that consultations are taking place between ASEAN and China on the possible Code of Conduct (COC) in the South China Sea, and looked forward to an early conclusion of the COC that will be an effective legal framework for the settlement of disputes. Japan added that it also looked forward to working closely with member states in the ARF Meetings, the EAMF and in other meetings for confidence building.
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