Japan's Cooperation to "Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI)"

November 2001
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Japan

Overview: Japan has already been extending various bilateral assistance (ODA, Official Development Assistance) to the new member countries of ASEAN. Japan actively cooperates with ASEAN in their efforts to promote ASEAN Integration by assisting ASEAN new member countries.

1. Cooperation with the ASEAN Secretariat

Following projects are carried out or under consideration in cooperation with ASEAN Secretariat to assist CLMV (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam) countries by utilizing the Japan-ASEAN General Exchange Fund (JAGEF).

  1. ICT Cooperation to Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam (Provision of IT equipments to Ministries of Foreign Affairs of the CLMV).
  2. Attachment Programme at the ASEAN Secretariat for Junior Diplomats of CLMV
  3. Human Capacity Building Workshop for MFA (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) personnel of the CLMV
  4. HRD Workshop for non-MFA personnel of the CLMV
  5. Workshop to Formulate a Workplan for the Integration of ASEAN New Member Countries: CLMV into ASEAN (20-22 November 2001, Phnom Phen)

2. Mekong Subregion Development

Japan dispatched a joint mission with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to the countries concerned (CLMV and Thailand) from 15th to 21st July 2001. Based on the findings of the mission, Japan will put priority on the East-West Corridor (Road way) project (Maulamyaing - Mukdahan - Da Nang) and the 2nd East-West Corridor (Road way) project (Ho Chi Minh City - Phnom Penh - Bangkok).

3. Cooperation with other ASEAN members

Japan extends assistance program to CLMV countries with other ASEAN member countries (Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines). There is a joint program for building human resources of developing countries, the cost of which is borne by Japan and Singapore on a 50-50 basis. It is called "Japan-Singapore Partnership Program for the 21st Century (JSPP21). Every year, nearly 20 training courses are offered, accepting trainees from neighboring countries.

4. Cooperation with ASEAN-Japan Centre in Tokyo

(1) Vietnam is already a member of the ASEAN-Japan Centre in Tokyo, and international organization for promoting trade, investment and tourism between Japan and ASEAN. On June 11, 2001, Cambodia has joined the Center, and Japan intends to propose a Centre projects focusing on assistance to these countries. Laos expressed its intention to join the Centre. Myanmar, non-members of the Centre at this moment, is encouraged to join the Centre promptly, a useful organ for Japan to support IAI.

(2) ASEAN-Japan Centre has such useful programs for IAI, including

  • - to construct web-site, which contains trade, investment and tourism related information
  • - to dispatch economic delegations to ASEAN countries
  • - to organize regular exhibitions in Japan

5. Cooperation with ESCAP

To promote integration of developing countries to the global economy is one of the current main tasks of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP). Since February 2000, ESCAP has been implementing a project to facilitate trade by removing procedural and regulatory barriers in the Indochina countries. Japan was of a view that the project would contribute to narrowing economic gaps among the ASEAN member countries and disbursed $98,520 through the Japan ESCAP Cooperation Fund last year.

6. Transnational Issues

Japan will continue its cooperation to solve transnational issues which hinder the advancement of IAI, such as drug issues and HIV/AIDS. The countermeasures taken in this field will benefit especially CLMV countries.


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