Japan-ASEAN Ministerial Meeting (Overview)
On Wednesday, July 11, the ASEAN-Japan Ministerial Meeting was held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia (at Peace Palace, the Prime Minister’s Office) from 09:30 for approximately one hour and 20 minutes. The overview of the meeting is as follows (co-chairmen: Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan Mr. Koichiro Gemba and Dr. R. M. Marty Natalegawa, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia; note: Indonesia is the country coordinator for Japan)
1. Review of ASEAN-Japan Cooperation and its Future Direction
(1) 40th anniversary of ASEAN-Japan cooperation and ASEAN-Japan Special Summit
Minister Gemba proposed to carry out commemorative events in both Japan and ASEAN Member States throughout the year 2013, which marks the 40th anniversary of ASEAN-Japan cooperation. ASEAN Member States responded by supporting the proposal.
Furthermore, Minister Gemba stated that Japan would like to host ASEAN-Japan Special Summit in Japan on the occasion of the 40th anniversary, and the ASEAN Member States agreed to the proposal. In relation to this proposal, Minister Gemba explained his idea of setting a framework of intellectual dialogues during which influential individuals from Japan and ASEAN have occasions to discuss their medium- to long-term visions of ASEAN-Japan cooperation, and would be able to then report the visions at the ASEAN-Japan foreign Ministerial Meeting to be held next year. The ASEAN Member States welcomed the idea.
(2) Evaluation of Japan’s cooperation with ASEAN
The ASEAN side appreciated the progress of ASEAN-Japan cooperation in the past 40 years, especially Japan’s roles in the recent strengthening of the Chiang Mai Initiative, and also expressed gratitude for Japan’s initiatives toward the establishment of the ASEAN + 3 Emergency Rice Reserve (APTERR), a mechanism for food security.
(3) Bali Declaration and Plan of Action
The ASEAN side appreciated the fact that the Bali Declaration and the Plan of Action are steadily achieving results. Minister Gemba expressed his intention to proactively support the building of an ASEAN Community through steady implementation of the “Bali Declaration” and the “Plan of Action” adopted at the ASEAN-Japan Summit held last November.
(4) Enhancement of ASEAN Connectivity
Minister Gemba expressed his intention to continuously and proactively support the enhancement of ASEAN Connectivity, including the steady implementation of the “Flagship Projects” announced by Mr. Yoshihiko Noda, the Prime Minister of Japan, in the ASEAN-Japan Summit held last year. The ASEAN side expressed their gratitude for Japan’s policy of proactively supporting the enhancement of ASEAN Connectivity, and also expressed their expectation toward further progress of cooperation.
(5) Cooperation in disaster management
Minister Gemba stated that in addition to the introduction of ICT equipments to the ASEAN Coordinating Center for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management (AHA Center), the Government of Japan plans to provide equipment to each of the ASEAN Member States. Minister Gemba also explained that the Government of Japan recently decided to provide support for development of the emergency logistic system and to supply relief items, and the ASEAN side welcomed it. Furthermore, Minister Gemba explained that the Government of Japan plans to host a workshop to share knowledge concerning disaster management at the end of this coming August. In response, the ASEAN side expressed their gratitude for Japan’s cooperation.
In addition, Minister Gemba explained Japan’s policy that under the idea of the “Disaster Management Network for the ASEAN Region,” the Government of Japan will support the improvement of capabilities of the AHA Center as a regional hub of disaster management and bilateral cooperation, as well as the strengthening of network that covers “from outer space to remote areas”. Furthermore, Minister Gemba stated the possibility to expand cooperation in the area of outer space, and the ASEAN side welcomed it.
(6) Youth exchanges
The ASEAN side expressed gratitude for youth exchanges through the framework of the JENESYS Program, as well as for the Kizuna (Bond) Project being implemented this year. Furthermore, ASEAN Member States expressed their expectations toward further strengthening of ASEAN-Japan cooperation in the field of youth exchanges. In response, Minister Gemba expressed his intention to invite approximately 2,500 youths in the future from ASEAN Member States through the Kizuna (Bond) Project, and the ASEAN side welcomed it.
(7) Other cooperation
Minister Gemba stated that the Government of Japan would like to cooperate with ASEAN on the post Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and contribute to it in a constructive manner. Minister Gemba also expressed his intention to promote inter-university exchanges with ASEAN Member States through coordination and cooperation programs that require quality assurance.
2. Exchange of views on Regional and International Issues
(1) Minister Gemba stated the basic policy of the Government of Japan concerning maritime issues, which is that all countries concerned should comply the established principles of international laws and solve problems peacefully through dialogues.
(2) Furthermore, with regard to the situations in the Korean Peninsula, Minister Gemba explained Japan’s stance on issues such as the abduction of Japanese nationals, nuclear issues, and missiles, and confirmed its cooperation with ASEAN.
(3) In addition to the above, Minister Gemba stated Japan’s stance on maritime cooperation, the United Nations Security Council reform, and the Middle East process.
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