Fifth Japan-Mekong Foreign Ministers' Meeting (Overview)

July 10, 2012

On Tuesday, July 10, from 3:45 p.m. for approximately one hour and 15 minutes, the Fifth Mekong-Japan Foreign Ministers' Meeting was held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The overview of the meeting is as follows. (Attending from the Japanese side as co- chairman was Tsuyoshi Yamaguchi, Parliamentary Senior Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs. Attending from the Mekong region countries were: H.E. Dr. Kao Kim Hourn, Secretary of State of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Kingdom of Cambodia (as co-chairman); H.E. Alounkeo Kittikhoun, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Lao People's Democratic Republic; H.E. U Min Lwin, Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar to ASEAN and Ambassador to Indonesia; H.E. Sihasak Phuangketkeow, Permanent Secretary of the Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand; and H.E. Pham Quang Vinh, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.) After the meeting, a co-chair's statement and "Mekong-Japan Action Plan for realization of the 'Tokyo Strategy'" [PDF], which was adopted at the forth Mekong-Japan Summit held in Tokyo in April of this year, sets forth 127 specific actions and measures (hereinafter referred to as "the Action Plan"), were issued.

1. Progress in Mekong-Japan Cooperation and Future Directions

(1) Parliamentary Senior Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Yamaguchi proposed to the representatives of each countries an action plan to achieve the three pillars of: 1. "Enhancing Mekong Connectivity", 2. "Developing Together", and 3. "Ensuring Human Security and Environmental Sustainability", a new vision for future Mekong-Japan cooperation set forth at the "Tokyo Strategy 2012" (adopted at the Fourth Mekong-Japan Summit in April 2012). Parliamentary Senior Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Yamaguchi also announced that Japan would steadily implement assistance of approximately 600 billion JPY over the coming three fiscal years, as announced at the Summit, and follow-up on the 57 flagship infrastructure projects, submitted also at the Summit.

(2) The main points of the statements from the Mekong region representatives were the following:

(i) Expressed their gratitude for the Japanese initiatives concerning Mekong-Japan cooperation and Japanese assistance in the Mekong region, and announced their approval of the action plan proposed by Japan.

(ii) Stated that it is important for the Mekong Connectivity to bridge the missing links, including Myanmar, such as the development of Dawei Deep Sea Port.

(iii) Stated that disaster management is an important challenge for the Mekong region, and, in particular, forcefully reiterated their requests for Japanese assistance with regard to water resource management by the Mekong side.

(iv) The Mekong region countries expressed their strong expectations for investment by Japanese businesses in the Mekong region for the development of the region.

2. Regional and International issues

There was also an exchange of views on regional and international issues.

(*The foregoing is a provisional translation. The date indicated above denotes the date of issue of the original version in Japanese.)

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