Joint Statement of the Third Mekong - Japan Summit
November 18, 2011
We, the Heads of the Governments of Japan, the Kingdom of Cambodia, the Lao People's Democratic Republic, the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, the Kingdom of Thailand and the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, met in Bali, Indonesia on 18 November 2011, for the Third Mekong-Japan Summit.
We took note with deep satisfaction that the relationship and cooperation between Mekong region countries and Japan have developed substantially. The leaders of the Mekong region countries expressed their deep gratitude to Japan for continuing its contribution to Mekong region countries, even after the Great East Japan Earthquake in March 2011. Japan expressed appreciation for the strong support and solidarity demonstrated by the Governments and people of the Mekong region countries, and reiterated its determination to strengthen its ties with the region while conducting reconstruction in an open manner to the world. In this context, Japan emphasized its willingness to engage in further development of the region with its experience and technology in the field of disaster management.
We emphasized the importance of reviewing the implementation and achievement of the "Mekong-Japan Action Plan 63" and prioritizing the domains to be strengthened toward the goals to be achieved by 2012, set in "Tokyo Declaration" and "Mekong-Japan Action Plan 63".
We also exchanged views on regional and global issues of common concern. We reinforced our commitment to continue the cooperation for the peace, development and prosperity of the Mekong region as well as of East Asia.
I Mekong-Japan cooperation for Comprehensive, Balanced and Sustainable Development of the Mekong region
Comprehensive development in the Mekong Region
- We reaffirmed the importance of further synergy between Mekong Japan cooperation and other efforts to enhance ASEAN connectivity, particularly the implementation of the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC), in order to support ASEAN's goal to build ASEAN Community by 2015. We welcomed the progress of agreed projects that support hard and soft infrastructure development in the Mekong sub-region and emphasized that the implementation process should be accelerated. The leaders of the Mekong region countries appreciated Japan's contribution to improve connectivity in this region and reaffirmed the importance to fulfill infrastructure missing links along key economic corridors, particularly East-West Economic Corridor and Southern Economic Corridor. In this regard, the leaders of Mekong countries expressed the appreciation for Japan's decision to implement feasibility studies in Myanmar, initiated by Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) with the use of Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF), which will make an important contribution to enhancement of intra Mekong and ASEAN Connectivity.
- We noted the progress made in the implementation of cooperation under CLV framework. In this connection, the leaders of the Mekong regions countries highly appreciated Japan's assistance to the development of the "CLV Development Triangle Area" and expressed their hope that Japan continues the assistance for "CLV Development Triangle Area".
- We also appreciated the steady implementation of the Action Plan of "Mekong-Japan Economic and Industrial Cooperation Initiative (MJ-CI)" which was adopted at the 2nd Mekong-Japan Summit. We highly appreciated the convening of the 4th Mekong-Japan Industry and Government Dialogue in July 2011, in which business community reviewed the progress of the MJ-CI Action Plan and identified the future prioritized actions the perspective of business sector. We expected the roadmap of the priority areas to be submitted to the 4th Mekong-Japan Economic Ministers' Meeting in 2012. We welcomed valuable consultations between Japan and some of the CLMV countries on possible coordination between the MJ-CI Action Plan and CLMV Action Plan adopted by CLMV Economic Ministers Meeting with the purpose of avoiding duplication between the two mechanisms and for the sake of narrowing the development gap between CLMV and other ASEAN countries towards a region of equitable development and prosperity. In this connection, we shared the importance to have further discussions to come up with concrete coordination activities.
- We also noted the necessity to further promote cooperation between public and private sectors that contributes to effective implementation of cooperation projects in various areas of Mekong region countries. In this regard, the Mekong region countries and Japan launched the first Forum for the promotion of Public Private cooperation in December 2010 and held the second meeting in November 2011, with the participation of the public and private sectors of Japan and the Mekong region countries, which opened wider public and private cooperation. We shared the view to make additional efforts to build logistics and promote trade and investment between Mekong region countries and Japan.
Construction of a Society that values Human Dignity
- We reaffirmed the importance to strengthen further cooperation for disaster management in the Mekong region, bearing in mind of the recent great flood affecting broad area of the region especially in Thailand. In this context the leaders of Mekong region countries highly appreciated that the Japan's decision to enhance the assistance for disaster management in the region through the Disaster Management Network for the ASEAN Region, which Japan had proposed on the occasion of the ASEAN-Japan Foreign Ministers' Meeting in July 2011. The leaders of Mekong region countries appreciated Japan's strong and full support for establishment of ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management (AHA Centre) toward implementation of ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER). The Mekong region countries also welcomed the initiative expressed by Thailand and Japan to enhance the collaboration between Asian Disaster Reduction Centre (ADRC) in Kobe in Japan and Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre (ADPC) in Thailand to improve the capacity of the region. The leaders of Mekong region countries deeply appreciated the Japanese timely assistance to alleviate damages caused by the flood.
- We recognized the needs to further strengthen the cooperation to tackle issues on the environment and climate change, and promote cooperation on Mekong water management. In this regard, we highly appreciated the achievement of the cooperation in the pursuit of the Action Plan on "A Decade Toward the Green Mekong" Initiative, adopted in the Second Mekong-Japan Summit in 2010. One of its follow-up mechanisms was the "Green Mekong Forum," which was successfully co-hosted by the Government of Japan and the Government of Thailand, and participated by representatives from the Mekong region countries, the private sector, and the local authorities on 24 June 2011 in Bangkok. We appreciated that this Forum opened a wider cooperation among participants. We also emphasized the need to strengthen the cooperation and coordination with related regional and international institutions/organizations, particularly Mekong River Commission (MRC), in order to promote the sustainable development, utilization, conservation and management of water and related resources of Mekong River.
- We welcomed fruitful consultations between Japan and some of the Mekong region countries on the Bilateral Offset Credit Mechanism and underlined the importance to have further discussions. The Mekong region countries highly appreciated Japan's initiative to promote "East Asia Low Carbon Growth Partnership" through the EAS architecture.
- We shared the view that the human security issues should be one of the most important areas of the Mekong-Japan cooperation. We also share the view that the food security and safety, as well as maternal, newborn and child health and infectious diseases are prioritized issues so as to overcome vulnerability and to achieve the Millennium Development Goals in this region. In this context, Japanese Prime Minister expressed Japan's willingness to provide continuous assistance for the human dignity issues. In this regard, the leaders of Mekong region countries welcomed the efforts of Japan to enhance exchanges among experts from Mekong region countries and Japan in the area of maternal, newborn and child health and infectious diseases, through such measures as providing training courses open to all Mekong region countries and hosting expert meeting.
Expansion of Cooperation and Exchanges
- We welcomed the fruitful outcome of people-to-people exchanges from the grass-roots to the most senior levels in broad areas such as politics, security, economy, culture, tourism, environment, disaster management and youth exchange in 2011. The leaders of the Mekong region countries expressed their appreciation of the steady implementation of the exchange programs to invite 30,000 people, including the youths, from the Mekong region countries to Japan in three years from 2010. The leaders of Mekong region countries welcome Japan's intention to consider a new youth exchange programme.
II Regional and Global Issues:
- We reaffirmed our determination to enhance close cooperation on regional and global issues of common concern, and to deepen and broaden the existing Mekong-Japan cooperation to ensure peace, stability and prosperity in the region.
- We emphasized the importance of denuclearisation of Korean Peninsula. We reiterated that North Korea should abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programmes, including its uranium enrichment programmes, in accordance with relevant UN Security Council resolutions and the 2005 Joint Statement of the Six Party Talks. We also emphasized the importance of addressing humanitarian concerns of the international community, such as the abduction issue. We reiterated the need to fully comply with relevant UNSC resolutions.
- We emphasized the importance of enhancing cooperation in the areas of disarmament and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery, combating the illicit transfer and trafficking of WMD-related materials and small arms and light weapons.
- We reaffirmed our support for the United Nations reform, and in this connection reiterated our support for early reform of the Security Council, including the expansion of both permanent and non-permanent categories of membership and the improvement of working methods in order to make the Security Council better reflect the geopolitical realities of the 21st Century. The Japanese Prime Minister highly appreciated the Mekong region countries' continuous support for Japan to become a Permanent Member of the UN Security Council in a reformed Council.
- We recognized the importance of ocean as international common goods. We reaffirmed our support for the 2002 ASEAN-China Declaration on the Conduct (DOC) of Parties in the South China Sea and welcomed the adoption of Guidelines for the implementation of the DOC and look forward to the eventual conclusion of a Code of Conduct in the South China Sea. We reiterated our commitment to universally recognized principles of international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
III. Mekong-Japan cooperation in 2012 and beyond
- We decided to establish new pillars of Mekong-Japan cooperation for the next three years (2013-2015), in place of "Mekong-Japan Action Plan 63", which reflects the current situation and contributes to establishing the ASEAN Community by 2015.
- We reconfirmed the 4th Mekong-Japan Summit to be held in Japan in 2012 on a convenient date.
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