Asia

The First ASEAN Plus Japan Ministerial Meeting on Transnational Crime (AMMTC + Japan), and the 6th ASEAN Plus Three Ministerial Meeting on Transnational Crime (AMMTC + 3)

(Overview of the outcome)

November 22, 2013

The two ministerial meetings above were held on September 18 in Vientiane, the capital of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic. As the representative of Japan, Keiji Furuya, Chairman of the National Public Safety Commission, attended the meetings. The ministerial meetings were preceded by respective PreparatorySenior Officials Meetings, which Kimihiro Ishikane, Ambassador to ASEAN, attended.

1. The First ASEAN Plus Japan Ministerial Meeting on Transnational Crime (AMMTC + Japan) Consultation

(1) Since 2003, Japan and ASEAN have held annual Senior Officials Meetings on Transnational Crime (SOMTC + Japan). Marking the 40th anniversary of ASEAN-Japan friendship and cooperation this year, Japan advanced a proposal that a ministerial meeting be held. With the endorsement of ASEAN Member States, this first ministerial meeting was held.

(2) The ministerial meeting, co-chaired by Japan and Cambodia, was attended by the Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN, and ministers in charge of security, among others, from the ASEAN 10 and Japan. At the meeting, Cambodia presented a report on the outcome of the Preparatory Senior Officials Meeting held in advance. Then the ASEAN Secretariat reported the state of cooperation between Japan and ASEAN, expressing ASEAN’s gratitude to Japan for the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF), which has been used to hold the ASEAN-Japan Counter Terrorism Dialogue and pursue counter-terrorism-related projects.

(3) That was followed by an exchange of views among the ministers on counter-terrorism, cybercrime, and other matters of interests. Mr. Furuya, referring to specific measures the National Police Agency of Japan takes, underscored the need for an enhanced ability to deal with serious challenges facing ASEAN, such as measures to combat cybercrime and counter international terrorism, and for international cooperation, and expressed Japan’s intention to continue contributing to peace and stability in the region. He also briefed the meeting on the abduction issue, explaining the importance of the understanding of countries and cooperation of the international community for solving the problem, among others.

(4) Among ASEAN Member States, Singapore explained the schedule of the next ASEAN-Japan Counter Terrorism Dialogue set for 2014, and referred to a plan to hold a workshop on cybercrime.

(5) Lastly, the meeting adopted a Joint Statement of the 1st AMMTC + Japan (Original in English: Annex 1 [PDF]; Japanese translation: Annex 2 [PDF]). In the joint statement, they recognized the need for enhanced dialogue and further sharing of experience and knowledge in the field of counter-terrorism, and the importance of capacity building in combating cybercrime, a new challenge, with emphasis on the importance of solving the abduction issue, a concern for the international community. They decided that the outcome of the meeting be confirmed at the ASEAN-Japan Commemorative Summit Meeting to be held in December this year. They also decided that the next meeting, 2nd AMMTC + Japan, be held in 2015 in Malaysia.

2. The 6th ASEAN Plus Three Ministerial Meeting on Transnational Crime (AMMTC + 3)

(1) This framework is designed to promote cooperation between ASEAN Plus Three states in combating transnational crimes (eight priority areas of transnational crime: terrorism, illicit drug trafficking, trafficking in persons, money laundering, sea piracy, arms smuggling, international economic crime, and cyber crime). Since 2004, biennial Ministerial Meetings (AMMTC+3) have been held, and so have annual Senior Officials Meetings on Transnational Crime (SOMTEC +3) since 2003. The 6th AMMTC + 3, chaired by Laos, the host country, was attended by the Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN, and ministers in charge of security, among others, from the ASEAN 10 and Japan, China, and South Korea.

(2) At the meeting, the representatives from Japan, China, and South Korea each presented a statement. Mr. Furuya, Chairman of the National Public Safety Commission, underscored the need for an enhanced ability to deal with serious challenges facing ASEAN, such as measures to combat cybercrime, international terrorism, and drug trafficking, and for international cooperation. He expressed Japan’s intention to continue contributing to peace and stability in the region. He also referred to the importance of understanding the abduction issue and cooperation of the international community for solving the problem, among others.

(3) Among ASEAN Member States, Singapore, the lead shepherd for cybercrime, presented a report about the establishment of a Working Group on Cybercrime, asking for cooperation for a workshop to be held mainly for helping governments and private-sector parties share knowledge for an enhanced ability to combat cybercrime.

(4) The Ministerial Meeting was followed by a retreat, where they exchanged their views on challenges such as international terrorism, cybercrime, drug problems, human trafficking, and arms smuggling, confirming the importance of enhanced cooperation, and decided to conduct a review of the state of cooperation under the framework of ASEAN + 3.

(5) Lastly, the meeting adopted a joint statement, where all parties reaffirmed that cooperation should be strengthened under the framework of ASEAN + 3 for preventing and combating transnational crimes (Annex 3 [PDF]). They decided that the next meeting, 7th AMMTC + 3, be held in 2015 in Malaysia.