August 3, 2019
12th Mekong-Japan Ministerial Meeting1
12th Mekong-Japan Ministerial Meeting2
12th Mekong-Japan Ministerial Meeting3
On August 3, commencing at 10:35 a.m.(local time; 12:35 p.m. JST) for approximately 60 minutes, the 12th Mekong-Japan Foreign Ministers’ Meeting was held in Bangkok, the Kingdom of Thailand. Mr. Taro Kono, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, attended the meeting as chairman, which was co-chaired by H.E. Mr. Don Pramudwinai, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand. The overview of the meeting is as follows. 
(The attendees from the Mekong region countries were H.E. Mr. Saleumxay Kommasith, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, H.E. Mr. Kyaw Tin, Union Minister for International Cooperation of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, and H.E. Mr. Pham Binh Minh, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam and H.E. Dr. Sok Siphana, Senior Advisor to the Royal Government of Cambodia.)

1  Opening Remarks

Minister Kono stated that Japan will continue to advance the Japan-Mekong Cooperation under the “Tokyo Strategy 2018”, and announced that Japan has decided to become an ACMECS Development Partner in order to support ACMECS, which is an initiative by Mekong countries.

2  Mekong-Japan Cooperation

Minister Kono and the Foreign Ministers of the Mekong countries reviewed the progress of the cooperation under the three objectives of Tokyo Strategy 2018: (i) Realization of SDGs, (ii) Realization of a Free and Open Indo-Pacific, (iii) Cooperation with ACMECS, and exchanged of their views on future direction of the Mekong-Japan Cooperation.
Minister Kono and the Foreign Ministers of the Mekong countries share the intention to continue to work towards the adoption of the “Mekong-Japan Initiative for SDGs towards 2030” at the 11th Mekong-Japan Summit this autumn. 
In addition, with regard to the Mekong-Japan Exchange Year 2019, Minister Kono announced that more than 100 events have already been endorsed as “Mekong-Japan Exchange Year events”. 

3 Regional and International Situations

(1) Minister Kono made the following remarks:
  1. With regard to the situation in Rakhine State, Republic of the Union of Myanmar, Japan will continue to cooperate with Myanmar to creating an environment conducive to the repatriation of displaced persons, and hope that the Mekong countries will play constructive roles for that purpose. 
  2. Japan will continue to work with the Mekong countries towards the peaceful resolution of the issue of North Korea and disputes in the South China Sea. With regard to the issue of the South China Sea, Japan expressed serious concern about the deteriorating situation. Minister Kono expressed his regret at North Korea’s recent launches of short-range ballistic missiles. Japan will work with the Mekong countries in supporting the process between the U.S. and North Korea to denuclearization of North Korea. It is essential to maintain full implementation of the United Nations Security Council Resolutions including countermeasures against “ship-to-ship transfer”. Japan looks forward to the understanding and cooperation from the Mekong countries for the early resolution of the abductions issue.
 (2) In response, Mekong countries stated that it is important to realize the denuclearization of Korean Peninsula.

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