Japan-Brunei Relations

October 9, 2023

On October 9, Ms. KAMIKAWA Yoko, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, who is visiting Brunei Darussalam from October 8, held a meeting with H.E. Mr. Dato Seri Setia Haji Erywan bin Pehin Datu Pekerma Jaya Haji Mohd Yusof, Minister for Foreign Affairs II, Brunei Darussalam, followed by other events. The overview is as follows.

1. Japan-Brunei Foreign Ministers’ Dinner (October 8, commencing at 7:30 p.m. (local time) /8:30 p.m. (Japan time) for approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes)

Foreign Minister Kamikawa shakes hand with H.E. Mr. Erywan, Minister for Foreign Affairs II
(Photo) Japan-Brunei Foreign Ministers’ Dinner
  1. Minister Erywan welcomed Minister Kamikawa’s visit to Brunei immediately after her appointment and expressed his hope to build trust between the two ministers. Minister Erywan shared his homestay experience in Shizuoka, which led the two ministers to discuss topics on Shizuoka, followed by Minister Kamikawa’s remarks saying that she felt as if she had known Minister Erywan for a long time. The two ministers deepened their friendship in a relaxed atmosphere.
  2. The two ministers exchanged views on a wide range of topics. Regarding Japan-ASEAN cooperation, Minister Erywan stated that he highly commends the fact that Japan has deepened trust with each country through human resource development. In response, Minister Kamikawa stated that people-to-people ties are the cornerstone of country-to-country relations and that she would like to further advance this.
  3. The two ministers exchanged views on Japan’s initiatives in the maritime and climate change area, as well as possibilities of future cooperation, Both sides concurred that the two countries shall continue to closely cooperate through people-to-people exchanges in these areas. Furthermore, Minister Erywan referred to ASEAN’s initiatives regarding the situation in Myanmar, and Minister Kamikawa expressed serious concern about the situation in Myanmar.
  4. Minister Kamikawa raised issues regarding women and health, and Minister Erwan explained the situation in Brunei regarding women's health and social advancement. The two ministers exchanged views on efforts to address these challenges.

2. Japan-Brunei Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (October 9, commencing at 8:55 a.m. (local time) /9:55 a.m. (Japan time) for approximately 70 minutes)

Foreign Minister Kamikawa shakes hand with H.E. Mr. Erywan, Minister for Foreign Affairs II
(Photo) Japan-Brunei Foreign Ministers’ Meeting

(1) Introduction

Minister Erywan welcomed Minister Kamikawa's visit to Brunei and expressed his hope to further enhance the longstanding bilateral relationship. Minister Erywan also extended his gratitude for the conferment of the Grand Cordon of the Rising Sun. In response, Minister Kamikawa stated that, as this year marks the 50th Year of ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation and next year marks the 40th Year of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Brunei, she would like to further deepen the amicable relationship between the two countries nurtured through exchanges between the Imperial Family of Japan and the Royal Family of Brunei as well as stable LNG supply to Japan, etc. In addition, Minister Kamikawa expressed her hope that Japan would further strengthen cooperation with Brunei in addressing various regional and international issues, including the realization of a “Free and Open Indo-Pacific.”

(2) Bilateral Relations

  • (a) The two Ministers concurred to further promote people-to-people exchanges through visits by dignitaries, including an invitation for His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam to Japan in December and the “JENESYS” etc, as well as through tourism and manga.
  • (b) Minister Kamikawa expressed her intention to jointly set out the direction of future ASEAN-Japan relations and a new vision for cooperation at the ASEAN-Japan Commemorative Summit in December and strengthen cooperation with ASEAN to promote Women, Peace, and Security (WPS). In response, Minister Erywan expressed his intention to further promote ASEAN-Japan cooperation.
  • (c) The two ministers confirmed to deepen cooperation in the energy sector, including LNG trade; the climate change sector, including cooperation toward the realization of the "Asian Zero Emission Community" concept; and the security sector, including maritime security. The two leaders also concurred to work together to maintain the high standards of the CPTPP. In addition, Minister Kamikawa referred to cooperation towards diversifying Brunei’s economy and industry, and Minister Erwan expressed his appreciation for Japan's contribution to this end. The two ministers concurred to further strengthen economic ties.
  • (d) In response to Minister Kamikawa's explanation of Japan's efforts regarding ALPS treated water, Minister Erwan commended Japan's transparent response based on scientific evidence.

(3) Regional and global issues

  • (a) Minister Kamikawa stated that in order to realize an international community filled with cooperation, it is vital to maintain and strengthen a free and open international order based on the rule of law and to aim towards achieving a world where "human dignity" is protected, and Minister Erywan expressed his support.
  • (b) Minister Kamikawa expressed her serious concern about attempts to unilaterally change the status quo by force as well as coercive activities, including recent incidents in the South China Sea, and the two ministers confirmed their cooperation on these matters.
  • (c) Minister Kamikawa conveyed serious concern over North Korea's nuclear and missile activities, and the two ministers concurred to continue to work closely together for the issues including the abductions issues.
  • (d) Minister Kamikawa stated that Russia's aggression against Ukraine is a clear violation of international law, and that it is unacceptable, and confirmed continued cooperation.
  • (e) Minister Kamikawa stated that she is monitoring the situation in Palestine and Gaza with serious concern, and concurred that Japan and Brunei will work together in order for the international community to unitedly urge the parties concerned to exercise maximum restraint.
  • (f) In response to the attack on Israel by Palestinian armed groups on the 7th, Minister Kamikawa stated that she is watching the situation in the region with serious concern, and the two ministers concurrerd that the international community should unite in urging the parties concerned to exercise the utmost restraint.
  • (g) The two ministers also confirmed that the two countries would enhance cooperation on various challenges including Myanmar, SDGs, and disarmament and non-proliferation.

3. Others

Foreign Minister Kamikawa meets with local Japanese business people

In the afternoon of September 9, Minister Kamikawa is scheduled to meet with local Japanese business people to exchange views on Japan-Brunei economic relations and the local business environment, as well as to visit Brunei LNG (BLNG), which has been contributing to the stable supply of energy to Japan for more than 50 years.

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