Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida stated that Japan will deepen its cooperation with ASEAN at a lunch meeting with Ambassadors of the bloc’s member states on July 11 on the occasion of ASEAN’s 50th founding anniversary (August 8, 1967 - 2017).
Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida
At the meeting, the diplomat and ASEAN ambassadors to Japan discussed a range of topics, including the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), Japan – ASEAN technology cooperation agreement, ASEAN – Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership (AJCEP), and the sides’ collaboration regarding the East Sea issue and actions of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
For his part, Vietnamese Ambassadors to Japan Nguyen Quoc Cuong described Japan as an important strategic partner of ASEAN, and welcomed the country’s further contributions to regional peace, security and order based on international law.
He noted that Japan is ASEAN’s second biggest trade-investment partner and the top provider of official development assistance (ODA) for the bloc.
The Ambassador said he hopes both sides will soon reach agreement on trade and investment based on the AJCEP in a bid to double bilateral trade in 2022.
Concerning aviation and maritime cooperation, Cuong said he wishes for more support from Japan and other parties concerned to ensure common benefits, particularly in terms of free navigation and overflight in the East Sea.
He urged the sides involved to reiterate their commitment to the peaceful settlement of the East Sea issue based on international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), respect for legal and diplomatic processes, and the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), towards the early formation of a legally-binding Code of Conduct on the East Sea (COC).
The Vietnamese ambassador also called for continued assistance from Japan in human resources training for ASEAN, where 60 percent of the population are young people.
Speaking to the media, Fumio Kishida lauded ASEAN’s dynamic market and active role in the Asia-Pacific region and reaffirmed Japan’s willingness to back the bloc’s development.