ASEAN, Japan renew commitment to strengthen cooperation

The 10th Meeting of the ASEAN-Japan Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) held in Jakarta today renewed commitment to strengthen ASEAN-Japan cooperation.

The meeting welcomed the enhanced relations between ASEAN and Japan over the past year. Significant progress has been made in the implementation of activities and projects under the Implementation Plan of the Vision Statement on ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation. The Plan, adopted by the Leaders in December 2013 as a comprehensive framework to enhance cooperation, will be updated next year to reflect the latest developments in ASEAN-Japan relations as well as the ASEAN Community Vision 2025.

Good progress has also been seen in implementing the decisions and initiatives of the 18th ASEAN-Japan Summit last November. On the economic front, the 10-Year Strategic Economic Cooperation Roadmap (2012-2022) has been renewed this year to take into account the new strategic thrust of the ASEAN Economic Community and to further enhance economic cooperation in various areas. Under the ASEAN-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, negotiations on the Trade in Services Chapter have been concluded while the Investment Chapter has been finalised, both of which are expected to contribute to achieving the goal of doubling two-way trade and investment flow by 2022.

ASEAN and Japan are also enhancing cooperation in other areas such as combatting transnational crimes, energy, science and technology and people-to-people contacts. Japan has been actively collaborating with ASEAN in addressing climate change and natural disasters through substantial financial and technical support to strengthen the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management (AHA Centre). Following the successful completion of the Japan-East Asia Network of Exchange for Students and Youths (JENESYS) 2015, a new programme entitled JENESYS 2016 is being implemented to promote people-to-people contacts.

ASEAN Member States appreciated Japan’s active role in contributing to ASEAN’s development and prosperity through the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF), Expanded Partnership for Quality Infrastructure and Industrial Human Resource Development Cooperation Initiative, and its support for the implementation of ASEAN Integration (IAI) Work Plan which aims at narrowing development gap in the region.

The meeting is a key mechanism to review ASEAN-Japan cooperation and discuss its future direction. It was co-chaired by Ms. Hani Nadiah Sani, Charge d’ Affaires of the Permanent Mission of Brunei Darussalam to ASEAN and H.E. Kazuo Sunaga, Ambassador of Japan to ASEAN, and attended by the Permanent Representatives of ASEAN Member States and representative of the ASEAN Secretariat.

Source: Association of SouthEast Asian Nation

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