Japan supportive of ASEAN centrality, integrity

MANILA-- As the celebration of the 50th founding anniversary of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) goes into its 4th day, Japan affirmed its support and will continue to assist further integration of the ASEAN community.

During the meeting chaired by Second Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Brunei, Lim Jock Seng, Japan Foreign Minister Taro Kono gave this assurance during the ASEAN-Japan Ministerial Meeting held at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City.

Japan has been a steady contributor to ASEAN's sustainable growth through the development of quality infrastructure that meets international standards and human resource development in a wide range of areas from education to industry.

Kono also indicated Japan's consistent support for the political and economic development of ASEAN since the first Japan-ASEAN Summit meeting in 1977.

Based on the guidelines for ASEAN-Japan cooperation or Vision Statement on ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation formulated in 2013, Japan has extended development assistance amounting to over 2.3 trillion yen over the last 4 years.

Kono also announced the revised implementation plan of the Vision Statement based on the new visions and plans by ASEAN and Japan's official decision on launching negotiations on Japan-ASEAN technical cooperation agreement.

"I firmly believe that this agreement will contribute to expanding the Japan-ASEAN relationship as agreement will enable Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to provide assistance for projects that the ASEAN community seeks to advance in addition to existing Japan's bilateral assistance to respective ASEAN member states," Kono said.

Source: Philippines News Agency