The most important outcome of the of the 53rd ASEAN Ministerial Meeting (AMM 53) is the commendable chairmanship of Vietnam and Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh.
Japanese Ambassador to ASEAN Chiba Akira
Japanese Ambassador to ASEAN Chiba Akira made the remarks in an interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency correspondent in Jakarta on September 14.
He said that Foreign Minister Motegi Toshimitsu from Japan also commended the excellent ASEAN chairmanship through the lead of Vietnam.
“We think that ASEAN centrality was realised, which is the most important factor of ASEAN,” he stressed.
According to the diplomat, Japan and ASEAN had four meetings altogether, and there are many messages that came up from Japan.
First of all, the ASEAN plus Japan foreign ministers meeting focused on Japan's contribution to ASEAN, including the situation brought about by COVID-19. Japan reiterated its commitment to establishing a centre for health problems and emerging diseases. This will be established in ASEAN.
Japan also committed to dispersing US$1 million for a new COVID-19 response fund established by ASEAN as well as carry out its loan and investment programmes especially tailored for the bloc.
But the most important message that came from Japan this time is that Japan is in full support of the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP), he noted.
He went on to say that through the discussions, it was made clear that Japan's own vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific (FOIP) and AOIP have many common traits, such as treasuring rules of law and freedom of navigation and overflight.
“These are core principles of both AOIP and FOIP. So that is why Japan is in full support of AOIP,” Chiba Akira stressed.
According to the ambassador, this issue was not covered thoroughly during these meetings, but Japan has two plans for economic recovery. One is to support construction of infrastructure through loans and investments through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). And the other is to work together to rebuild the supply chain, with Vietnam being a very important country.
The Japanese government is encouraging Japanese companies to rethink their supply chain, and Vietnam is expected to lure Japanese investors, he said.
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