Senior officials from ASEAN countries and Japan join hands during the 34th ASEAN-Japan forum, held in Hà Nội on Monday. — VNA/VNS Photo Lâm Khánh
HÀ NỘI — With a strong foundation established over the past 45 years and a common vision for the future, co-operation between Japan and ASEAN countries would reach new heights, said Vietnamese Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyễn Quốc Dũng.
He made the statement at the 34th ASEAN-Japan forum which was held in Hà Nội on Monday.
The forum – an annual dialogue between the two sides – was chaired by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyễn Quốc Dũng and Japanese Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Takeo Mori with the participation of senior officials from ASEAN countries.
During the ASEAN-Japan Summit held last November in Singapore, the leaders of the countries committed to raising the relationship between ASEAN and Japan to a new level, with the leaders unanimously adopting a joint statement, Dũng said at the opening of the forum.
“The forum is a good opportunity for us to discuss practical methods to realise that vision and commitment of ASEAN and Japanese leaders and promote partnerships, as well as share views on regional and world issues of mutual concern,” Dũng said.
The development of science and technology, especially the Fourth Industrial Revolution, was creating opportunities and challenges for all countries including ASEAN and Japan, he said.
Addressing the forum, Japanese Deputy Foreign Minister Takeo Mori said the relationship between ASEAN and Japan had been developing rapidly and growing in importance.
“Japan and ASEAN are off to a good start," he said. "First of all, the ASEAN Secretary-General visited Japan in May and signed a technical co-operation agreement between Japan and ASEAN."
The signing of the agreement was an important step to strengthen co-operation between the two sides and the forum would be an opportunity for us to discuss furthering the relationship, which was important and valuable for Japan, Mori said.
Việt Nam and Japan have sought concrete measures to develop their strategic partnership in a more pragmatic and effective manner, especially in politics, diplomacy, national defence and security.
At the seventh Việt Nam-Japan Strategic Partnership Dialogue in Hà Nội on Monday, Deputy Foreign Minister Lê Hoài Trung and his Japanese counterpart Mori underlined the need to maintain regular visits and meetings, and improve the efficiency of existing dialogue mechanisms, contributing to enhancing mutual political trust and understanding.
They agreed to beef up co-operation at regional and international forums and promote collaboration between ASEAN and Japan. Việt Nam is the co-ordinator of ASEAN-Japan relations for 2018-21 and will assume the ASEAN Chairmanship in 2020.
Regarding the East Sea issue, they emphasised the significance of ensuring peace, security, safety and freedom of navigation and overflight, not using or threatening to use force, pushing ahead with the settlement of disputes by peaceful measures in line with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, fully respecting diplomatic and legal processes, effectively and fully realising the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), and soon reaching a pragmatic, legally-binding and effective Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).
Both sides praised the dialogue and agreed to hold the next round in Japan in 2020. — VNS