|Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga (centre) addresses the 23rd ASEAN-Japan Summit on Thursday. — VNA/VNS Photo|
HÀ NỘI — Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga attended the ASEAN Summit for the first time on Thursday and reiterated Japan’s intention to work hand in hand with ASEAN member states to realise a free, open and prosperous Indo-Pacific.
Addressing the 23rd ASEAN-Japan Summit, Suga said Japan would offer whatever possible support for the ASEAN Centre on Public Health Emergencies and Emerging Diseases which was launched on Thursday.
“I hope that decisions will be made by ASEAN shortly at the summit regarding the country that will host the centre,” he said.
He said that the ASEAN Outlook on Indo Pacific adopted by the bloc last year was a strong voice to promote the rule of law, openness, transparency and inclusiveness as principles for ASEAN's actions.
“Japan strongly supports the outlook which covers common ground with a free open Indo Pacific initiative advocated by Japan," he said.
Japan looks forward to co-operation with ASEAN in key areas such as maritime, connectivity, the UN's Sustainable Development Goals, infrastructure projects, global warming and greenhouse gas reduction, he added.
Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc, who presided over the ASEAN-Japan Summit, thanked Japan for its assistance to ASEAN in the fight against COVID-19 and natural disasters.
Being honoured to act as a co-ordinator of ASEAN-Japan relations, Việt Nam pledges to work with Japan and ASEAN countries to extend and deepen strategic and comprehensive bilateral relations, Phúc said.
Suga expressed his desire to soon be able to visit ASEAN countries and meet in person with ASEAN leaders to engage in heart-to-heart talks. — VNS