|The 36th ASEAN – Japan Forum is held online on Thursday. —VNA/VNS Photo
HÀ NỘI — Deputy Foreign Minister and head of the ASEAN SOM Vietnam, Nguyễn Quốc Dũng and Japanese Deputy Foreign Minister Mori Takeo co-chaired the 36th ASEAN – Japan Forum on Thursday.
Speaking at the event, Dũng highlighted the importance of the ASEAN – Japan strategic partnership for peace, security and prosperity in the region, and stressed that both sides need to continue working closely to cope with the pandemic and propel sustainable recovery.
He said ASEAN and Japan should enhance work to maintain trade, investment and supply chain connectivity to overcome the impacts of the pandemic and boost recovery.
He wished that Japan would continue supporting efforts to narrow the development gap, promote even and sustainable development in the ASEAN Community and increase connectivity between sub-regions, including Mekong, with ASEAN’s common development process.
On ASEAN and Japan’s efforts to cope with challenges threatening regional stability and development, Dũng proposed both sides work closely to ensure regional peace, security and prosperity via ASEAN-led mechanisms, promote rules-based regional order, uphold international law and peacefully settle disputes.
The Vietnamese deputy minister also reiterated ASEAN’s principled stance on the East Sea issue and wished that Japan would continue backing the bloc’s efforts to build the East Sea into waters of peace, friendship and cooperation as well as ASEAN’s role in supporting Myanmar.
The Japanese official said Japan treasured its strategic partnership with ASEAN, supports ASEAN’s central role in regional architecture and the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific.
Japan wanted to continue promoting its comprehensive partnership with ASEAN in all four pillars - Partners for Peace and Stability, Partners for Prosperity, Partners for Quality of Life and Heart-to-Heart Partners, Mori said.
He revealed that Japan planned to hold a special commemorative ASEAN – Japan Summit in 2023 to mark the 50th anniversary of bilateral dialogue relations.
The Japanese side pledged to continue helping ASEAN member states improve the capacity of coping with the pandemic and coordinate with ASEAN to ensure even and effective vaccine supply and distribution in the region and the world.
ASEAN officials hailed Japan for contributing US$1 million to the ASEAN COVID-19 response fund, and $50 million to help the establishment of the ASEAN Centre for Public Health Emergencies and Emerging Diseases. They suggested Japan assist the bloc in setting up a regional reserve warehouse of medical supplies and embark on a comprehensive recovery plan.
Both ASEAN and Japan agreed to work closely together to cope with the pandemic and effectively implement the revised plan to realise the 2018-2022 Vision Statement for sustainable step-by-step recovery.
Japan laid emphasis on trade and investment, supply chain connectivity, trans-national crime prevention, environmental protection and marine waste prevention.
The country expressed support for ASEAN’s principled stance on the East Sea issue and hailed ASEAN for upholding its role in promoting cooperation, dialogue and building trust in the region, ensuring full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea towards achieving a substantial and effective Code of Conduct in the East Sea in line with international law and the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
Japan also praised the outcomes of the ASEAN Leaders’ Meeting on April 24 and vowed to support ASEAN’s role in promoting dialogue, reconciliation and assisting Myanmar in seeking solutions to stabilise the situation. — VNS