1. We, the Heads of State/Government of Member Countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and Japan, noted with satisfaction the steady progress in ASEAN-Japan dialogue relations. We welcomed the close cooperative partnership established over the last 32 years, which has contributed to the peace, stability, development and prosperity of the region and enabled us to take concerted efforts to address common challenges confronting us and the region.
Enhancing ASEAN-Japan Dialogue Relations
2. Based upon the achievements for the past 30 years, ASEAN and Japan are now closely working together on equal footing to address common challenges and opportunities. Japan fully supports ASEAN’s increasingly active contributions to regional cooperation in East Asia, particularly through its role as the driving force as well as its dynamic initiative to further advance ASEAN integration. In recognition of this, we reaffirmed our determination to deepen and broaden the strategic partnership between ASEAN and Japan. We also reaffirmed that the ASEAN-Japan relationship should be premised on the principles in the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia and other principles of international law, global norms and universally recognized values.
Implementing the ASEAN-Japan Plan of Action
3. We noted that since the signing of the Tokyo Declaration for the Dynamic and Enduring ASEAN-Japan Partnership in the New Millennium and the adoption of the ASEAN-Japan Plan of Action at the ASEAN-Japan Commemorative Summit on 12 December 2003 in Tokyo, steady progress has been achieved in ASEAN-Japan dialogue relations. In this regard, we reaffirmed the importance of and reiterated our commitment to effectively implement the ASEAN-Japan Plan of Action to achieve the goals and objectives of the Tokyo Declaration as we strengthen the foundation of the ASEAN-Japan partnership in the 21st century.
Recent Developments in Region
4. We acknowledged that rapid developments had taken place in the region since the ASEAN-Japan Commemorative Summit in 2003. These include the signing of the Vientiane Action Programme (VAP) in 2004; the adoption of the Plans of Action of the ASEAN Security Community (ASC) and the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC) in 2004; the adoption of the Roadmaps for the 11 priority sectors for ASEAN economic integration under the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in 2004; the accession by Japan to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia in 2004; the adoption of the ASEAN-Japan Joint Declaration for Cooperation to Combat International Terrorism in 2004; the establishment of the ASEAN Development Fund (ADF) in 2005; the convening of Asia-Africa Summit in 2005; the convening of the 2nd ACMECS Summit in 2005; and the decision to convene the First East Asia Summit on 14 December 2005. We agreed to work together and support one another in the efforts to strengthen the dialogue partnership, ASEAN integration and promote dynamic development in the region for peace, stability and prosperity.
Supporting ASEAN Community Building Efforts
5. We reiterated our full support for the realisation of the ASEAN Community by 2020 based on the ASEAN Vision 2020 of December 1997 and the Declaration of ASEAN Concord II of October 2003. In this regard, ASEAN expressed its appreciation to Japan for its commitment to enhance its support for ASEAN community building efforts and the narrowing development gaps among ASEAN Member Countries through the Initiative for ASEAN Integration and Vientiane Action Programme and various ASEAN plans and initiatives as well as sub-regional development endeavours such as the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS), the Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS) and the Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, East Asian Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA). ASEAN welcomed the commitment of Japan to provide fresh financial assistance in the amount of ¥7.5 billion (approximately US$70 million) to support ASEAN integration through the ADF and the ASEAN-Japan cooperation funds. ASEAN also welcomed Japan’s continued assistance to ASEAN’s integration efforts.
Strengthening Economic Partnership
6. We recalled the Joint Declaration on the Comprehensive Economic Partnership and the Framework for Comprehensive Economic Partnership that we concluded in 2002 and 2003 respectively, which will strengthen ASEAN-Japan economic relations. We commit to make utmost efforts to conclude the negotiations on the ASEAN-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership (AJCEP) Agreement as soon as possible within two years after the commencement date in April 2005. In this regard, we tasked our ministers to explore measures to accelerate negotiations in order to realize the AJCEP.
Reforming ASEAN-Japan Centre
7. We commended the work of the ASEAN-Japan Eminent Persons’ Committee on the reform of the Centre. We encouraged our relevant authorities to look into the interim report of the Eminent Persons’ Committee.
Addressing Regional and Global Challenges
8. We recognised that the region faces many challenges such as the threat of terrorism, which remains a regional and global security concern, transnational crimes, the outbreak of avian influenza, the oil price hike, and natural disasters. In this connection, we reaffirmed our desire to strengthen and deepen our partnership by working and advancing together to address these challenges and to contribute to peace, stability and prosperity of the region.
Combating Transnational Crime and Terrorism
9. We reaffirmed our determination to prevent, suppress and eliminate all forms of international terrorism in accordance with our obligations under the Charter of the United Nations, international law and all the relevant United Nations resolutions or declarations on international terrorism. We also agreed to intensify bilateral as well as multilateral cooperation between ASEAN and Japan to eradicate the threat posed by transnational crimes, piracy, human trafficking and drugs, through, the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Transnational Crime, and other existing mechanisms. ASEAN and Japan will strengthen cooperation at bilateral, regional and international levels in the effort to prevent and combat terrorism in a comprehensive manner, through the implementation of “ASEAN-Japan Joint Declaration for Cooperation to Combat International Terrorism” and other relevant United Nations Resolutions and conventions on international terrorism. In this regard, ASEAN welcomed Japan’s commitment to expand its assistance to ASEAN in the field of counter-terrorism through bilateral and multilateral channels. ASEAN welcomed Japan’s proposal to launch a counter-terrorism dialogue in the early part of 2006.
Enhancing Disaster Management
10. We reaffirmed our determination to undertake concerted efforts and collaboration between ASEAN and Japan, and with others in the region and the world to address the challenges caused by Tsunami, earthquake, flood and other forms of natural disasters. In this regard, Japan will extend its assistance to regional efforts in establishing an early warning system and standby arrangements for disaster relief and emergency response, as well as reinforcing reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts.
Addressing Infectious Diseases
11. We reaffirmed the importance of cooperation in addressing the problem and outbreak of other infectious and re-emerging diseases, such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis and the avian influenza. Japan will provide necessary support to ASEAN in capacity building, to enable ASEAN Member Countries to tackle the problem of the spread of the avian influenza and outbreak of other infectious diseases. In this regard, Japan announced its initiatives to provide major assistance to combat avian influenza in Asia in the amount of US$135 million, including the provision of Tamiflu for 500 thousand people in ASEAN.
Enhancing Energy Cooperation
12. We exchanged views on the issue of oil price hike and reaffirmed our intention to develop energy cooperation with a view to ensuring energy security and sustainability through cooperation in areas such as energy efficiency and conservation measures, diversification of energy supply and use of alternative and renewable energy such as biofuel and hydroelectric power, effective and clean use of resources, oil stockpiling system development, and energy-related statistics development. We tasked our ministers and officials to look at possible areas for cooperation in the short-term and medium and long-term.
Promoting Exchanges and People-to-People Contact
13. In order to give both substance and form to the ASEAN-Japan partnership at the people-to-people level, we shared the view that both sides would initiate joint flagship projects in various areas, including in culture, human resources development and small and medium industries. ASEAN and Japan will intensify regular dialogues and exchanges, including high-level exchanges, and promote public awareness and better understanding through fostering people-to-people contacts, in particular among the youth and students, through ASEAN-Japan youth exchange programmes. In this regard, ASEAN appreciated Japan’s commitment to finance exchange programmes including vocational and higher education.
Deepening East Asia Cooperation
14. We acknowledged that the East Asian community is a long-term goal that would contribute to the maintenance of peace, security, prosperity and progress in the region and beyond. In this regard, we will continue to actively promote cooperation under the ASEAN Plus Three process and enhance dialogue on broad strategic, political and economic issues of common interest and concern through the East Asia Summit (EAS) with ASEAN as the driving force. We will continue accelerating the implementation of the short, and medium and long-term measures of the East Asia Study Group’s Final Report and other activities within the ASEAN Plus Three framework. We will work closely on the review of the ASEAN Plus Three cooperation to take stock of cooperation in the last ten years and in preparing the Second Joint Statement on East Asia Cooperation to be issued in 2007 by the ASEAN Plus Three Summit.
Responding to International Issues
15. We exchanged views on international issues and agreed that we should work for more effective cooperation at the regional and global levels to address issues such as environment, non-proliferation and United Nations reform. Building upon the Outcome Document of the recent UN Summit, we will unite our strength to promote comprehensive reform of the United Nations system, including the Security Council during this General Assembly Session to make the organisation better reflect the realities of the 21st century.
16. We attached importance to effective leadership of the United Nations to address the needs and aspirations of all people, particularly those in the developing world. We welcomed the emerging support for the principle that it would be the turn of the Asian region to occupy the post of UN Secretary-General at the end of 2006. In this regard, we noted that ASEAN’s strong support for its candidate from Thailand is a positive contribution to ensuring that Asia has a strong and well-qualified candidate for this important position.
17. We tasked our ministers and senior officials to carry out the actions contained in this Joint Statement.