ASEAN received a new financial contribution from the Government of Japan in the amount of USD 247 million of which USD 195 million will be utilised for youth exchange programmes in East Asia and USD 52 million for projects related to the ASEAN-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership.

The contribution is a follow-up to the outcomes of the Tenth ASEAN-Japan Summit held in January 2007 in Cebu, Philippines, at which Japan had announced that it would provide financial assistance to ASEAN for the above purposes.

The signing ceremony of the guidelines for the new contribution was held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan in Tokyo on 23 March 2007. H.E. Mr. Taro Aso, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan and H.E. Mr. Sithong Chitnhothinh, Ambassador-designate of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic to Japan signed the documents on behalf of the Japanese Government and ASEAN, respectively. The Lao People’s Democratic Republic is the current ASEAN Country Coordinator for ASEAN-Japan dialogue relations.. The signing ceremony was attended by all ASEAN Ambassadors based in Japan as well as Japanese Foreign Ministry officials.