1. The Tenth ASEAN – Japan Forum was held in Tokyo, Japan on 21 – 22 September 1988. The Meeting was attended by the Director-General of the Asian Affairs Bureau of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan; the Directors-General of ASEAN Brunei Darussalam, ASEAN – Indonesia, ASEAN Malaysia, ASEAN – Philippines, ASEAN-Singapore, and ASEAN – Thailand, and their respective delegations. Also in attendance were the Secretary-General of the ASEAN Secretariat and members of his staff, the Chairmen of the ASEAN Committee on Trade and Tourism (COTT), Committee on Food, Agriculture and Forestry (COFAF) and the representatives of the Chairmen of COIME and COTAC.
2. Mr. T. Hamada, Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, formally opened and delivered a Welcome Speech at the 10th ASEAN Japan Forum.
3. In his Welcome Speech, Mr. Hamada expressed his heartfelt welcome to the ASEAN delegations and stated that Japan – ASEAN Forum has contributed immensely to the promotion of mutual understanding between Japan and ASEAN and to the solution of many issues.
4. Mr. K. Hasegawa, Director-General, Asian Affairs Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan, led the Japanese delegation. Mr. Juanito P. Jarasa, Director-General, ASEAN – Philippines and representing the country coordinator of the ASEAN – Japan Dialogue, led the ASEAN delegations. Messrs. Hasegawa and Jarasa co-chaired the 10th Forum Meeting.
5. The Meeting discussed a wide range of topics of mutual interest to ASEAN and Japan, including the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations, trade and commodities, investment and industrial cooperation and development and cultural cooperation. The meeting also reviewed developments during the past year in ASEAN Japan relations particularly in relation to the results of the Third Meeting of ASEAN Heads of Government in Manila on 14 – 16 December 1987.
6. ASEAN expressed its deep appreciation to the Government of Japan for its efforts to enhance ASEAN – Japan cooperation, noting in particular the launching of the ASEAN-Japan Development Fund (AJDF) and the Japan – ASEAN Comprehensive Exchange. Programme (JACEP) and the unveiling of policies to promote and strengthen economic cooperation and cultural exchanges. ASEAN was of the hope that gestures of similar nature would continue to be extended by Japan in order to further substantiate and give meaning to ASEAN – Japan cooperation.
7. In recognition of the important role that the private sector could play in the enhancement of the ASEAN – Japan Dialogue, particularly in the area of trade and investment cooperation, the Meeting agreed to explore further the possibility of the meaningful participation of the private sector in the ASEAN – Japan Dialogue process, including the active involvement of the ASEAN Committee in Tokyo (ACT) and the ASEAN Promotion Centre (APC) in this initiative.
8. The Meeting attached great importance to the forthcoming Mid-Term R6view of the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations, stressing its value not only in giving impetus to the negotiation but also in accommodating the concern, legitimate interests and development priorities of developing countries. Japan assured the Meeting that it would actively participate in the negotiations and keep close consultations with ASEAN on issues of concern to the latter and other developing countries.
9. ASEAN noted that there has been a stagnation in the total trade between ASEAN and Japan from a level of US$ 37.6 billion in 1980 to US$ 35.2 billion in 1987, and the pattern of trade too has not basically changed with ASEAN exports to Japan consisting mainly of mineral fuel and raw materials. However, the Meeting noted the fact that Japan’s imports of manufactured goods from the ASEAN countries increased by 47.8% in 1987 over the previous year.
10. The Meeting welcomed Japan’s new economic policy to provide a sound world trading environment, improve market access and play a more active role in the growth of Asia-Pacific region. However, ASEAN commodities are still faced with trade and other barriers in the Japanese market. ASEAN therefore, looks forward to Japan’s lowering its tariffs and eliminating some of its non-tariff barriers on commodities, both processed and semi-processed, and manufactured products of interest to ASEAN in order to increase their competitiveness in the Japanese market. ASEAN expressed the need for possible improvement of Japan’s GSP in respect of these products in order to facilitate their entry into the Japanese market.
11. ASEAN recognized the important role that Japan could play in the development of the region’s economies through the increased flow of Japanese investments. While ASEAN noted that ASEAN’s share in Japanese overseas investments remains far below that of major countries, Japan pointed, out that Japanese investment to ASEAN has increased considerably and shown a noteworthy increase in the manufacturing sector in comparison with other countries. The Meeting emphasized the importance of taking measures aimed at increasing the flow of Japanese investments to ASEAN.
12. On cultural cooperation, ASEAN acknowledged the positive contribution of the ASEAN Cultural Fund. In connection with the proposal of the Japanese Foreign Minister at the ASEAN Post Ministerial Conference ( 6 + 1 ) with Japan in Bangkok on 8 July 1988, the Meeting agreed to pursue projects and activities that would promote two-way personal cultural exchanges between ASEAN and Japan. These activities could be pursued under the Japan – ASEAN Comprehensive Exchange Programme (JACEP).
13. In the area of development cooperation, Japan expressed the intention to fund five projects under the Inter-ASEAN Technical Exchange Programme (IATEP) which would be implemented within FY 1988. The Meeting expressed satisfaction over the progress of the various components of the ASEAN – Japan Human Resources Development (HRD) Project. New project proposals as well as those presented at the 9th ASEAN – Japan Forum were discussed. The Meeting agreed that stronger measures could be taken by Japan to help ASEAN member-countries implement the above proposals.
14. The Meeting welcomed Brunei Darussalam’s becoming a party to the Agreement Establishing the ASEAN Promotion Centre (APC). Japan also welcomed Brunei Darussalam’s participation in the Japan Scholarship Fund for ASEAN Youth.
15. The ASEAN delegations expressed their appreciation to the Government of Japan for hosting the 10th ASEAN – Japan Forum. The 11th ASEAN – Japan Forum will be held in Manila at a date to be mutually agreed upon.