4th Tokyo Seminar on Common Security Challenges
Tokyo, 14 March 2013
Speech by H.E. Nyan Lynn, Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for Political-
Overview of ASEAN-Japan Defence and Security Cooperation
Chair, Dr. Ryosei Kokubun, President of National Defense Academy, Distinguished fellow panelist,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It gives me a great pleasure to be speaking to you today at the 4th Tokyo Seminar on Common Security Challenges. The visible and active presence of so many of you present here today is a reflection of the growing importance in ASEAN-Japan relations particularly in the area of defense and security. I would like to thank the Government and Ministry of Defense of Japan for having me as a panelist in this important forum.
I will begin my presentation today by giving you an overview of Japan-ASEAN relations, followed by the way forward for ASEAN-Japan defence cooperation.
Overview of ASEAN-Japan Relations Overview of ASEAN-Japan Relations
ASEAN and Japan first established informal dialogue relations in 1973, which was later formalised in March 1977 with the convening of the ASEAN-Japan Forum. Since then, significant progress has been made in ASEAN-Japan relations and cooperation spanning political-security, economic and financial and socio-cultural issues. This has been done through various mechanisms, which include the ASEAN-Japan Summits, ministerial meetings, senior officials and experts meetings. There are also the broader ASEAN-initiated regional dialogue and cooperation frameworks such as the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), the ASEAN Plus Three (APT) and the East Asia Summit (EAS).
This year marks the 40th anniversary of ASEAN-Japan Dialogue Relations. To further cement and realise the full potential of this longstanding ties between ASEAN and Japan, there is the continuing need for both parties to work towards further enhancing our multi-dimensional relations.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
ASEAN-Japan Defence and Security Cooperation
Japan has been a reliable and trustworthy Dialogue Partner of ASEAN. In the area of defence and security, Japan has been actively involved in numerous ASEAN-led mechanisms, namely the ARF, Senior Officials’ Meeting on Transnational Crimes (SOMTC) + Japan Consultation, and the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM-Plus). Allow me to provide you with an overview on Japan’s roles in the above- mentioned forums.
Japan has been part of the ARF since its inception in 1994. Japan hosted the inaugural ARF Inter-Sessional Support Group on Confidence Building Measures in Tokyo in January 1996, and since then has co-chaired and co-hosted ARF activities with various ASEAN Member States in the areas of preventive diplomacy, peacekeeping operations, disaster relief, counter-terrorism and transnational crime, maritime security and defence cooperation. Japan has also taken a lead role in the area of disaster relief by co- chairing the first ARF Disaster Relief Exercise (ARF DiREx) with Indonesia which was held in Manado from 15 to 19 March 2011. In the Inter-sessional Year 2012-2013, Japan is co-chairing the ARF Inter-Sessional Meeting on Non-Proliferation and
Disarmament (ISM on NPD) with the Philippines and Australia
Japan is also an important partner in the ADMM-Plus framework. The ADMM-Plus is a Track 1 meeting which offers defence officials from ASEAN and the eight dialogue partner countries namely China, Japan, Republic of Korea, India, Australia, New Zealand, Russia and the United States, the opportunity to strengthen security and defence cooperation and work towards the peace and stability of the Asia-Pacific region and beyond. First established in 2010, the ADMM Plus is now into its third year and is a good platform to further promote ASEAN-Japan defence cooperation into the future. Initially this group was to meet every three years, however due to the active cooperation which is taking place, last year at the ASEAN Defence Senior Officials Meeting it was decided beginning this year the Ministers would meet every two years. The Ministers in their first meeting decided to focus on five areas of cooperation, namely maritime security, peacekeeping operations, counter terrorism, HADR and military medicine. To i plement practical cooperation five experts working group have been established.
Japan’s commitment to the ADMM-Plus can be seen through its lead role in co-chairing with Singapore the Experts’ Working Group on Military Medicine (EWG on MM). For the first time military medicine has been formally undertaken in a multilateral framework.
Ladies and gentlemen,
This year is particularly an important and eventful year for the ADMM-Plus. Three big exercises have been line up to demonstrate the high level of commitment of this group. The EWG on MM will be teaming up with the Experts’ Working Group on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (EWG on HADR) to conduct the very first ADMM-Plus HADR/Military Medicine Exercise, in Brunei Darussalam, from 17-20 June 2013. The EWG on counter terrorism led by Indonesia and the United States will conduct a field training exercise in Indonesia this September and the EWG on maritime security led by Malaysia and Australia will conduct their field training exercise in Sydney this October. These exercises among others will demonstrate a greater level of practical military-to- military cooperation among the 18 ADMM-Plus countries’ militaries, build closer ties among participants that benefit the region and enhance cooperation between and among armed forces and civil authorities.
As mentioned earlier, as one of the co-chairs, Japan will be playing a lead role in the HADR/Military Medicine Exercise and will actively participate and contribute in the other two exercises. We hope, in the next co-chairmanship cycle, Japan will continue to co- chair a EWG.
Japan’s active participation in the ADMM-Plus reflects the importance it attaches to the stability and prosperity in Southeast Asia and its commitment to assisting ASEAN in its efforts towards community-building. This underpins the importance of the ASEAN Community for peace and prosperity in the larger Asia Pacific region, of which ASEAN is in the central role.
The way forward for ASEAN-Japan Defence Cooperation
At the 14th ASEAN-Japan Summit, held in Bali on 18 November 2011, the Leaders of ASEAN and Japan issued the Joint Declaration for Enhancing ASEAN-Japan Strategic Partnership for Prospering Together (Bali Declaration) where ASEAN and Japan affirmed their commitment to further strengthen their cooperation under the agreed five strategies, namely:
a) Strengthening political-security cooperation in the region;
b) Intensifying cooperation towards ASEAN community building;
c) Enhancing ASEAN-Japan connectivity for consolidating ties between ASEAN and Japan;
d) Creating together a more disaster-resilient society; and
e) Addressing together common regional and global challenges.
The Bali Declaration also adopted twelve broad principles and commitments for political-security cooperation. To highlight some of the principles which will be of interest to all of us here today:
a) Reaffirm our commitment to further intensifying regional cooperation in East Asia and building a regional architecture that is open, transparent and inclusive, while Japan reaffirms its continued support for ASEAN centrality in the evolving regional architecture, including the ASEAN Plus Three(APT), East Asia Summit, ARF, ADMM-Plus including the ADMM-Plus Experts Working Groups (EWGs) and other regional process;
b) Further promote defense and military cooperation and exchanges through bilateral and multilateral frameworks such as ADMM-Plus and the ARF;
c) Enhance cooperation in the areas of preventing and combatting non-traditional security challenges such as terrorism, trafficking in persons and other transnational crimes;
The Bali Declaration serves as an important vehicle to further Japan and ASEAN strategic partnership to ensure the region’s peace and prosperity.
The Leaders of ASEAN and Japan also adopted the ASEAN-Japan Plan of Action 2011
– 2015 at the Summit, which calls for a closer consultations and promotion of cooperation among defence and security officials on matters of mutual interests and enhance the exchange of programmes, capacity building and technical cooperation. The PoA identifies various areas of cooperation under the Political-Security ambit, including disarmament and non-proliferation, transnational crimes and counter- terrorism, maritime cooperation, human rights, peacekeeping operations (PKO), and defence cooperation and exchange.
In the area of PKO, the PoA calls for cooperation among peacekeeping training centers in the region, including exchange of instructors, so as to build up the capacity of aspiring UN contributors. In further promoting cooperation amongst the defense sector, the PoA encourages defense exchanges and cooperation through dialogues at different levels, mutual visits, information sharing, seminar, training, capacity building and other practical cooperation.
Both the Bali Declaration and the ASEAN-Japan Plan of Action 2011-2015 are adopted milestone documents in ASEAN-Japan relations that provide a roadmap and serve as the main guiding documents for future cooperation. The Leaders of both sides have clearly stated their vision and the subsequent step would be for these action lines to be implemented willingly and at a pace comfortable to all.
In line with the ASEAN-Japan Plan of Action 2011-2015, the ADMM-Plus should be used as the main platform to develop concrete recommendations, initiatives and measures to further strengthen defence and security cooperation. This can be done by continuing to build the capacity in ASEAN Member States through the five Experts’ Working Groups in the areas of HADR, maritime security, counter-terrorism, military medicine, and peacekeeping operations.
The 40th anniversary of ASEAN-Japan presents an opportunity to explore ways to further enhance and to deepen Japan’s engagement with ASEAN. We also look forward to the outcome of the ASEAN-Japan Commemorative Summit in Tokyo in December 2013 in which our Leaders will discuss mid to long term vision for Japan-ASEAN relationship.
I thank you for your attention.