JAKARTA, 15 March 2019 – ASEAN and Japan agreed to explore new initiatives for cooperation to further advance their strategic partnership following the 13th ASEAN-Japan Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) Meeting held at the ASEAN Secretariat on 14 March.

The meeting underscored the commitment of both sides to build on their achievements to take the relations to a greater height. It acknowledged that substantive progress had been made in the implementation of the Plan of the Vision Statement on ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation with the conduct of a large number of activities and projects in more than 90% of the action lines under the Plan since its adoption in 2017. A number of activities have also been planned in 2019 such as the continuation of the Japan-East Asia Network of Exchange for Students and Youths programme or the adoption of a joint statement on connectivity by the Leaders at their Summit in November this year.

Both sides noted the importance of continuing efforts to advance cooperation in the areas of common strategic priorities, such as trade and investment, infrastructure; disaster management; humanitarian assistance; people-to-people exchanges; as well as emerging areas responding to the 4.0 Industrial Revolution such as e-commerce and cybersecurity.

ASEAN welcomed Japan’s continued support for ASEAN Community-building including its contribution to the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund to support cooperation programmes and projects aimed at enhancing connectivity and narrowing development gaps in the region. Both sides agreed to further streamline and provide necessary flexibilities to facilitate the utilisation of the Fund. The meeting also discussed preparations for the implementation of the Technical Cooperation Agreement between ASEAN and Japan which is expected to be signed in May this year.

ASEAN and Japan also exchanged views on recent developments in their respective region. ASEAN welcomed Japan’s continued support for ASEAN’s central role in ASEAN-led regional frameworks.

The 13th ASEAN-Japan JCC Meeting was co-chaired by Permanent Representative of Viet Nam to ASEAN Tran Duc Binh and Ambassador of Japan to ASEAN Kazuo Sunaga. It was attended by members of the Committee of Permanent Representatives to ASEAN and their representatives as well as the Deputy Secretary-General for ASEAN Political -Security Community Department of the ASEAN Secretariat.