The Secretary-General of ASEAN, Dr Surin Pitsuwan, welcomes the appointment of Mr. Yoshinori Katori as Japan’s Ambassador to ASEAN.

“I am very pleased to hear the news. This is another demonstration from Japan of its firm commitment to ASEAN,” praised Dr. Surin of this ASEAN Dialogue Partner who started relations with ASEAN in 1973 and formalised the partnership in 1977.   He noted that ASEAN and Japan enjoy an extensive partnership, spanning from trade to youth.

In April this year, ASEAN and Japan completed the signing of the ASEAN-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement.  Japan has ratified the Agreement, becoming ASEAN’s first developed trading partner to establish a comprehensive free trade agreement, covering fields such as trade in good, trade in services, investment and economic cooperation.  With the entry into force of the Agreement, it is expected that the economic relationship between ASEAN and Japan will be further invigorated.