On Monday, 27 March 2006, letters of exchange (LoE) to establish the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF) were signed in Tokyo between H.E. Mr. Taro Aso, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, and H.E. Datuk Marzuki Mohammad Noor, Ambassador of Malaysia to Japan. The Malaysian Ambassador was signing on behalf of ASEAN as Malaysia currently serves as ASEAN’s 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.
The JAIF has been established to support ASEAN’s integration efforts towards the realisation of the ASEAN Community, as envisaged in the Declaration of ASEAN Concord II of 2003 (commonly referred to as the Bali Concord II). The funds will be utilised to implement activities of the Vientiane Action Programme (VAP) and promote greater cooperation between ASEAN and Japan.
The establishment of the JAIF is a follow-up to the Joint Statement of the Ninth ASEAN-Japan Summit that was held in December 2005 in Kuala Lumpur in which Japan had announced that it would provide financial assistance to ASEAN amounting to 7.5 billion Yen (approximately USD 70 million) to support ASEAN’s integration programme.
The ASEAN Secretariat