TOKYO, 6 June 2017 – Secretary-General of ASEAN Le Luong Minh was received by the Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe yesterday in Tokyo on the sidelines of the 23rd Future of Asia Conference which took the theme of “ Globalism at a Crossroads, Asia’s Next Move.”

Prime Minister Abe congratulated ASEAN on its 50th anniversary this year, and reaffirmed the importance that Japan places on ASEAN-Japan partnership. The Prime Minister emphasised Japan’s continued commitment to strengthen cooperation with ASEAN across different areas, including in political-security sphere through the promotion of the rule of law in maritime security and cooperation, and connectivity particularly the people-to-people connectivity via student exchanges.

Secretary-General Minh also reiterated the significance of ASEAN-Japan partnership and highlighted that support from dialogue partners, including Japan, is integral to the establishment of ASEAN Community and the future achievement of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025.

Further, Secretary General Minh underscored that efforts are being made to implement the Vision Statement of ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation and its Implementation Plan which were adopted in Tokyo at the ASEAN-Japan Commemorative Summit for the 40th anniversary of ASEAN-Japan relations in December 2013. The Secretary-General also shared the view on the need to strengthen cooperation in the political-security sphere including in the areas of maritime security and cooperation, transnational crimes, cybersecurity, and in promoting connectivity particularly physical and people-to-people connectivity.

During the meeting, the Prime Minister signaled Japan’s interest to explore ways to improve the effectiveness of Japan’s support to ASEAN, including those provided by its agencies such as the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).