Japan vows to work with ASEAN for free, open Indo-Pacific region

Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio on October 27 pledged to intensify cooperation with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in realising a free and open Indo-Pacific region.

Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio . (Photo: Kyodo/VNA)
Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio . (Photo: Kyodo/VNA)

Addressing the virtual ASEAN-Japan Summit, Kishida referred to his past efforts to enhance Japan's ties with ASEAN during his tenure as foreign minister between 2012 and 2017, affirming that he continues to value the relationship with the 10-member bloc.

He also said Japan will steadily promote cooperation for the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific, an initiative aimed at maintaining peace, freedom, and prosperity in the region, and that it shares the same values as Japan's vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific.

As 2023 marks the 50th year of ASEAN-Japan friendship and cooperation, Kishida said Japan plans to hold a special summit at that time to take the relationship to a "new stage."

Also on this day, the Japanese leader is scheduled to attend an ASEAN-plus-Three summit that will bring together the leaders of ASEAN plus Japan, China and the Republic of Korea, as well as the East Asia Summit, an event that also involves regional powers such as the US, Australia, India and Russia.