Chairman’s Statement of the 23rd ASEAN-Japan Summit
The 23rd ASEAN-Japan Summit was held via video conference on 12 November 2020. Below is the Summit's Chairman's Statement.
1. The 23rd ASEAN-Japan Summit was held via video conference on 12 November 2020. The Meeting was chaired by H.E. Nguyễn Xuân Phúc, Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, and attended by Heads of State/Government and High Representatives of ASEAN Member States and H.E. Suga Yoshihide, Prime Minister of Japan. The Secretary-General of ASEAN was also in attendance.
2. We noted with satisfaction the progress of ASEAN-Japan friendship and cooperation over the last year and reaffirmed the commitment to further strengthening the ASEAN-Japan Strategic Partnership, including through continued effective implementation of the Revised Implementation Plan of the Vision Statement on ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation: Shared Vision, Shared Identity, Shared Future.
3. We supported the priorities of ASEAN in advancing a “Cohesive and Responsive” ASEAN under Viet Nam’s Chairmanship and welcomed the ASEAN Leaders’ Vision Statement on a Cohesive and Responsive ASEAN: Rising Above Challenges and Sustaining Growth, adopted at the 36th ASEAN Summit on 26 June 2020. We underlined the need to strengthen regional solidarity and maintain ASEAN Centrality to respond effectively to current and future challenges as well as harness opportunities including those brought about by digital transformation and the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR).
4. We recognised the unprecedented challenges posed by the Coronavirus Diseases 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in the region and the world and underscored the importance of enhancing international cooperation in addressing the challenges of COVID-19 pandemic and other public health emergencies. We stressed the importance of ASEAN-Japan cooperation in mitigating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as in strengthening our joint efforts for robust recovery, as underlined at the Special ASEAN Plus Three (APT) Summit on COVID-19 on 14 April 2020 via video conference. We welcomed more than 200 million USD worth grant assistance by Japan in providing medical supplies and equipment, and extending technical cooperation catering to the needs of ASEAN countries. We welcomed Japan's initiative to maintain and revitalise the economy of ASEAN countries by extending a total of 2.5 billion USD worth financial assistance loans including through the COVID-19 Crisis Response Emergency Support Loan. We will continue to strengthen our cooperation through ASEAN-led platforms and mechanisms, including the APT framework. ASEAN Leaders also appreciated Japan’s contribution of USD 1 million to the COVID-19 ASEAN Response Fund and looked forward to Japan’s continued support for ASEAN’s efforts and initiatives in mitigating COVID-19, including the ASEAN Regional Reserve of Medical Supplies, the Standard Operating Procedure for Public Health Emergencies and the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework.
5. We welcomed the official announcement of the establishment of the ASEAN Centre for Public Health Emergencies and Emerging Diseases and appreciated Japan’s commitment of USD 50 million, through the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF) and Japan’s intention to further support human resources through JICA. We looked forward to the full operationalization of the Center and encouraged ASEAN-Japan cooperation to maintain sustainability of the Center, which will further support ASEAN’s capabilities and efforts in countering public health emergencies in the region.
6. We underscored the importance of multilateralism, regionalism and upholding international law in contributing to global and regional peace, stability and prosperity. ASEAN Leaders expressed appreciation for Japan’s continued support of the ASEAN Centrality in the evolving regional architecture that is open, transparent, inclusive and rules-based and Japan’s active participation in ASEAN-led mechanisms such as the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), APT, East Asia Summit (EAS), and ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM-Plus). ASEAN Leaders welcomed Japan’s proposal to establish the AMMDM Plus Japan cooperation and looked forward to the convening of the meeting of AMMDM Plus Japan in the future.
7. The ASEAN Leaders welcomed Japan’s support for the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP) and encouraged Japan to work with ASEAN to undertake practical cooperation on the four key areas identified in the AOIP, in line with the objectives and principles of the AOIP, with a view to promoting mutual trust, mutual respect, mutual benefit, and win-win cooperation through ASEAN-led mechanisms, as well as contributing to peace, stability, and prosperity in the region. In this regard, we agreed to adopt the Joint Statement of the 23rd ASEAN-Japan Summit on Cooperation on ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP).
8. We resolved to continue enhancing cooperation in addressing security issues of common interest and concern, including terrorism, maritime security, illicit drug trafficking, and cybersecurity. We underlined the need to ensure the effective implementation of the ASEAN Senior Officials’ Meeting on Transnational Crime (SOMTC)-Japan Work Plan for Cooperation to Combat Terrorism and Transnational Crime (2018-2022) and looked forward to the convening of the 12th ASEAN-Japan Counter-Terrorism (AJCT) Dialogue and the 4th ASEAN-Japan Cybercrime (AJCC) Dialogue in Myanmar in 2021. We decided to enhance cooperation on cybersecurity, including through the ASEAN-Japan Cybersecurity Working Group Meeting, ASEAN-Japan Cybersecurity Policy Meeting and ASEAN-Japan Cybersecurity Capacity Building Centre and industrial control systems cybersecurity training program, for ASEAN Member States and other partners to be held in March 2021.
9. ASEAN Leaders commended Japan for its contributions as co-chair of the ARF Inter-Sessional Meeting on Security of and in the Use of Information and Communication Technologies (ARF ISM on ICTs Security), alongside Malaysia and Singapore. ASEAN Leaders appreciated Japan’s contribution to host and co-chair with Viet Nam the 2nd ARF Workshop on International Cooperation on Maritime Domain Awareness held in Tokyo on 20 February 2020. We looked forward to a successful ADMM-Plus Experts’ Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations, under the co-chairmanship of Viet Nam and Japan in the upcoming 2021-2023 cycle. We noted Japan’s stronger commitment to promote defence engagement with ASEAN under the “Vientiane Vision: Japan’s Defense Cooperation Initiative with ASEAN and looked forward to further enhance the engagement through the recently-launched Vientiane Vision 2.0.
10. We reaffirmed our commitment to maintaining peace, security and stability through cooperation in the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, including continued support to the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission of Human Rights (AICHR) and, where appropriate, relevant ASEAN Sectoral Bodies in mainstreaming the rights of persons with disabilities across the ASEAN Community pillars.
11. We commended Japan’s support to the work of the ASEAN Institute for Peace and Reconciliation (ASEAN-IPR) in building capacity on conflict resolution and reconciliation and further strengthening peace-oriented values towards harmony, peace, security and stability in the region and beyond. Japan’s support to the research project titled “Lessons Learned from a Process of Conflict Resolution between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the Moro National Liberation Front as Mediated by Indonesia 1993-1996” set a key milestone that we aimed to further strengthen in our cooperation.
12. We continued to attach great importance to the economic relations between ASEAN and Japan. We share the view on the need to strengthen cooperation in areas such as digital economy, innovation, capacity building, human resource development in the digital age. In this regard, we also acknowledged the importance of promoting cross-border transfer of information and data by electronic means to harness the opportunities in the digital economy, as well as to strengthening consumer and business trust while respecting both domestic and international legal frameworks. While Japan remained ASEAN’s fourth-largest trading partner and second-largest source of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in 2019 based on the statistics from the ASEAN Secretariat, we still recognised the need to further deepen and expand trade and investment relations, including through the implementation of the ASEAN-Japan Strategic Economic Cooperation Roadmap 2016-2025 and the ASEAN-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership (AJCEP) Agreement. We welcomed the entry into force of the First Protocol to Amend the AJCEP Agreement to incorporate the Chapters on Trade in Services, Movement of Natural Persons (MNP) and Investment into the AJCEP Agreement, on 1 August 2020, for Lao PDR, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, Viet Nam, and Japan, and on 1 October 2020 for Brunei Darussalam, and looked forward to the entry into force of the First Protocol for rest of the ASEAN Member States.
13. We also stressed the need for ASEAN and Japan to work together in mitigating the economic impact of COVID-19 and in promoting recovery. In this regard, we welcomed ASEAN-Japan Economic Ministers’ Joint Statement on Initiatives on Economic Resilience in Response to the Coronavirus Disease (COVID 19) Outbreak on 22 April 2020 and reaffirmed the commitment to maintaining regional trade and investments and ensuring an unimpeded regional supply chain and strengthening long-term economic resilience for ASEAN and Japan’s post-pandemic recovery. We also welcomed the adoption of the ASEAN-Japan Economic Resilience Action Plan (“Action Plan”) on 29 July 2020 by our Economic Ministers in order to translate the Joint Statement into concrete actions and the Dialogue for Innovative and Sustainable Growth (DISG), which comprises a series of webinars to enhance the steady implementation of the Action Plan through mobilising businesses and academia. We also affirmed the importance of enhancing cooperation with regional partners in building resilient supply chains. We welcomed the progress in regional financial cooperation, under the ASEAN+3 Finance process, including Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralisation (CMIM), ASEAN+3 Macroeconomic Research Office (AMRO), and Asian Bond Markets Initiative (ABMI). We acknowledged the on-going discussion between ASEAN and Japan on the future of the tourism cooperation as part of the development of the APT Tourism Cooperation Work Plan 2021 - 2025 and encouraged the tourism senior officials to develop strategic cooperation programmes, including innovative ways to revitalize the tourism sector in collaboration with all stakeholders including the private sector. We encouraged Japan to enhance its production capacity and industrial connectivity in the region as part of Japan's efforts to diversify overseas supply chain in ASEAN Member States.
14. We reaffirmed our commitment to supporting and maintaining a free, fair, open, transparent, inclusive, and rules-based multilateral trading system that promotes economic cooperation. We welcomed the conclusion and signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreement at the 4th RCEP Summit on 15 November 2020, which demonstrated our strong commitment to supporting economic recovery, inclusive development as well as our support for an open, inclusive, rules-based trade and investment arrangement.
15. We commended activities carried out by the AEM-METI Economic and Industrial Cooperation Committee (AMEICC), and the work of the ASEAN-Japan Innovation Network (AJIN), a private-sector led initiative that promote innovation across sectors and industries, including digital business platforms for MSMEs and emerging industries. We acknowledged the need to respect intellectual property in the promotion of innovation that can be used to tackle COVID-19 and likewise encouraged further cooperation through the Japan-ASEAN Heads of IP Offices Meeting. We commended the ASEAN-Japan Centre for its significant role in promoting trade, investment, and tourism, people-to-people exchanges between both sides. We welcomed the support of the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) in promoting our close economic partnership and Japan's contribution to the Institute.
16. ASEAN Leaders appreciated Japan’s continued support and looked forward to concrete cooperation to advance the implementation of the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC) 2025 and the Joint Statement of the 22nd ASEAN-Japan Summit on Connectivity in 2019, which recognized the importance of enhancing connectivity in the region and developing quality infrastructure in line with international standards, including openness, transparency, economic efficiency in view of lifecycle cost and debt sustainability. We looked forward to the launch of the Japan-ASEAN Connectivity Initiative which aims to strengthen ASEAN connectivity both in hard and soft infrastructure with focus on the ongoing 2 trillion yen worth of land, sea, and air corridor connectivity projects. We looked forward to the conclusion of a more liberal and mutually beneficial ASEAN-Japan Air Services Agreement with a view to enhancing air connectivity between Japan and ASEAN Member States. We welcomed the sound progress of various cooperation projects and activities under the ASEAN Japan Transport Partnership (AJTP) towards improved regional connectivity.
17. We welcomed the successful convening of the ASEAN Connectivity Coordinating Committee (ACCC) Consultations with Dialogue Partners and Other External Partners on Connectivity and the 11th ASEAN Connectivity Symposium on Enhancing ASEAN Cohesiveness, Responsiveness through Resilient Connectivity and Human Capital Development, with support from the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA), on 26 August 2020 and 28 August 2020, respectively.
18. ASEAN Leaders valued Japan’s support for the implementation of the IAI Work Plan III (2016-2020), as well as programmes to foster human resource development, and narrow the development gaps within ASEAN and enhance ASEAN’s competitiveness as a whole and looked forward to Japan’s continued support for the implementation of the IAI Work Plan IV (2021-2025). ASEAN Leaders welcomed Japan’s continued support for the Attachment Programme for Junior Diplomats of Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Viet Nam (CLMV) and Attachment of Officers from CLMV for AEC and ASCC Involvement, both at the ASEAN Secretariat.
19. We reiterated the importance of promoting sub-regional cooperation such as the Mekong-Japan cooperation framework and welcomed the outcome of the 13th Mekong-Japan Foreign Ministers’ Meeting held on 9 July 2020 and the 12th Mekong Japan Economic Ministers Meeting held on 27th August 2020 in order to support ASEAN’s efforts in narrowing the development gap, promoting sustainable and equitable development across the ASEAN Community including through aligning sub regional growth with the comprehensive development of ASEAN.
20. We welcomed Japan’s active and continued support for the ASEAN Smart Cities Network (ASCN), through facilitating partnerships between Japan and ASCN Cities by establishing the Japan Association for Smart Cities in ASEAN (JASCA). We welcomed Japan’s proposal to convene the second ASEAN-Japan Smart Cities Network High Level Meeting which aimed to support ASCN in promoting economic prosperity through sustainable urban development. We appreciated the technical assistance on “Development of ASEAN Common Qualification Scheme for Quality Control Experts” and “ASEAN Japan Partnership Program for Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) and Safety Conformity Assessment of Multimedia Equipment”.
21. We acknowledged the importance of realistic and pragmatic energy policy for achieving both goals: economic growth from COVID-19 pandemic and reducing emissions of greenhouse gas. We reconfirmed the importance of a stable supply of affordable and cleaner energy that supports economic activities and daily life, including through the utilisation of all energy sources and technologies.
22. We reaffirmed our commitment to strengthening cooperation in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. We welcomed the progress in the implementation of the ASEAN-Japan Environmental Cooperation Initiative which aims to promote cooperation in various areas of environmental protection including environmental education, sustainable cities, water resources management, chemicals and waste management, biodiversity through the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB), and climate change, particularly through the new ASEAN-Japan Climate Change Action Agenda. ASEAN Leaders expressed appreciation for Japan’s continued support for an environmentally-sustainable ASEAN through the ASEAN Japan Dialogue on Environmental Cooperation (AJDEC), the first ASEAN-Japan Ministerial Dialogue on Environmental Cooperation (AJMDEC), and for Japan’s commitment to strengthening its cooperation with ASEAN in addressing the issue of climate change through Japan’s support for the ongoing development of ASEAN State of Climate Change Report, and combating marine plastic debris through the ASEAN Plus Three Marine Plastics Debris Cooperative Action Initiative, which includes the establishment of the Regional Knowledge Centre for Marine Plastic Debris at the ERIA. ASEAN Leaders appreciated Japan’s support through the ASEAN-Japan Energy Efficiency Partnership, and welcomed Japan’s support for the ASEAN Centre for Sustainable Development Studies and Dialogue (ACSDSD). We also welcomed Japan’s contribution to the new capacity building project for farmers’ organizations to support the development of food value chain in ASEAN Countries.
23. We were encouraged by the progress made in our cooperation on promoting social welfare and development particularly that contributes to the implementation of the Kuala Lumpur Declaration on Ageing: Empowering Older Persons in ASEAN, the Regional Framework and Action Plan on Implementing the ASEAN Declaration on Strengthening Social Protection and the ASEAN Enabling Masterplan 2025: Mainstreaming the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. We commended the good progress made in the establishment of the ASEAN-Wide Research Network on Ageing, as well as the development of the Autism Mapping Project in ASEAN. We looked forward to more robust development cooperation in the broad area of promoting social protection for vulnerable populations in the region.
24. We underlined the need to further strengthen cooperation in disaster management and joint emergency response. ASEAN Leaders appreciated Japan’s continued support towards the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management (AHA Centre), including through the ASEAN Emergency Response and Assessment Team (ERAT), the Disaster Emergency Logistics System for ASEAN (DELSA) Project, and ICT Project aiming to establish an Integrated ICT System and the AHA Centre Executive (ACE) Programme for disaster management officials in ASEAN. ASEAN Leaders also appreciated Japan’s support through the Southeast Asia Disaster Risk Insurance Facility (SEADRIF).
25. We resolved to continue enhancing cooperation in healthcare, including through Universal Health Coverage. We noted with satisfaction the ongoing work to implement the ASEAN-Japan Health Initiative. We acknowledged efforts to strengthen healthcare and welfare system under the Asia Health and Wellbeing Initiative (AHWIN). ASEAN Leaders looked forward to Japan’s support for the ASEAN Centre for Active Ageing and Innovation (ACAI).
26. ASEAN Leaders welcomed Japan’s continued support for people-to-people, sports and cultural exchanges, through various programs including the Japan-East Asia Network of Exchange for Students and Youths (JENESYS), WA Project, Japan Asia Youth Exchange Program in Science (Sakura Science Plan), Sport for Tomorrow and the Ship for Southeast Asian and Japanese Youth Program (SSEAYP) and the exchanges through the ASEAN Council of Japan Alumni (ASCOJA). We decided to further promote cultural cooperation, including through the implementation of the ASEAN-Japan Work Plan on Cooperation in Culture and the Arts 2019-2021 and the ASEAN Cultural Heritage Digital Archive project. We appreciated the active efforts of the Japan Foundation Asia Center since 2014 to promote cultural sports and people-to-people exchanges between Japan and ASEAN Member States including through the project “Asia in Resonance 2019” and looked forward to the extension of this program in the coming years.
27. ASEAN Leaders appreciated Japan’s continued support for ASEAN’s development, including through its additional financial contribution to Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF). We looked forward to the effective implementation of the ASEAN-Japan Agreement on Technical Cooperation, which would further contribute to the ASEAN Community building efforts, and welcomed the implementation of projects on marine litter management, strategic port administration, and reliable logistics system.
28. We discussed international and regional issues of common interest and concern. We reaffirmed the importance of maintaining and promoting peace, security, stability, safety, and freedom of navigation in and overflight above the South China Sea. We underscored the importance of the full and effective implementation of the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) in its entirety. We encouraged the substantive negotiations towards the early conclusion of an effective and substantive Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC) consistent with international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS within a mutually agreed timeline. We also stressed the importance of undertaking confidence building and preventive measures as well as practical and mutually beneficial cooperation to enhance, among others, trust and confidence amongst parties. We noted the serious concerns expressed by some Leaders over recent developments in the South China Sea, including land reclamations, activities, and serious incidents in the South China Sea, which have eroded trust and confidence, increased tensions, and may undermine peace, security, and stability in the region. We reaffirmed the need to enhance mutual trust and confidence, exercise self-restraint in the conduct of activities that would complicate or escalate disputes and affect peace and stability and avoid actions that may further complicate the situation, as well as to pursue peaceful resolution of disputes in accordance with the universally recognised principles of international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS. We further reaffirmed the importance of upholding international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS which is the basis for determining maritime entitlements, sovereign rights, jurisdiction and legitimate interests over maritime zones, and sets out the legal framework within which all activities in the oceans and seas must be carried out. We emphasised the importance of non-militarisation and self-restraint in the conduct of all activities by claimants and all other states, including those mentioned in the DOC that could further complicate the situation and escalate tensions in the South China Sea.
29. We stressed the importance of continued peaceful dialogue amongst all concerned parties in order to realise lasting peace and stability in a denuclearised Korean Peninsula. We urged all concerned parties to resume peaceful dialogue and continue working constructively towards the realization of lasting peace and stability in a denuclearised Korean Peninsula, including through the full and expeditious implementation of the Panmunjom Declaration, the Pyongyang Joint Declaration and the Joint Statement by the US and DPRK leaders. We reiterated the importance of international efforts to achieve the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula and commitment to the full implementation of all relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions. We reiterated the importance of creating a conducive atmosphere for peaceful dialogue among concerned parties, including through utilising ASEAN-led platforms such as the ARF. We reiterated the importance of addressing humanitarian concerns of the international community, including the early resolution of the abductions issue.
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