Japan will keep the commitment to helping ASEAN Connectivity programmes despite its own difficulties.

Japanese Foreign Affairs Ministry assistant press secretary Masaru Sato was quoted by the ASEAN Secretariat on Nov. 21 as affirming that the country will take part in the 8 trillion USD ASEAN Connectivity projects.

According to Sato, in fund post-earthquake recovery effort and huge public debts, the Japanese government plans to increase consumption tax from 5 to 10 percent, and cut public servants’ salaries by 10 percent.

The government planned to submit a bill on a consumption tax increase by the end of the fiscal year, he said.

ASEAN declared the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity in Hanoi last year, which is a set of connectivity programmes that will enhance trade, investment, tourism, infrastructure, people-to-people exchanges and development among member countries to fulfill its target of building an ASEAN Community in 2015.

Apart from Japan , dialogue partners, including China , the US and Russia have also expressed their interest in ASEAN Connectivity projects.

ASEAN Connectivity projects include development of railways, toll roads, seaports, airports, power plants and information and communication technology systems./.