ASEAN Secretary-General Lim Jock Hoi (left) and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan Taro Kono at the signing ceremony (Photo: VNA)

Jakarta (VNA) – An ASEAN – Japan agreement on technical cooperation was signed in Tokyo on May 13, the first of its kind sealed between the bloc and its dialogue partner.

Signed by ASEAN Secretary-General Lim Jock Hoi and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan Taro Kono, the pact sets out a legal framework for the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to offer direct assistance to ASEAN as an international organisation.

Accordingly, JICA will provide ASEAN with technical training, equipment and machines, while sending experts to ASEAN facilities, including the secretariat and a number of educational establishments and research institutes.

Under the agreement, which is valid for five years, cooperation programmes will be carried out across ASEAN member states in contribution to overall socio-economic development of the bloc.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) comprises Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam.

Vietnam is the current coordinator of ASEAN-Japan relations, with its tenure lasting from August 2018 to August 2021.-VNA