The ASEAN Secretariat highlighted the success of the ASEAN delegation’s visit to Japan, considering it an important landmark in promoting the ASEAN-Japan cooperation, one of the most important and dynamic bilateral relationship of ASEAN in its press release on April 30.

According to the Secretariat’s press release on April 30, the ASEAN delegation, led by ASEAN Secretary General Surin Pitsuwan and President of the ASEAN Economic Community and Cambodian Trade Minister Cham Prasidh paid a visit to Japan from April 25-28 to boost bilateral cooperation.

At a reception given to the delegation in Tokyo , Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda affirmed Japan will continue assisting efforts to build the ASEAN Community and the bloc’s central role in the emerging regional architecture through regional comprehensive economic partnership (RCEP).

Noda said he hopes the two sides will soon negotiate the RCEP.

He said Japan will beep up cooperation with ASEAN in solving important issues during the bloc’s economic integration and in the development of small and medium-sized enterprises and completing the 10-year ASEAN-Japan strategic economic itinerary to be adopted at the 18 th AEM-METI slated for August, 2012 in Siem Reap , Cambodia .

For his part, ASEAN Secretary General Pitsuwan spoke highly of Japan ’s goodwill and assistance to ASEAN.

During their four-day stay, the ASEAN delegation held working sessions with Japan ’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, parliament, business federation and Chamber of Commerce and Industry. They also attended the conference on relief aid and natural disaster mitigation, an investment forum and a seminar on free trade agreement and visited sea ports, SMEs and education establishments in Sendai and Tokyo.-VNA