Economic ministers from Japan and member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) held a meeting in Tokyo on April 28 to explore ways to deepen their cooperation to encourage trade and investment in the region.

Attending the meeting were Japanese Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Yukio Edano, Cambodian Commerce Minister Cham Prasidh, Thai Commerce Minister Boonsong Teriyapirom and ASEAN Secretary General Surin Pitsuwan.

During the meeting, participants discussed how they can cooperate to launch negotiations on the proposed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) to encourage trade and investment in East Asia .

Ministers also took the opportunity to make necessary preparations for setting up a 10-year road map for the region's strategic growth at the next meeting in Cambodia in August.

Other issues on the meeting’s agenda included measures to prevent natural disasters as well as the creation of a network to share information to minimize effects and damages caused by disasters.

The Japan-ASEAN ministerial meeting was held on the last day of a four-day tour to Japan by ASEAN ministers, which included a visit to Sendai, a northeastern Japanese city badly affected by the March 2011 quake-tsunami disaster.-VNA