Cooperation between ASEAN and East Asian nations is key to COVID-19 combat hinh anh 1Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe addresses the opening ceremony of the online Special ASEAN Plus Three Summit on COVID-19 Response. (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) -
Cooperation between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and East Asian countries is the key to containing and putting an end to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told the press on April 14.

Abe made the statement after attending the online Special ASEAN Plus Three Summit on COVID-19 Response chaired by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc of Vietnam, which holds the ASEAN Chairmanship 2020.

The Japanese PM highlighted the need to keep trade routes open, especially for medical supplies and important goods, despite the global pandemic, saying any measures taken by countries should be in line with the World Trade Organisation (WTO)’s regulations.

He also proposed the establishment of an ASEAN centre for infectious diseases, which would be financed by the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund.

Founded in 1967, ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

The Special ASEAN Plus Three Summit on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) via video conference took place on April 14, with the participation of leaders from 10 ASEAN member states and their counterparts from China, the Republic of Korea, and Japan./.