Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Photo: AFP/VNA)

Jakarta (VNA) – Japan is considered an important partner of ASEAN member countries, Indonesian President Joko Widodo said at the 19th ASEAN- Japan Summit opened in Laos.

The President stressed the partnership between ASEAN and Japan has been proved over the past four decades, thus contributing to peace, stability and common interests in the region.

He described the long partnership as a main pillar to help the two sides continue deepening cooperation in order to ensure that people reap benefits. He reckoned the two sides should bolster collaboration in the fields of navigation and manpower in the future.

He went on to say that in the maritime sector, ASEAN and Japan are connected through strategic waters having high economic values, hence maritime connectivity in the region will lead to a more connected and integrated region, making it conducive for economic growth.

Meanwhile, manpower cooperation will actively promote the relationship between ASEAN and Japan, he stressed.

President Widodo said ASEAN and Japan need to push for collaboration, to increase the quality of education, including vocational training, technical training, business management and technological development as well as student exchange programmes.-VNA