Japan acknowledges the crucial and central role of the Association of Southeast Nations (ASEAN) in the region as well as in the forming East Asian structure, a Japanese parliamentarian told ASEAN Secretary General Le Luong Minh.

Akira Matsu, a member of the House of Councillors – the upper house of the Japanese parliament, visited the ASEAN Secretariat and met with Minh in Jakarta on May 6 during her visit to Indonesia .

Matsu, who leads a delegation of officials from the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and private sector representatives, reiterated Japan’s commitment to continue its support of ASEAN in the process of regional connectivity and integration through various programmes, including the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA).

Secretary General Minh said the ASEAN-Japan dialogue relations have flourished over the past 40 years, adding that there are great potentials and opportunities for the two sides to boost the relations.

Minh said ASEAN is looking forwards the ASEAN-Japan Commemorative Summit at the end of this year which marks the 40th anniversary of bilateral ties between the two sides.

He expressed his belief that the two sides will put forth new initiatives to further expand and deepen ASEAN-Japan relations-VNA