Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (fifth, left) and his counterparts from the ASEAN at the Japan-ASEAN summit in Manila (Source: AFP)

Hanoi (VNA) - The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) needs to lead the pursuit of a “free and open” order, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his counterparts from the ASEAN attended the annual Japan-ASEAN summit in Manila, the Philippines, on November 13.

Abe also pledged to provide 484 million USD to help the bloc’s enforcement of law on the sea in the next three years.

Later on November 13, the Japanese PM and the leaders of the Mekong nations of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam met to discuss Japan’s ongoing contributions to the development of the region.

According to the Japanese Foreign Minister, leaders of the Mekong nations voiced their support for initiatives on improving the regional connectivity, as part of the “India – Pacific free and open.”-VNA