Tokyo (VNA) – Japan highly valued the "ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific” (AOIP), which upholds values such as openness, transparency, inclusiveness, and the rule of law, stated Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida at the 16th East Asia Summit (EAS),  held via video conference on October 27.

The Japanese leader said that he was encouraged that ASEAN had exercised its centrality and unity and made its own guidance clear by issuing the AOIP at the time when the rule-based order is being shaken and regional instabilities have become apparent.

He reiterated full support for the AOIP, which shares the fundamental principles with the "Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP)." He said that Japan and ASEAN were currently advancing concrete cooperation, based on the ASEAN-Japan Joint Statement of AOIP Cooperation, which contribute to the principles of the AOIP, and that Japan had just issued a Progress Report on 73 concrete cooperation projects.

He said Japan strongly opposes activities that violate Japan's sovereignty in the East China Sea, actions that are against the rule of law, and other activities that raise tensions. He stated that the Code of Conduct (COC) in the East Sea should be in line with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and should respect the rights and legitimate interests of all stakeholders using the waters. 

Over the Korean Peninsula matter, PM Kishida stated that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) launched ballistic missiles this month and that the peace and security of the region and the international community are under threat.

He also stated that the full implementation of the United Nations Security Council resolutions, including "ship-to-ship transfer" measures, is essential to achieve the complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantlement (CVID) of all weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles of all ranges of the DPRK.

On the COVID-19 pandemic, the Japanese leader expressed his intention to continue to enhance cooperation toward the realization of fair and equitable access to effective, safe and high-quality vaccines and the establishment of a robust and inclusive healthcare system, through assistance such as the provision of vaccines to ASEAN countries, "Last One Mile Support," and support for the establishment of the ASEAN Centre for Public Health Emergencies and Emerging Diseases (ACPHEED)./.