The leaders of Japan and five Southeast Asian countries lying along the Mekong River sub-region plan to craft a new strategy with Tokyo’s greater contributions to the sub-region’s sustainable development beyond 2015, said Japanese senior Vice Foreign Minister Minoru Kiuchi in Tokyo on February 19.

The five Mekong sub-regional countries include Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Speaking at the Forum for the Promotion of Public-Private Cooperation in the Mekong Region, Kiuchi said the leaders will assemble in July to draw up a new strategy that will succeed the “Tokyo Strategy 2012 for Mekong-Japan Cooperation” for further development of Japan and the Mekong region as they are about to enter a new stage of cooperation.

He affirmed that Japan will continue to reinforce the objective of building a well-developed infrastructure to promote the sustainable development of the Mekong region.

The leaders are expected to approve the new strategy at the Japan-Mekong summit slated for July 4 in Tokyo ahead of the planned launch of the ASEAN Economic Community at the end of this year.

In the “Tokyo Strategy 2012 for Mekong-Japan Cooperation”, Japan pledged an assistance of 600 billion JPY (6 billion USD) to the Mekong region, with over 500 billion JPY going to infrastructure construction and other development projects.-VNA