The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) commits to enhancing its cooperation with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), a JICA representative told ASEAN Secretary-General Le Luong Minh on July 14.

At their meeting at the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta, Nakagawa Hiroaki, newly appointed Principal Representative for ASEAN Coordination of JICA, reiterated the Japanese Government’s support for enhancing JICA’s collaboration with ASEAN.

He underlined his agency’s willingness to promote bilateral cooperation in various areas such as trade, investment, infrastructure, education, and disaster management.

Hiroaki also said JICA is keen on working closer together with the ASEAN Secretariat in coordinating regional cooperation among the ASEAN member states through initiatives such as a pilot programme for narrowing the development gap.
For his part, Minh acknowledged the commitment and support by JICA for ASEAN integration and the bloc’s efforts to build an ASEAN Community, contributing to intensified relations between the two sides.

He said ASEAN looks forward to JICA’s continued cooperation and support as the association is moving towards realising the ASEAN Community by the end of 2015 and preparing for the ASEAN Community Post-2015 Vision.

Minh also affirmed the Secretariat’s readiness to continue collaborating closely with JICA.

He further emphasised the need to align JICA-ASEAN cooperation with the implementation of the Vision Statement on ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation and its implementation plan adopted in Tokyo in December 2013.-VNA