Leaders of member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Japan issued a joint statement on the occasion of their summit in Tokyo on December 14 to commemorate the 40th anniversary of ASEAN-Japan dialogue relations.

The following is the full text of the Joint Statement:
“Hand in hand, facing regional and global challenges”

1. We, the Heads of State/Government of the Member States of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Japan , gathered in Tokyo , on 14 December 2013 at the ASEAN-Japan Commemorative Summit to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of ASEAN-Japan relations. The Summit was attended by Heads of State/Government of ASEAN Member States and H.E. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan.

2. We recognised the important role that ASEAN and Japan could play to address regional and global challenges and exchanged our views on issues of common interests.

Regional Issues

3. Regional Architecture: We recognised the need to further strengthen regional cooperation frameworks for peace, stability and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region and stressed the importance of ASEAN’s centrality in the evolving regional architecture through the various ASEAN-led processes, including the ASEAN Plus Three (APT), the East Asia Summit (EAS), the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) and the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM)-Plus, all of which Japan has been an important part. We emphasised the role of the EAS as a Leaders-led forum for dialogue and cooperation on issues of strategic importance to the region, including political, security, economic and development issues so as to further promote peace, stability, economic prosperity and integration in East Asia.

4. Maritime Security and Cooperation: We underscored the importance of maintaining peace, stability and prosperity in the region and promoting maritime security and safety, freedom of navigation, unimpeded commerce, exercise of self-restraint and resolution of disputes by peaceful means in accordance with universally recognised principles of international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

We resolved to enhance maritime security and safety cooperation, such as information sharing and capacity building including through the ASEAN Regional Forum and the Expanded ASEAN Maritime Forum. The ASEAN Leaders also appreciated Japan ’s initiatives and active participation in the efforts to fostering the dialogue with ASEAN Member States on maritime issues. Japan welcomed the official consultations between ASEAN and China on the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea .

5. Free and safe maritime navigation and aviation: Recognising the benefits of enhanced connectivity between ASEAN and Japan , we agreed to strengthen cooperation on air and maritime linkages. We also agreed to enhance cooperation in ensuring the freedom of overflight and civil aviation safety in accordance with the universally recognised principles of international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS, and the relevant standards and recommended practices by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

6. Korean Peninsula : We stressed the need to maintain peace, security and stability on the Korean Peninsula and called for the denuclearisation of the Peninsula through peaceful dialogue including creating the conditions for the resumption of the Six Party Talks. We reaffirmed our commitments to fully implement the relevant United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolutions to this end. We encouraged the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to fully comply with its obligations under all relevant UNSC Resolutions and commitments under the 19 September 2005 Joint Statement of the Six Party Talks. We also emphasised the importance of addressing humanitarian concerns of the international community, including the abductions issue.

Global Issues

7. Global Economy: We renewed our determination to continue our contribution to the strong, sustainable, inclusive and balanced growth of the world economy. We expressed our strong expectations that a revitalisation of the Japanese economy would greatly benefit the regional and global economy. Prime Minister Abe commended ASEAN’s economic integration efforts. We underscored the importance of efforts to achieve economic growth, address fiscal problems, and eliminate protectionism, among other challenges.

In this regard, we welcomed the substantial conclusion of the negotiations on the Services and Investment Chapters of the ASEAN-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership (AJCEP) Agreement, and will also continue to enhance our regional economic partnerships such as well as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) in order to enhance the welfare and livelihoods of the people of ASEAN and Japan . Recognising the importance of a strong multilateral trading system (MTS) in safeguarding global trade expansion that serves as a source of economic development, job creation and sustainable development, we also welcomed the outcomes of the 9th WTO Ministerial Conference in Bali and call on its members to keep up their efforts to strengthen the MTS.

8. A Society in which all women shine: We recognised the importance of promoting gender equality and women empowerment that would foster women’s role as a development driver and improve their share to development gain. In the end, efforts to eliminate gender disparities would result in tremendous social improvements and lead to equitable and inclusive growth for all. Therefore, we welcomed Japan ’s initiative to create “a society in which all women shine”, as announced by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the United Nations General Assembly in September 2013.

9. Societal Issues: We resolved to share experiences and lessons, and strengthen cooperation on societal issues emerging as common challenges, such as demographic challenges and their impacts on social welfare and employment, as well as problems caused by urbanisation.

10. Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), post-2015 development agenda: We underlined the importance of accelerating the progress on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and formulating post-2015 development agenda. In this regard, we welcomed the vision to end extreme poverty in the context of sustainable development and promote issues such as disaster risk reduction and universal health coverage, within the framework of renewed global partnership. In this regard, we supported ASEAN’s decision to develop an ASEAN Community Post-2015 Vision.

11. Climate Change: We emphasised that climate change is a common challenge for regional and international community. We reaffirmed our goal of agreeing on the fair and effective framework under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC). We recognised the importance of enhancing our cooperation in the field of climate change, including the exchange of personnel, knowledge sharing, and transfer of environmentally-friendly technology as important tools for achieving low carbon growth in the region and in this regard, noted the Joint Crediting Mechanism (JCM) promoted by Japan.

12. Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief: We recognised the need to enhance the capacities of the region to be more resilient and self-reliant in mitigating the impact of disasters and reaffirmed the importance and urgency of enhancing cooperation in disaster management. We welcomed activities such as the ADMM-Plus Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief and Military Medicine Exercise (ADMM-Plus HADR & MM Ex) held in Brunei Darussalam on 17-20 June 2013, as a landmark cooperation among the defence forces of the ADMM-Plus countries. In this regard, ASEAN welcomed Japan ’s interest in this area of cooperation and noted its offer to host an informal meeting between ASE AN and Japan involving ministers in charge of defence matters to discuss this issue and other non-traditional security challenges.

13. Sustainable utilisation and management of water and natural resources and environmental protection: We stressed the importance of the sustainable development, namely the crucial link between sustainable use and management of our scarce natural and water resources and the environmental protection. In this regard, we emphasised the need to work closely in addressing these issues in order to serve the interest of both ASEAN and Japan and demonstrate the common responsibility to the international community, and in ensuring sustainable development in the ASEAN region in order to reach the objectives of the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community Blueprint, including to the realisation of the MDGs, and the fight against the Global Warming in the region.

14. Transnational Threats: We underscored the importance of collaboration in addressing transnational threats such as terrorism and transnational organised crimes including trafficking in persons, drug trafficking. We resolved to strengthen regional cooperation in enhancing capabilities to counter these transnational threats.

15. Middle East : We reaffirmed that ASEAN and Japan would continue positive contributions toward peace and stability in the Middle East . We expressed our concern over the continued conflict in Syria , and call for immediate cessation of violence, initiation of inclusive political dialogue and timely delivery of humanitarian assistance. With regard to the Middle East Peace Process, we supported the ongoing talks between both sides and appreciated the efforts of the relevant countries to help in Palestinian state-building efforts at the Conference on Cooperation among East Asian Countries for Palestinian Development (CEAPAD).

16. The United Nations Reform: We reaffirmed the urgent need for the United Nations reform, including that of the Security Council. We reaffirmed our determination to work closely with other member states and relevant UN agencies to achieve this endeavour.

17. Japan ’s Proactive Contribution to Peace: We reaffirmed our commitment for the maintenance of peace, stability and prosperity in our region. In this regard, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe elaborated his security policy to proactively contribute even further to the peace and stability of the region and the international community from the perspective of “Proactive Contribution to Peace” based on Japan ’s long-standing principle of international cooperation. The ASEAN Leaders looked forward to Japan ’s efforts in contributing constructively to peace, stability, and development in the region./.