Delegations from Japan and five Mekong countries, namely Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Myanmar and Vietnam, gathered in Hanoi on March 31 for the fifth Mekong-Japan Senior Officials Meeting (SOM).

The meeting focused on the outcomes of the first meeting between Japan and the Mekong region countries which took place in Tokyo on November 6-7, 2009, and the discussions to implement the Tokyo Declaration and the Mekong-Japan Action Plan 63.

At the meeting, the Japanese delegation gave a presentation on the implementation of the Mekong-Japan Action Plan 63 and introduced the Green Mekong Decade initiative, which aims to build a Mekong sub-region that can be developed sustainably.

Meanwhile, the Vietnamese delegation gave an in-depth presentation of Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung’s initiatives on the Mekong-Japan vocational training centre and a project to effectively and sustainably manage and utilise the Mekong rivers water sources.

The fifth Mekong-Japan SOM also recognised the new developments in the working relationship between Japan and the Mekong region countries and reached a consensus on more ways to further enhance cooperation mechanisms.

Those attending the meeting also agreed to hold the third ministerial conference and the second summit meeting between Japan and the Mekong region countries on the sidelines of ASEAN conferences in Vietnam later this year./.