Participants at the event (Photo: VNA)

Bangkok (VNA) – Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh and Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono co-chaired the ASEAN-Japan Ministerial Meeting in Bangkok on August 1, within the framework of the ongoing 52nd ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM-52) and related meetings.

As a representative of the coordinating country of the ASEAN-Japan relations in the 2018-2021 period, Minh recognised the growth of ties between the two sides over the past 45 years with stronger mutual trust and understanding.

He welcomed the progress in the strategic partnership and comprehensive cooperation between the ASEAN and Japan over the years in key pillars, including the adoption of a joint statement released at the 21st ASEAN-Japan Summit commemorating the 45th founding anniversary of partnership, which reaffirmed their strong commitments to promoting their comprehensive and cooperative partnership.

Participating ministers spoke highly of the support and effective cooperation that Japan has given to the ASEAN, and lauded the coordination role of Vietnam.

Minh and other ASEAN ministers proposed a number of cooperation orientations between the association and Japan in the future, including strengthening collaboration and connection at ASEAN-chaired forums, contributing to dialogue promoting and trust building, upholding international law as well as building and respecting common code of conducts, and effectively coping with challenges facing peace, security and stability in the region.

The two sides will enhance their economic-trade-investment affiliation, soon concluding the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), while expanding cooperation in connectivity, innovation and Industry 4.0 adaptation.

They will strengthen cultural exchange and people-to-people connection as well as cooperation areas benefiting the people such as climate change adaptation, care for the elderly, and sustainable environmental development.

Japanese FM Taro Kono affirmed that ASEAN is one of the focuses in Japan’s external policies, highlighting the country’s commitment to promoting the practical, effective and comprehensive partnership with the ASEAN.

Japan lauded the ASEAN’s approval of the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific, he said, expressing his hope that the bloc will promote cooperation in line with the ASEAN principles and Japan’s Indo-Pacific Strategy over areas of mutual interest such as maritime, sustainable development, infrastructure expansion and connection, smart city, and climate change response.

Regarding regional and global issues, the two sides recognised progress in negotiations for a Code of Conduct (COC) in the East Sea, while sharing deep concern over the complicated developments at sea, especially the militarization and unilateral activities complicating the situation and eroding trust, negatively affecting peace, stability and security in the region.

Both sides affirmed the significance of maintaining peace, stability, maritime and aviation safety, security and freedom in regional seas, including the East Sea, and stressed that any dispute must be solved by peaceful measures in line with international law, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 (UNCLOS 1982).

They underscored the need to fully implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and encourage efforts to build the effective COC.

Minh lauded the constructive and positive voice of Japan over the matters related to peace, security and stability in the region, expressing his hope that Japan will continue supporting the stance of ASEAN on the East Sea, contributing to building a sea of peace, stability, cooperation and development.-VNA