ASEAN Plus Three Summit: Japan’s PM vows to 'double' investment to ASEAN

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged Monday (Nov 4) to "double" investment and loans to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to spur development in the region.

asean plus three summit japans pm vows to double investment to asean

Leaders at the 22nd ASEAN Plus Three Summit in Bangkok on November 4. Photo: VNA

In the 22nd ASEAN Plus Three (China, Japan and the Republic of Korea) Summit in Bangkok, Thailand, on Nov 4 as part of the ongoing 35th ASEAN Summit and related summits, Abe said Japan is ready to boost financial assistance through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in key areas such as infrastructure building, women's empowerment and the environment, the government said.

On security, Abe expressed Tokyo's "grave concern" about the current situation in the East Sea, in a veiled criticism of Beijing's militarization of disputed areas in the waters, and stressed the need to improve the worsening situation there.

Abe also vowed to coordinate with ASEAN in realizing a "free and open" Indo-Pacific, a concept designed to promote stability and prosperity in areas between Asia and Africa in accordance with principles such as the rule of law and the freedom of navigation.

The Japan PM urged his ASEAN peers to continue to rein in North Korea, which has recently resumed its projectile launches amid stalled denuclearization negotiations with the United States.

He called for cooperation with ASEAN in settling the long-standing issue of past abductions of Japanese nationals by the North, saying, "I am determined to face Chairman Kim Jong Un without conditions."

Build a website of ASEAN Plus Three

At the event, the leaders affirmed the importance of the ASEAN Plus Three to peace, stability and prosperity in the region based on the principles of mutual trust, respect and sharing of common benefits.

The ASEAN Plus Three countries, with 2.2 billion people and one-fourth of the world GDP, are cooperating in 22 areas and within 65 mechanisms.

The leaders expressed their pleasure at ASEAN Plus Three collaboration outcomes, especially in implementing the action plan for the 2018-2022 period.

Trade revenue between the ASEAN and the three partners reached 869.1 billion USD in 2018, accounting for 31 percent of the bloc’s total trade in the year, and representing a year-on-year rise of 6.8 percent, they noted.

They agreed on the need to continue strengthening cooperation to make more contributions to the global economic growth.

They concurred to support the open, transparent, inclusive and law-based multilateral system as well as efforts to conclude negotiations for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), while strengthening affiliation in various areas including agro-forestry-fisheries, health care, social security, climate change, natural disaster and communicable disease management, economy, connectivity and macro-economy.

At the end of the meeting, the leaders adopted a ASEAN Plus Three Leaders’ Statement on Connecting the Connectivities Initiative, and agreed to build a website of the ASEAN Plus Three./.

VNF/Kyodo/VNA

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