Asean praises Japanese diplomacy
James Kon in Tokyo, Japan

HIS Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam yesterday lauded both Asean and Japan for having a meeting of minds on how they can further consolidate East Asian Cooperation and chart the way forward in both relations to face future challenges in the region which include, ensuring sustained economic growth, rules based trade, freer market access, deepening political and security cooperation and strengthening people-to-people ties.

His Majesty as the Chairman of Asean 2013 consented to hold a joint press conference for the Asean-Japan Commemorative Summit at the Kacho-no-ma, Geihinkan, Tokyo, Japan together with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

On behalf of Asean, His Majesty expressed his deep appreciation to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for convening the Commemorative Summit to celebrate 40 years of Asean-Japan relations.

Asean values Prime Minister Shinzo Abeís personal contribution in further strengthening Asean-Japan Cooperation and very much appreciates the tireless efforts in promoting the good relations between Asean and Japan as shown by his visits to all ten Asean countries within the last 12 months. He is the first Prime Minister of Japan to do so.

His Majesty underscored the importance Asean attaches to this strategic and enduring relationship which has made much progress over the last 40 years. Asean is most grateful for Japanís unwavering contribution and support to the regionís economic development and achievements. Japan has been at the forefront of many regional initiatives which have contributed to the peace, prosperity and current dynamism of the Asia-Pacific.

His Majesty said that Asean welcomes the ďFive PrinciplesĒ of Japanís Asean Diplomacy, in particular, the continued exchanges amongst the youths which will certainly further advance the Asean-Japan relationship. Asean and Japan have a very close partnership in which they can count on each otherís support and friendship.

Secondly, His Majesty highlighted that Asean and Japan have had very good discussions covering important aspects of Asean-Japan relations which include strengthening the Asean-Japan relationship in contributing to the Asian century as an engine of growth, particularly through closer economic and trade cooperation.

Both Asean and Japan have had a meeting of minds on how Asean and Japan can further consolidate East Asian Cooperation and chart the way forward in both relations to face future challenges in the region, these include, ensuring sustained economic growth, rules based trade, freer market access, deepening political and security cooperation and strengthening people-to-people ties. In this regard, the Vision Statement, which has been adopted showed the determination of Asean and Japan to bring relationship and cooperation to a higher level in order to effectively respond to the challenges of the 21st Century.

His Majesty said that Asean has also agreed on the importance of consolidating the friendship and partnership with Japan, which is regarded as the bedrock for peace, progress and development in the region.

His Majesty expressed gratitude to the Prime Minister of Japan, as well as the government and people of Japan for hosting the historic Commemorative Summit.

His Majesty looks forward to many more years of close friendship and successful cooperation, and wished the Prime Minister and the people of Japan much happiness and prosperity in the new year.

Earlier, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, in his remarks at the joint press conference, expressed his appreciation to His Majesty for co-chairing the meeting that have successfully discussed a way forward for Asean-Japan cooperation and Asean-Japan relationship in the world context.

Accompanying His Majesty were Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Setia Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Abdul Rahman bin Haji Ibrahim, Minister of Finance II at the Prime Ministerís Office; Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Dewa Dato Seri Setia Lim Jock Seng, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade II; and Pehin Datu Singamanteri Colonel (Rtd) Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Awang Haji Mohammad Yasmin bin Haji Umar, Minister of Energy at the Prime Ministerís Office; and other senior government officers. - Borneo Bulletin (15 December 2013)


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