Tokyo, 27 October 2021 (TDI): The Japanese Prime Minister, Kishida Fumio attended the 16th East Asia Summit (EAS), today. The summit was held virtually and chaired by Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, the ruler of Brunei Darussalam.
FREE AND OPEN INDO-PACIFIC
Prime Minister Kishida, in his remarks, reiterated his pledge for a “free and open Indo-Pacific.” He said that he will work with EAS Leaders. ASEAN has exercised its centrality and unity to issue the “ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP)“. Japan endorses such ventures for regional stability.
COUNTERMEASURES AGAINST COVID-19
Japan will continue to support countermeasures against Covid-19. The Japanese Prime Minister said that he will ensure equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines and a resilient healthcare system. Furthermore, Japan will assist in the establishment of the ASEAN Centre for Public Health. The center will deal with emergencies and emerging Diseases.
ASEAN OUTLOOK ON INDO-PACIFIC
Whilst addressing the Summit, he expressed Japan’s commitment to the AOIP. AOIP is the embodiment of transparency, inclusiveness, openness, and the rule of law. It shares the central ideology of the “Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP).”
He said it’s in the interest of Japan to make the Indo-Pacific a free and open sea. Other participants of the Summit also supported the notion of free navigation. Adherence to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea is paramount.
Furthermore, the Japanese Prime Minister emphasized his country’s stance on denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
On Myanmar, he appreciated the efforts taken by Brunei and other ASEAN members. The government of Japan strongly urges the cessation of violence in Myanmar. It is imperative for the situation to be neutralized via the implementation of the “Five-Point Consensus.” Moreover, humanitarian assistance should be provided to Myanmar.
COOPERATION THROUGH EAS
Lastly, Prime Minister Kishida concluded by stating that EAS is an important platform to discuss regional political-security issues. Hence, Japan will continue to advance cooperation through such fora and the EAS.