Jakarta, 7 September 2023 (TDI): The 26th ASEAN Plus Three (Japan-China-Republic of Korea) Summit convened in Jakarta, Indonesia, marking a significant moment of collaboration among regional leaders.

The summit, which lasted approximately 80 minutes and commenced at on September 6, welcomed the presence of Prime Minister of Japan Kishida Fumio.

The summit began with Prime Minister Kishida underlining the paramount importance of upholding and strengthening the free and open international order grounded in the rule of law, an imperative for maintaining the Indo-Pacific region as an “Epicentrum of Growth.”

During his address, Prime Minister Kishida delineated Japan’s pivotal initiatives, reaffirming Japan’s unwavering support for ASEAN centrality and unity, and the mainstreaming of the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP).

During the summit, there was active engagement in discussions aimed at swiftly establishing a rapid financing facility to enhance the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralization (CMIM).

Furthermore, emergency support was extended through the ASEAN+3 Emergency Rice Reserve (APTERR) to address critical needs in the region.

In response to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Prime Minister Kishida mentioned that Japan committed 3.3 billion US dollars in emergency financial support loans to facilitate recovery efforts.

In the realm of maritime cooperation, Japan pledged support for the training of Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) operators and the implementation of measures to combat marine plastic debris.

Additionally, Japan introduced the Japan-ASEAN Comprehensive Connectivity Initiative, designed to bolster both hard and soft aspects of connectivity in the region.

In pursuit of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Japan offered support for various initiatives, including contributions to APTERR, efforts to strengthen the ASEAN Food Security Information System (AFSIS), and the launch of the “Japan-ASEAN MIDORI Cooperation Plan” aimed at building a resilient and sustainable agriculture and food system.

In the domain of economy and finance, Japan is committed to contributing to the enhancement of financial resilience against disaster risks, the development of Asian bond markets, and active participation in discussions concerning financial digitalization within the region.

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Other participating countries also articulated their priority areas of cooperation, including post-pandemic economic recovery, health, food security, financial cooperation, and the digital economy.

In addition to regional challenges, Prime Minister Kishida expressed deep concern over North Korea’s intensified nuclear and missile activities.

Prime Minister Kishida called for the international community’s unity in fully implementing UN Security Council Resolutions (UNSCRs) to achieve the complete, verifiable, and irreversible dismantlement (CVID) of all North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles.

He also urged continued cooperation to resolve the abductions issue. Concerns about the situation in Myanmar and the importance of denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula were also discussed.

Regarding the discharge of ALPS-treated water into the sea, Prime Minister Kishida reassured the international community that Japan adhered to international standards and practices, with negligible radiation impact on humans and the environment according to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Comprehensive Report.

Prime Minister of Japan Addresses 26th ASEAN Plus Three Summit
26th ASEAN Plus Three Summit

He highlighted Japan’s prompt and highly transparent release of monitored data and emphasized the reliability of this data, open to objective confirmation by the IAEA and third-country analytical institutions.

Prime Minister Kishida called for actions based on scientific evidence and dissemination of accurate information, pledging continued collaboration with the IAEA and transparent communication with the international community.

In closing, Prime Minister Kishida expressed an unwavering commitment to strengthening ASEAN+3 cooperation, with the goal of having ASEAN lead efforts to uphold and reinforce the free and open international order based on the rule of law.