23rd ASEAN-Japan Summit

At the 23rd ASEAN-Japan Summit, His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam in a titah acknowledge Japan's close and supportive relationship with ASEAN, where both sides have progressed their work together with renewed commitment despite challenges. His Majesty appreciates Japan's contributions to establish the ASEAN Centre for Public Health Emergencies and Emerging Diseases, whereby the Centre will greatly improve the region's preparedness for any future health crisis. Central to this, ASEAN and Japan are encouraged to also focus on building a more resilient economy by ensuring that people can adjust to the changes from the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

In view of Japan's expertise in technology and innovation, His Majesty welcomes cooperation in various areas such as automation and digital technology that would help to develop a workforce that is skilled and prepared for the future. In emphasising the importance to build greater trust and understanding, so that ASEAN and Japan can better address complex challenges in a rapidly changing geo-political landscape, His Majesty values Japan's continued support for ASEAN Centrality and ASEAN-led processes.

Earlier, His Excellency the ASEAN Chairman in his remarks spoke about the pressing need for ASEAN-Japan to expand cohesive cooperation including to combat COVID-19 and mitigate its impacts. In addition, joint activities have been held to show close partnership between ASEAN and Japan.

Meanwhile, His Excellency Yoshihide Suga, Prime Minister of Japan said that Japan will work hand in hand with ASEAN to accomplish a free, open and more prosperous Indo-Pacific. Japan is ready to build economic resilience into supply chains and advancing the use of digital technology. Along with fundamental principles of cooperation such as maritime cooperation, achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, connectivity, and the environment, the Prime Minister also spoke about Japan's support to ASEAN initiatives towards fulfilling the Paris Agreement.

His Excellency the Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, as country coordinator for ASEAN-Japan Dialogue Relations delivered the ASEAN Common Statement which welcomed Japan's contribution to regional joint efforts to ASEAN-led frameworks towards the maintenance of peace and security. Sustainable market access for trade and investment is encouraged, as well as continued commitment to multilateral trade. In tackling the COVID-19 impact, ASEAN hopes to receive Japan's active support in enhancing the region's healthcare capacity as well as public health systems.

At the Summit, the leaders also talked about Japan's support towards regional recovery and development including to address emerging health crisis; welcomed Japan's support to further enhance capacity for production and trade, as well as developing digital infrastructure; creating collaboration between the industry and academia in ASEAN and Japan; and continue to prioritise people-to-people exchanges.

At the end of the Summit, the ASEAN and Japan Leaders witnessed the launching of the ASEAN Regional Center on Public Health Emergencies and Emerging Diseases, of which Japan contributed 50 million US Dollars, through Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund, JAIF to support the Center's establishment, which will further support ASEAN's capabilities and efforts in countering future threats of public health emergencies in the region.

Source: Radio Television Brunei