ASEAN-JAPAN MINISTERIAL MEETING
via Video Conference, 9 September 2020
Thank you, Mr Chairman.
Motegi-san... welcome to your first official ASEAN meeting. Welcome to the ASEAN Family.
First, allow me to begin by expressing our appreciation to His Excellency Prime Minister Shinzo Abe… for his important role…
During the evacuation of the Indonesian nationals from Yokohama
The pandemic has hit both ASEAN and Japan’s economy hard… even harder than the Asian Financial Crisis.
There is no other option for us but to work together… to address the pandemic and recover our economies.
I welcome the adoption of the ASEAN – Japan Economic Resilience Action Plan…which sets out concrete measures in mitigating the adverse impact of Covid-19 on the economy.
Today… our task is to turn this plan into reality.
Japan is the ASEAN’s second largest investor… It is also ASEAN’s fourth largest trading partner. Our businesses linkages and regional supply chain are highly interdependent.
Therefore… ensuring continuity of business interactions will be crucial in our efforts to recover the regional economy. This can be done… through the establishment of essential business corridors in line with strict health protocols.
Third… ASEAN – Japan cooperation must be more robust in mitigating Covid-19.
I appreciate Japan’s commitment to support the ASEAN Covid-19 Response Fund. And at the same time… we have the modalities and capacity to expand our collaboration further in health sectors.
In the short term… we can focus on ensuring adequacy of essential medicines and bolstering coordination mechanisms on research and development of medicines and vaccines for Covid-19.
In line with the Action Plan… we must encourage public-private collaboration to explore potential cooperation on health-related industries.
In the long term… we must continue our collaboration in building regional health resilience and preparedness for future pandemic situation.
I look forward for a positive outcome on the feasibility study on the establishment of the ASEAN Centre for Public Health Emergencies and Emerging Diseases.
My last point I’m sure that Japan and ASEAN will continue to strengthen cooperation to make our region stable and peaceful amidst this fluid situation and tension… including through Indo-Pacific cooperation so looking forward to seeing your active role in maintaining peace and stability in the region.
I thank you very much.