Japan's Suga Seeks Stronger Indo-Pacific Cooperation with ASEAN

Politics

Tokyo, Nov. 12 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said Thursday that his country seeks to strengthen cooperation with ASEAN to realize a free and open Indo-Pacific region, as advocated by Japan.

In a videoconference with leaders of member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Suga also expressed Tokyo's readiness to support ASEAN's integration through assistance for improving the region's transportation and trade infrastructure, apparently with China's increasing presence in mind.

Suga said that he strongly supports ASEAN's own Indo-Pacific vision as it and the Japanese-proposed free and open Indo-Pacific initiative have much in common in fundamental issues.

He also said Japan will help foster 1,000 engineers in ASEAN for airport, road and railway systems over the next three years, vowing to continue assistance for ongoing infrastructure improvement projects worth a total of 2 trillion yen.

In the virtual meeting, Suga and the ASEAN leaders also exchanged opinions over international challenges, including North Korea's nuclear and missile development programs, and its abductions of Japanese and other foreign nationals.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press