ASEAN and Japan boost defense cooperation
November 16, 2023
On November 15, Defense ministers from ASEAN nations and Japan convened for an informal meeting aimed at discussing mutual concerns and advancing bilateral defense cooperation. This gathering occurred as part of the 17th ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting (ADMM) held in Jakarta, Indonesia.
During the meeting, the Defense ministers recognized the timeliness of their discussions, underscoring their shared commitment to bolster defense cooperation within the framework of their comprehensive strategic partnership, which was established the previous September.
Japanese Defense Minister Minoru Kihara reaffirmed Japan's support for ASEAN's central role and emphasized the pivotal role that security and safety in the East China Sea and the East Sea play in maintaining peace and stability in the region. He also expressed a desire to elevate defense relations between Japan and ASEAN, particularly in the realms of maritime security, cyberspace regulations, and capacity-building programs.
Vietnamese Defense Minister Gen. Phan Van Giang, addressing the gathering, expressed hope that Japan's Ministry of Defense would engage in knowledge sharing, capacity building, and support for ASEAN nations in areas that align with Japan's strengths and ASEAN's needs. These areas include training, humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, information technology, equipment and technology transfer, cyber security, and maritime security.
Giang highlighted the successful coordination between Vietnam and Japan as co-chairs of the ADMM-Plus Experts' Working Groups. In particular, they successfully co-chaired the Competency Evaluation Programme for Prospective UN Peacekeepers (CEPPP) in Hanoi in September. He expressed optimism about the future development of the relationship between ASEAN and Japan, emphasizing its potential to benefit both sides and make a positive contribution to the peace, stability, and development of the region and the world.