Abe calls for ASEAN's cooperation to foster free and open order

Cheryl Sanders
November 14, 2017

Japan is a key dialogue partner of the regional bloc which marks its 50th founding anniversary with celebrations coinciding with the 31st ASEAN Summit and Related Summits.

"We have said it several times already in the past that it is not [in] the interest of North Korea to swagger around and threaten the world, of keeping us hostage with the atomic weapons", the Philippine president added.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in his opening remarks at the ASEAN Plus Three (APT) Commemorative Summit in Manila on Tuesday requested ASEAN nations to lift the ban on food import from the country.

Abe is expected to ask Li to take part in a trilateral summit among Japan, China and South Korea that Tokyo aims to hold in Japan by the end of this year, informed sources said.

The Prime Minister also pledged to support ASEAN in quality infrastructure upgrading, sophistication of industrial structure, and human resource development for the progress of the entire ASEAN region.

"In the 50 years ahead, we want to lead together with ASEAN, which faces both the Indian and Pacific oceans, the development of a free and open worldwide order based on the rule of law, building on (ASEAN's) development so far", Abe said.

According to Japanese officials, Abe will seek to strengthen cooperation between Japan and ASEAN to lead the pursuit of a "free and open" order.

Abe committed to provide Y55 billion in the next three years for the objective of enhancing maritime law enforcement capacity.

Abe and the Mekong leaders also confirmed their cooperation in improving conditions in Myanmar's Rakhine State, where violence has sparked an exodus of more than 600,000 Rohingya Muslim refugees.

The rogue state previously threatened to launch ballistic missiles toward Guam, where a U.S. military base is located, prompting American President Donald Trump to declare that he would meet any threat to his country with "fire and fury."Japan and South Korea, East Asian countries that also host USA military installations, are also bracing for possible missile attacks".

"We need to make North Korea change their policy by enhancing the pressure applied to North Korea to the highest level by all available means, including the full implementation of the Security Council's resolutions", he said.

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