Jakarta – ASEAN will accord Japan a comprehensive strategic partnership (CSP) at the ASEAN summit on Wednesday, according to a diplomatic source.
The ASEAN leaders will make the announcement of Japan’s new status at the ASEAN-Japan summit on September 6th. The source said that Japan has made remarkable progress and contributed significantly to the development and integration of the ASEAN Community. “Japan deserves the CSP,” the source reiterated. Thailand is currently the coordinator of ASEAN-Japan relations.
ASEAN has four CSP members, China, Australia, the US and India. The EU, South Korea, New Zealand, Russia and Canada have strategic partnership status. Seoul has informed ASEAN that it will apply for the CSP next year.
This year, Japan and ASEAN mark the 50th anniversary of their friendship and cooperation. Their leaders will meet in Tokyo from December 16th – 18th to celebrate their achievements in the last half-century.
As part of the criteria to be granted CSP, Japan has proposed dozens of new initiatives further to cement bilateral ties with ASEAN.
These initiatives cover all aspects of cooperation, both ongoing and new, especially those pertaining to digital transformation, the green economy, public health, agriculture, disaster management, financial development, maritime cooperation and cybersecurity. They would form parts of a new vision for future ASEAN-Japan relations, which will be launched at the Tokyo summit.
Japan was the first country to issue a joint statement pledging close cooperation with ASEAN, under the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific framework. Other countries, such as the US, South Korea and Australia, have followed a similar track.
By Kavi Chongkittavorn