ASEAN and Japan

In 2013, the administration of Abe Shinzo tried to make an impression with its pro-ASEAN policies. During the course of last year, Abe visited all ten ASEAN countries while Kishida Fumio, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, and other senior government officials also made frequent visits to the countries in Southeast Asia. 

In December 2013, the ASEAN-Japan Commemorative Summit Meeting was held to commemorate the 40th anniversary of ASEAN-Japan. In addition to the joint ASEAN-Japan statement entitled “Hand in hand, facing regional and global challenges,” the summit meeting adopted various documents including the Vision Statement on ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation, and the Implementation Plan for the Vision Statement to emphasise the importance of relations between Japan and ASEAN.

Japan’s pro-ASEAN policies have been continued under the Abe administration and increasingly positioned as the centrepiece of Japanese foreign policy toward Asia even as Japan continues to remain the chief banker in the Asian Development Bank.