JDF JapanDefenseFocus No.59
SPECIAL FEATURE

Japan-ASEAN Defense Ministerial Roundtable Meeting

Japan-ASEAN Defense Ministerial Roundtable Meeting
Bilateral Meeting with Myanmar Defense Minister Wai Lwin
Bilateral Meeting with Myanmar Defense Minister Wai Lwin
Bilateral Meeting with Myanmar Defense Minister Wai Lwin

On November 19th, Defense Minister Eto visited Myanmar where he attended the Japan-ASEAN Defense Ministerial Roundtable and held a bilateral defense ministerial meeting with Myanmar.

Outline of the Roundtable

  • The Roundtable chaired by Myanmar was held with the participation of the Defense Ministers from 10 ASEAN member countries as well as the ASEAN Secretariat.
  • It was the first occasion of its kind, originally proposed by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in December 2013 at the Japan-ASEAN Commemorative Summit. Minister Eto passed along a message from Prime Minister Abe extending his gratitude for the holding of the Roundtable and his expectations for the future cooperation between Japan and ASEAN.
  • At the opening, Myanmar Defence Minister Wai Lwin gave a welcome address, and afterwards the Ministers exchanged their views on cooperation in the area of nontraditional security fields such as Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HA/DR), and maritime security, which are common challenges for both Japan and ASEAN.
  • Minister Eto stated that Japan would strive to work for Japan and ASEAN’s common interest, which is the peace and stability of this region, under the banner of “proactive contribution to peace” based on the principle of international cooperation. Minister Eto pointed out that the relationship between Japanese and ASEAN defense authorities has been steadily evolving from mere exchanges to practical cooperation in areas including capacity building assistance and equipment/technology cooperation. He suggested a possibility of cooperation on the Rule of Law and forming regional order, based on the activities of the ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting-Plus (ADMM-Plus) Experts’ Working Groups (EWG). In addition, Minister Eto proposed to promote discussions among Japan and ASEAN defense authorities at various levels by utilizing the existing frameworks in more creative manners, such as further reinforcement of Tokyo Defense Forum and Japan-ASEAN Defense Vice-Ministerial Forum, in order to support efforts to maintain and strengthen the integrity of ASEAN and to take Japan-ASEAN defense cooperation to the next level, in preparation for the establishment of the “ASEAN Community” in 2015.
  • Japan-ASEAN Defense Ministerial Roundtable Meeting
  • Participating countries expressed their gratitude for the cooperation extended by the MOD/SDF in response to the disasters in the region including Typhoon Haiyan and the search for the missing Malaysian Airlines flight. The countries also appreciated the activities of Japan at the ADMM-Plus EWGs.
  • Participating countries noted that Japan and ASEAN share a wide range of nontraditional security challenges such as cyber security, HA/DR, and maritime security. The countries especially highlighted the importance of freedom of navigation and the Rule of Law. They also voiced their expectations for further Japan-ASEAN defense cooperation through capacity building assistance, joint exercise, and equipment/technology cooperation.
  • Japan and ASEAN countries agreed to study the occasions to exchange their views on defense cooperation in the area of nontraditional security field, utilizing the existing Vice-Ministerial Forum at the core.
  • Participating countries shared their view that the Roundtable has been extremely significant in putting the future Japan-ASEAN defense cooperation on track.
Japan-ASEAN Defense Ministerial Roundtable Meeting
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