State Minister of Defense Miyazawa’s Participation in the 10th ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting-Plus

November 16, 2023

Ministry of Defense

(Provisional Translation)

in Japanese

On November 16, 2023, the 10th ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting-Plus (hereinafter referred to as “ADMM-Plus”) was held in Indonesia (Jakarta) and Minister-level participants exchanged views on regional and international security issues. An outline of the statement by State Minister of Defense Miyazawa, who represented Japan at the meeting is as follows:

  1. In the beginning, State Minister Miyazawa pointed out that, while the joint declarations of the ADMM-Plus over the past few years had referred to the need to “pursue peaceful resolution of disputes, without coercion, in accordance with international law,” the world moves towards further turmoil and confrontation.
  2. First, he pointed out that Russia is creating instability in the world, and strongly condemned Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and its threats to use nuclear weapons. He also expressed Japan’s strong concern about Russia’s continued active military activities in the Far East.
  3. Next, with regard to the East China Sea and the South China Sea, he expressed Japan’s strong opposition to any unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force as well as any actions that increase tensions. In addition, he referred to the Arbitral Tribunal’s award as to the disputes between the Republic of the Philippines and the People’s Republic of China regarding the South China Sea, and expressed strong hope that the parties’ compliance with the award will lead to the peaceful settlement of disputes in the South China Sea. He also stated that peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait is extremely important for the stability of the entire international community, and expressed that Japan expects that the issues surrounding Taiwan to be resolved peacefully through dialogue.
  4. Regarding North Korea, he emphasized that North Korea’s launches of ballistic missiles at an unprecedentedly high frequency, particularly the launches of the newly developed ICBM-class ballistic missiles as well as those for the purpose of satellite launch this year, threaten the peace and security of the international community and are totally unacceptable. In addition, he strongly condemned arms transfers from North Korea to Russia, which violate relevant UN Security Council resolutions, and also expressed concerns about North Korea’s attempts to seek military assistance from Russia in return for the arms provision.
  5. With regard to the deteriorating situation in Myanmar, he strongly urged the Myanmar military to faithfully work towards a peaceful resolution of the situation, and expressed that Japan will continue to support ASEAN’s efforts on this matter.
  6. On top of these issues, he pointed out the urgent need for cross-border cooperation on issues such as natural disasters and sea-level rise brought about by the impact of climate change as well as international terrorism. He underscored the importance for countries to overcome differences in positions and unite their efforts.
  7. Then, he expressed Japan’s support for ASEAN centrality and unity, and Japan’s intention to support efforts under the ADMM-Plus framework, which provides opportunities for practical cooperation as well as dialogue and communication. To prove, he looked back on the achievement of the flagship event held in September under the Experts’ Working Group (EWG) on PKO currently co-chaired by Japan and Vietnam, and also expressed Japan’s commitment to maintaining maritime order governed by the rule of law, not force or coercion, as Japan is set to co-chair the EWG on Maritime Security with the Philippines in the coming cycle. Highlighting that Japan was the first Plus Country to operationalize the ASEAN Direct Communications Infrastructure (ADI) this year, he encouraged other Plus Countries to join the ADI, and expressed expectations for the ADI to become available for daily communication in the future.
  8. In addition, he welcomed the adoption of the Joint Statement on “Women, Peace and Security (WPS)” at the ADMM-Plus, and expressed Japan’s intention to continue to attach importance to the WPS agenda and double its effort in the field.
  9. Lastly, he once again reminded participants about the ADMM-Plus Joint Declarations, which he mentioned at the outset, and called for participating countries to fulfill the shared responsibilities. In this regard, he expressed Japan’s willingness to make efforts to realize the “Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP)” and the “ASEAN Outlook on Indo-Pacific (AOIP),” which shares fundamental principles with the FOIP in order to secure peace and stability in the region.

After the exchange of views among the participating countries, the new set of the ADMM-Plus EWG Co-Chairs for the 2024-2027 Cycle was announced, and it was decided that Japan, together with the Philippines, would take over the role of Co-Chairs of the EWG on Maritime Security from current Co-Chairs Thailand and the United States. Furthermore, the meeting adopted the Joint Statement on WPS.

On this occasion, State Minister of Defense Miyazawa met H.E. Ltgen. (ret.) Muhammad Herindra, Vice Minister of Defence of the Republic of Indonesia and paid courtesy calls to H.E. Sutin Klungsang, Minister of Defence of the Kingdom of Thailand, H.E. General Phan Van Giang, Minister of National Defence of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, H.E. Hon. Gilberto Teodoro, Jr., Secretary of National Defense of the Republic of the Philippines, and H.E. General Chansamone Chanyalath, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Defence of the Lao Peoples’ Democratic Republic, where they confirmed to further promote defense cooperation and exchanges.

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