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The 11th Japan-ASEAN Defense Vice-Ministerial Forum


 The 11th Japan-ASEAN Defense Vice-Ministerial Forum was held by the Japan Ministry of Defense (JMOD) in Tokyo on October 9, 2019.

 Mr. Yasunori Nishida, Japan’s Vice-Minister of Defense for International Affairs took the chair at the forum, and officials at the Vice-Ministers/Secretary and other levels from all ASEAN member states and the ASEAN Secretariat participated in the forum.

 During the main sessions, the participants exchanged their views on the following agenda: 1) Regional Security Situation; 2) Visions for the Indo-Pacific: Towards the Free and Open Regional Order; and 3) ASEAN’s Initiatives for Regional Defense Cooperation.

 The summary of discussions is as follows.

  • ● Participants shared the recognition that ensuring the centrality and unity of ASEAN, which is the keystone of regional cooperation, is important to maintain free and open regional order which is the fundamental basis of peace and prosperity of the region in light of current regional trends of immense engagement of external states.
  • ● Participants agreed on the recognition that the both of Japan’s vision for the “Free and Open Indo-Pacific” and “ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific” announced in June this year share the fundamental idea that regional order should be based on the principles of openness, transparency, inclusivity, respect for rules, etc.
  • ● Participants welcomed the initiatives of Japan-ASEAN defense cooperation conducted under the Vientiane Vision and the progress of the series of ASEAN’s initiatives for regional defense cooperation, and agreed that those practical cooperation are important not only in its own practical value but also in its function to contribute to further enhancing ASEAN’s centrality and unity.

  JMOD invites a defense minister-level guest speaker from an ASEAN member state as a part of the forum. This year, JMOD invited Major General Onesy Senesouk, Deputy Minister of Defence, Lao PDR.

 Major General Onesy Senesouk delivered a special address on “Expectations for Japan-ASEAN Defense Cooperation: From the Perspective of Lao’s Security Policy.” In his speech, Major General Senesouk expressed his expectation for further development of Japan-ASEAN defense cooperation, highly appreciating the records of achievements, and reiterated the importance of further promoting security cooperation among countries in this region through ASEAN-led frameworks such as ADMM-Plus with a view to further enhancing regional resiliency.

 After the speech by Major General Senesouk, he and heads of delegations from all ASEAN member states and the ASEAN Secretariat made a courtesy call on Defense Minister Kono Taro. In this call, Minister Kono expressed his warmest welcome to the participants, and announced Japan’s continuous, firm commitment to support ASEAN in ensuring its centrality and unity which are the keystones of regional cooperation. He also stated that JMOD continues its efforts to further develop Japan-ASEAN defense cooperation initiatives based on the Vientian Vision.