The event gathered a number of speakers who are government officials, leading experts, scholars and business people from ASEAN countries and Japan. The event saw the presence of Minister, Head of the Government Office Mai Tien Dung and Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan Norikazu Suzuki, along with nearly 400 delegates from ASEAN countries and Japan.
In his opening speech, Minister Mai Tien Dung said that Japan is a prosperous nation that plays an important role and makes substantial and effective contribution to the region. Japan became a partner of ASEAN in 1973 and is now the 4th biggest trade partner and 2nd biggest investor in the bloc.
It is also a leading ODA provider for many countries in the region.
Minister Mai Tien Dung also recognized and highly appreciated the contributions that Japan has made to ASEAN in general and Vietnam in particular.
In the context of new challenges that threaten the global economy, Dung proposed ASEAN and Japan to strengthen cooperation in specific fields in order to expand and deepen the strategic partnership and comprehensive cooperation between the two sides, and effectively adapt to the new situation, contributing positively to peace, security, stability, and development in the region and the world.
“Vietnam has earmarked considerable efforts and resources to perform its role as the coordinator of ASEAN – Japan relations in the period 2018-2021. We will strive to serve as a bridge connecting between ASEAN and Japan, and hope to receive effective support from Japan as well as other ASEAN countries. The ASEAN - Japan relations have passed through 45 years. Looking towards the future, the two sides have many potentials and advantages for further cooperation,” said Dung.
Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan Norikazu Suzuki, for his part, hoped that the program in celebration of the ASEAN-Japan Day in Vietnam in 2019 would help ASEAN people to better understand the close relationship between Japan and ASEAN.
Mr. Norikazu Suzuki said that the four topics of the symposium served the four pillars of the bilateral relations agreed by leaders of ASEAN and Japan, as well as accorded with the priorities given by Vietnam - the ASEAN- Japan country coordinator, and Thailand - 2019 ASEAN Chair.
“They also reflect Japan’s aspirations to contribute to the development of ASEAN by focusing on priority areas that ASEAN has chosen, respecting the centrality of ASEAN and cooperating on an equal footing as we have done throughout the years,” said Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan Norikazu Suzuki. By An Nhien