"The World and Japan" Database (Project Leader: TANAKA Akihiko)
Database of Japanese Politics and International Relations
National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS); Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (IASA), The University of Tokyo

[Title] Joint Statement of the Sixth Mekong-Japan Summit

[Place] Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar
[Date] November 12, 2014
[Source] Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
[Full text]

The Heads of the State/Government of Japan, the Kingdom of Cambodia, the Lao People's Democratic Republic, the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, the Kingdom of Thailand and the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, met in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar on 12 November 2014, for the Sixth Mekong-Japan Summit.

The Leaders took note with deep satisfaction that significant and substantial progress has been made in the Mekong-Japan cooperation in line with the Mid-term review of "Tokyo Strategy 2012 for Mekong Japan Cooperation" and the revised "Action Plan for the realization of the Tokyo Strategy 2012". The Leaders also commended the outcomes of the Seventh Mekong-Japan Foreign Ministers' Meeting on 10 August 2014, and the Sixth Mekong-Japan Economic Ministers Meeting on 27 August 2014 held in Nay Pyi Taw.

The Leaders welcomed that high-level mutual exchanges have continued this year, building on the momentum created by Prime Minister Abe's visit to all ASEAN member states in 2013.

I Mekong-Japan Cooperation under the "Tokyo Strategy 2012"

1 The Leaders of the Mekong region countries welcomed Japan's ongoing support for the implementation of the Mekong-Japan cooperation which amounts to more than 500 billion yen, in accordance with the three pillars of the Tokyo Strategy 2012; "Enhancing Mekong Connectivity", "Developing Together", and "Ensuring Human Security and Environmental Sustainability". In this regard, the Leaders of the Mekong region countries appreciated Japan's continuous support to CLMV (Cambodia, the Lao PDR, Myanmar, Viet Nam) development and the CLV (Cambodia, the Lao PDR, Viet Nam) Development Triangle Area.

Enhancing Mekong Connectivity

2 The Leaders reaffirmed that improving connectivity in the Mekong region is integral to ASEAN connectivity and building the ASEAN Community in 2015. In this context, the Leaders of the Mekong region countries welcomed Japan's initiatives to promote "quality growth" through "people-centered investment" with an emphasis on inclusiveness, resilience and capacity-building in a sustainable manner for infrastructure development in the Mekong region. In this regard, the Leaders attached great importance to pursuing quality infrastructure through the following four approaches: effective resource mobilization, strengthening partnerships, social and environmental consideration as well as life cycle cost, and comprehensive and tailor-made approach.

3 The Leaders emphasized the need for enhancing connectivity of the economic corridors in the Mekong region through multimodal transport as referred in the "Tokyo Strategy 2012" and welcomed the suggestion to expand connectivity beyond the Mekong region, such as establishing new routes connecting the Mekong region with the Indian subcontinent via the Indian Ocean. These initiatives include ongoing development projects such as the India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway and the Dawei special economic zone project.

4 The Leaders appreciated efforts of the Governments of Viet Nam and the Lao PDR to fully implement "Single Stop, Single Window" Inspection (SWI/SSI) at Lao Bao-Densavanh international border checkpoints on the East - West Economic Corridor (EWEC) by early 2015. As stated in the "Chair's Statement of the Seventh Mekong-Japan Foreign Ministers' Meeting", the Leaders of Mekong countries expressed their appreciation for Japan's contribution to facilitating and expediting cross-border flow of goods in the Mekong region, and looked forward to further assistance of Japan in the development of Economic Corridors in the region.

Developing Together

5 The Leaders welcomed the steady progress under the Mekong Development Roadmap, and the revision of the Roadmap under the Mekong-Japan Economic and Industrial Cooperation Initiative (MJ-CI). The Leaders also commended the progress of the Sixth Mekong-Japan Economic Ministers Meeting in drafting the "Mekong Industrial Development Vision", a medium- and long-term industry development vision of the Mekong region for enhancing region wide value chain network and facilitating business activities between the Mekong region and Japan. The Leaders instructed Economic Ministers to develop the Vision by next year with inputs from related ministries, industry and academia experts such as Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA), utilizing the ASEAN Economic Ministers and the Minister for Economy, Trade and Industry (AEM-METI) Economic and Industrial Cooperation Committee Working Group on West-East Economic Corridor Development (AMEICC WEC-WG) as a main coordination body.

6 The Leaders expressed their appreciation for the completion of the Myanmar Comprehensive Development Vision (MCDV), conducted by ERIA with the use of the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF), which provides valuable inputs for wider and long-term development plan and growth strategy of Myanmar and envisages human-centered development through high-growth and globally linked, inclusive and balanced, and green and sustainable growth strategies.

7 The Leaders acknowledged the importance of foreign investment as impetus to the Mekong region's industrial development and promotion of an integrated production base. Recognizing also the vast potential of the Mekong region in abundant resources, labor force, and improved infrastructure connectivity, the Leaders encouraged the promotion of Japan's investment in production sectors under region-wide trends such as "Thailand-Plus-One" investment pattern. The Leaders also recognized the development of special economic zones (SEZs), known as contributing factors to job creation and fortified production chains, and therefore welcomed the initial phase of SEZ development in pilot areas along Thailand's borders with Myanmar, Lao PDR and Cambodia.

8 The Leaders welcomed the outcome of the 4th Mekong-Japan Meeting of the Forum for the Promotion of Public-Private Cooperation in the Mekong Region held in Tokyo in February, and the 7th Mekong-Japan Industry and Government Dialogue in Ha Noi in July 2014. The Leaders were confident that effective public-private partnership will bring about greater benefits for the development of the Mekong region. The Leaders of Mekong region countries appreciated that Japan had continuously hosted these meetings on public-private cooperation.

9 The Leaders welcomed the launch of the OECD South East Asia Regional Programme at the margin of the OECD Ministerial Council in May 2014, and shared their views on the importance of strengthening the relationship between OECD and Southeast Asia on the basis of partnership and mutual learning. The Leaders also expressed their expectation for further development of the partnership through a series of Japan's initiatives such as the OECD-ASEAN Investment Policy Conference, the OECD Green City Project and the OECD Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) policy project in Myanmar in cooperation with ERIA.

10 The Leaders reaffirmed the importance of further strengthening cultural and people-to-people exchanges between the Mekong region countries and Japan. In this context, the Leaders welcomed the increase of tourists between the Mekong region and Japan. The Leaders of the Mekong region countries appreciated Japan's efforts in this area such as the relaxation of visa requirements, the progress toward the conclusion of air services agreements, and JENESYS 2.0 (Japan-East Asia Network of Exchange for Students and Youths).

Ensuring Human Security and Environmental Sustainability

11 The Leaders stressed the importance of achieving human security and sustainable development by promoting low-carbon growth, building a climate-resilient society and preserving the natural conditions of the Mekong region. The Leaders expressed their appreciation for regular joint efforts between Thailand and Japan to organize the Green Mekong Forum and looked forward to the 3rd Green Mekong Forum in Bangkok in December 2014. The Leaders were confident that the Forum will provide government agencies, local government and the private sector with opportunities for sharing experiences and exchanging views on the areas of cooperation articulated in the "Action Plan for ‘A Decade toward the Green Mekong' Initiative".

12 The Leaders noted the importance of cooperation for disaster management to ensure the security of the Mekong people and a resilient Mekong region. In this regard, the Leaders affirmed active participation in and close cooperation between Japan and the Mekong countries for the Third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction to be held in Sendai in March 2015.

13 The Leaders reaffirmed the vital importance of sustainable management and development of water and related resources of the Mekong River and the continued cooperation with local and international organizations, in particular the Mekong River Commission (MRC). In this regard, the Leaders of the Mekong region countries welcomed Japan's contribution of approximately 3.4million US dollars to "Flood Management Programme" and "Drought Management Programme" through the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF) and Japan's contribution of approximately 1.3 million US dollars to MRC's Irrigation Project and dispatching of expert to MRC.

14 The Leaders affirmed the importance of promoting highly efficient coal-fired power generation as a pragmatic measure in addressing climate change, considering the fact that the coal-fired power generation is a main source of energy in the Mekong region.

15 The Leaders also reaffirmed the importance of strengthening cooperation in the field of infectious diseases, maternal and child healthcare and preventive healthcare, especially the need to assist the Ebola-affected countries in West Africa and to end the spread in the region and elsewhere.

II Mekong-Japan cooperation toward 2015 and beyond

16 The Leaders of the Mekong region countries highly appreciated and welcomed that Prime Minister Abe and President Obama affirmed Japan-United States joint engagement and cooperation with Southeast Asian countries, as priorities in the bilateral relations. These included their efforts in the Mekong region through closer collaboration between "Mekong-Japan Cooperation" and the "Lower Mekong Initiative" and "Friends of the Lower Mekong." The Leaders of Mekong region countries looked forward to further development in Japan-U.S. bilateral cooperation in assisting Mekong countries in the areas of empowerment of women, removal of landmines, and disposal of unexploded ordnance, as well

as further coordination between "Mekong-Japan Cooperation" and other regional cooperation mechanisms. The Leaders of the Mekong region countries also appreciated that both Japan and the United States have been working on environmental issues in the region including through the Green Mekong Forum between Japan and Mekong region countries to be held in Thailand, and the Extraordinary Meeting of the Friends of the Lower Mekong to be held in the Lao PDR in January 2015.

17 The Leaders appreciated Myanmar's contribution as the ASEAN Chair in holding this meeting, and welcomed the political, economic, administrative and private sector reform and development undertaken by Myanmar in the process of transition towards democracy.

18 The Leaders confirmed the 7th Mekong-Japan Summit to be held in Japan in July 2015 to discuss the future direction of Mekong-Japan cooperation beyond 2015, and to renew both the "Tokyo Strategy 2012 for Mekong Japan Cooperation" and the revised "Action Plan for the realization of the Tokyo Strategy 2012".