"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


[Place] Tokyo
[Date] December 12, 2003
[Source] The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan.
[Full text]

WE, the Heads of State/Government of Japan and Member Countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), gathered in Tokyo, Japan on 11 and 12 December 2003, for the Japan-ASEAN Commemorative Summit, note with deep satisfaction that our countries have fostered a close and cooperative relationship over the last thirty years, contributing to peace, stability, development and prosperity of the region;

INSPIRED by the significant progress made in the Japan-ASEAN relations, encompassing the political and security, economic, social and cultural, and development cooperation areas;

REAFFIRMING the principles which have guided our relations, which include partnership, shared ownership, mutual respect and benefits;

APPRECIATING the significant contribution of Japan to the economic development and prosperity of ASEAN countries in the past three decades, in particular, Japan's Official Development Assistance (ODA) to ASEAN, which represented around 30% of Japan's total bilateral ODA in the past ten years and constituted the largest part of its ODA, reflecting the special importance that Japan has been attaching to ASEAN;

ACKNOWLEDGING the importance of the rich Asian traditions and values that will serve as the rallying point for our determined efforts to tap the opportunities and meet the challenges of the new millennium;

CONVINCED that the "heart-to-heart" understanding, nurtured among peoples of Japan and Southeast Asian countries and based on mutual trust and respect, has developed into the "acting together, advancing together" partnership which is the foundation for our future relations;

DETERMINED to continue the deepening and broadening of cooperation within Japan-ASEAN strategic partnership to ensure peace, stability and prosperity in the region;

RECALLING the Joint Statement of the Meeting of the Prime Minister of Japan and the ASEAN Heads of State/Government, Kuala Lumpur, 7 August 1977, and the Joint Statement of the Meeting of the Prime Minister of Japan and the Heads of State/Government of the Member States of ASEAN, Kuala Lumpur, 16 December 1997, which laid the groundwork for a comprehensive Japan-ASEAN cooperation and strengthened the resolve to further advance this partnership in the 21st century;

CONSIDERING the Joint Declaration of the Leaders of Japan and ASEAN on the Comprehensive Economic Partnership signed in Phnom Penh on 5 November 2002 and the Framework for Comprehensive Economic Partnership between Japan and ASEAN signed in Bali on 8 October 2003 to minimise barriers and deepen economic linkages, lower business costs, increase intra-regional trade and investment, improve economic efficiency, create a larger market with greater opportunities and larger economies of scale for the businesses of both Japan and ASEAN, and enhance our attractiveness to capital and talent;

TAKING NOTE of the Final Report with Recommendations towards Vision 2020: Japan-ASEAN Consultation Conference on the Ha Noi Plan of Action of October 2002 to facilitate the realisation of the ASEAN Vision 2020 and to promote dynamic and deeper Japan-ASEAN cooperation ;

REITERATING full support for the implementation of the Declaration of ASEAN Concord II signed in Bali on 7 October 2003 leading to the formation of a more integrated ASEAN Community comprising the ASEAN Security Community, ASEAN Economic Community and ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community;

WELCOMING the Declaration on Accession to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia by Japan, and the accession by other Dialogue Partners of ASEAN, which will further strengthen trust, peace, and stability in Southeast Asia;

REAFFIRMING that the Japan-ASEAN relationship is forward-looking and action-oriented in respect of advancing, intensifying and deepening the partnership and linkages with Dialogue Partners and the rest of the world for the common good of all;

HEREBY adopt the following:

1. Fundamental Principles and Values

- Japan and ASEAN will further deepen and broaden their relationship, natural economic complementarities, social and cultural affinities, including the desire for closer people-to-people contacts and exchanges;

- Japan and ASEAN will enhance their cooperation through closer consultation and adherence to the principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations and international law, and commend the purposes, principles and spirit of the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia, including respect for national sovereignty and territorial integrity, renunciation of threat or use of force, peaceful settlement of disputes, and non-interference;

- Japan and ASEAN will contribute to the creation of an East Asia region where countries and peoples can live in peace with one another and with the world at large in a just, democratic and harmonious environment;

- Japan and ASEAN will forge common visions and principles, including respect for the rule of law and justice, pursuit of openness, promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms of all peoples in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, promotion of mutual understanding for cultures and civilisations, and enhancement of mutual benefits of market economy;

- Japan, through its development assistance and support programmes, will give high priority to ASEAN'S economic development and integration efforts as it strives to realise the ASEAN Community;

- Japan and ASEAN will collectively promote the development of regional and trans-regional frameworks, particularly the ASEAN Plus Three process, ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD), Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), the Forum for East Asia-Latin America Cooperation (FEALAC) and sub-regional cooperation schemes in the Southeast Asian region; and

- Japan and ASEAN will address regional and global issues, keeping in mind their special relationship based on equality, mutual respect and mutual benefit.

2. Common Strategies for Action

Japan and ASEAN will harness their collective strengths to pursue expeditiously and substantively common strategies for joint action in the following areas:

(1) Reinforcing Comprehensive Economic Partnership and Monetary and Financial Cooperation

- Reinforce their economic partnership, by strengthening economic linkages and integration under the Joint Declaration of the Leaders of Japan and ASEAN on the Comprehensive Economic Partnership, noting the principle of reciprocity, transparency and mutual benefits;

- Undertake bilateral and regional initiatives under which Japan and any ASEAN Member Country can build a bilateral economic partnership while seeking to realise a Comprehensive Economic Partnership through the measures outlined in the Framework for Comprehensive Economic Partnership to be implemented by 2012 allowing special and differential treatment to the ASEAN Member Countries and taking into account the economic level and sensitive sectors in Japan and each ASEAN Member Country, including the extension of additional five years for completion by the new ASEAN Member Countries;

- Promote more opportunities for trade in goods and services such as through opening and enlarging markets, progressively eliminating non-tariff barriers including technical barriers to trade, enabling economies of scale for industries, and enhancing cooperation in standards and conformance and mutual recognition arrangements;

- Create a transparent and liberal investment regime through the enhancement of trade-related investment procedures and trade and investment promotion and facilitation measures, conduct of trade and investment policy and business dialogues, improvement of the business environment, facilitation of mobility of business people and skilled labour, cooperation in standards and conformance, and other measures to enhance economic linkages;

- Foster and strengthen financial and monetary cooperation such as capital market development, capital account liberalisation, and currency cooperation;

- Forge cooperation in wide-ranging areas of mutual benefit, particularly in science and technology, including research and development, industrial and tourism sectors and the transport sector, including ensuring safe and efficient transport networks;

- Cooperate in expanding and deepening information and communications networks and flows in Asia through realising mutually beneficial information and communications technology cooperation programmes; and

- Work together on programmes for enhancing the capacity of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in ASEAN to capitalise on the market access for trade in goods, services and investment and to expand business opportunities of SMEs.

(2) Consolidating the Foundation for Economic Development and Prosperity

- Work together to consolidate the foundation for economic development and prosperity. Japan will continue to give priority to ASEAN Member Countries in its ODA programmes by actively extending assistance to them in response to their actual needs. Given the new challenges facing ASEAN countries, Japan will especially enhance its co-operation in human resource development and related areas to address major issues where Japan's co-operation produces tangible results;

- Strengthen cooperation and support the realisation of ASEAN integration goals by implementing projects, particularly those under the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI);

- Strengthen efforts to support ASEAN'S integration by enhancing regional and sub-regional development including in the Mekong region and Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) to promote economic and social development, sharpen the competitive edge of ASEAN and improve standards of living;

- Enhance support and cooperation in developing the Mekong region to narrow the gaps between the new Member Countries and the other Member Countries of ASEAN based on the common view that development will contribute to reinforcing regional integration, and lead to self-sustaining economic growth through the integrated approach of economic cooperation and promotion of trade and investment with due consideration to environmental conservation;

- Continue expanding and deepening cooperation in capacity building, particularly in human resource development, developing and strengthening ASEAN institutions, enhancing public health and social security, and imparting skills and management know-how;

- Promote infrastructure development, and strengthen industrial bases and the transfer of expertise and technologies;

- Promote joint efforts for research and development, develop modalities for sharing advanced research and promote intellectual exchanges, to strengthen the economic partnership and cooperation in technology development; and

- Enhance cooperation in energy security, food security and food safety.

(3) Strengthening Political and Security Cooperation and Partnership

- Enhance political and security cooperation and partnership at all levels in order to consolidate peace in the region, and work together towards peaceful settlement of disputes in the region bilaterally and through the ARF and other regional and international fora;

- Enhance cooperation in the areas of counter-terrorism, anti-piracy and in combating other transnational crimes through the ARF, ASEAN Plus Three process, ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Transnational Crime Plus Three as well as other regional and international fora; and

- Enhance cooperation in the areas of disarmament and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery, and related materials.

(4) Facilitating and Promoting Exchange of People and Human Resource Development

- Foster a sense of togetherness based on mutual trust, respect and understanding of each other's traditions and values among the younger generation and future leaders thereby creating caring societies where people-to-people contact will flourish and human capital can be further developed; and

- Support the aspirations and cooperative spirit of youths by reinforcing partnerships and mutual assistance in education and human resource development, through networking among research institutes, universities and other educational institutions and by promoting youth exchanges to enhance people-to-people interactions.

(5) Enhancing Cooperation in Culture and Public Relations

- Cooperate in identifying and preserving cultural heritage, both tangible and intangible, and in transmitting the cultural values and norms and the rich heritage to their future generations, to instil pride in East Asia; and

- Promote awareness and understanding of Japan and ASEAN and their standing in the international community through cooperation among public information agencies, media and others, and through harnessing greater use of information and communications technology in disseminating information about Japan and ASEAN effectively.

(6) Deepening East Asia Cooperation for an East Asian Community

- Recognise that the ASEAN Plus Three process as an important channel to promote cooperation and regional economic integration networks in East Asia to attain the goals of sustainable development and common prosperity; and

- Seek to build an East Asian community which is outward looking, endowed with the exuberance of creativity and vitality and with the shared spirit of mutual understanding and upholding Asian traditions and values, while respecting universal rules and principles.

(7) Cooperation in Addressing Global Issues

- Cooperate actively, in addressing global issues, such as the fight against terrorism, intensifying disarmament and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery, enhancing cooperation in United Nations peace-keeping operations, promoting rule-based international frameworks, strengthening the United Nations, reinforcing the multilateral trading system through the World Trade Organisation (WTO), alleviating poverty and narrowing economic disparity, protecting the environment, promoting disaster reductions, combating people smuggling and trafficking in persons, combating infectious diseases, enhancing human security and promoting South-South cooperation, taking into account the strong interconnections among political, economic and social realities and accepting the concept of comprehensive security as having broad political, economic, social and cultural aspects.

3. Institutional and Funding Arrangements for the Implementation of the Declaration

- Japan and ASEAN will implement concrete activities and flagship projects in realising the purposes of this Declaration based on the attached Plan of Action;

- Japan and ASEAN will strengthen the existing funding mechanisms for effctive coordination and implementation of this Declaration and the Plan of Action;

- Japan and ASEAN are committed to providing requisite resources in accordance with their respective capacity including mutually exploring effective and innovative resource mobilisation to accomplish the various strategies and measures outlined in the Plan of Action,

- The progress made in the implementation of the Declaration and the Plan of Action will be reviewed by the meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Japan and ASEAN and reported to the annual Japan-ASEAN Summit; and

- The Plan of Action will be reviewed periodically taking into consideration the dynamic developments in the region and in the world.

SIGNED in Tokyo, Japan, this Twelfth Day of December in the Year Two Thousand and Three in two originals in the English language.

For Japan


Prime Minister

For Brunei Darussalam


Sultan of Brunei Darussalam

For the Kingdom of Cambodia


Prime Minister

For the Republic of Indonesia



For the Lao People's Democratic Republic


Prime Minister

For Malaysia


Prime Minister

For the Union of Myanmar


Prime Minister

For the Republic of the Philippines



For the Republic of Singapore


Prime Minister

For the Kingdom of Thailand


Prime Minister

For the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam


Prime Minister