"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] Second Joint Statement on East Asia Cooperation, Building on the Foundations of ASEAN Plus Three Cooperation

[Place] Singapore
[Date] November 20, 2007
[Source] ASEAN Secretariat
[Full text]

I. Introduction

1. We, the Heads of State/Government of the Member Countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the People's Republic of China, Japan and the Republic of Korea, gathered on 20 November 2007 in Singapore on the occasion of the 10th Anniversary of the ASEAN Plus Three cooperation.

2. We noted that the rapidly changing international environment and globalisation brought forth both opportunities and challenges. We agreed that driven by converging interests, aspirations and commitment to peace, stability, cooperation and prosperity, the prospects for a resilient, open, innovative and competitive East Asia are bright.

3. In this context, we underscored our commitment to handling our mutual relations in accordance with the principles and purposes of the UN Charter, the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC) in Southeast Asia and the universally recognised principles of international laws.

4. We reviewed our achievements of the past ten years, consolidated existing cooperation and set forth the future direction for ASEAN Plus Three cooperation, which will continue to support ASEAN integration in order to realise the ASEAN Community, and at the same time, contributing to the building of an East Asian community as a long-term goal.

II. Looking Back at a Decade of Growth and Expansion (1997-2007)

1. We recalled the 1999 Joint Statement on East Asia Cooperation, the 2001 Report of the East Asia Vision Group, the 2002 Report of the East Asia Study Group, the 2005 Kuala Lumpur Declaration on the ASEAN Plus Three Summit, and all other relevant documents that have been signed, adopted, noted and issued by the ASEAN Plus Three cooperation.

2. We noted with satisfaction the significant progress in the ASEAN Plus Three cooperation, which have broadened and deepened into twenty areas of cooperation in the last ten years. We also recognised the important contribution of sectoral bodies, the East Asia Study Group and the ASEAN Plus Three Unit of the ASEAN Secretariat towards achieving this progress.

3. We recalled that the ASEAN Plus Three process began in the wake of the Asian financial crises of 1997-1998. We were gratified that the ASEAN Plus Three process had brought about mutual benefits and closer linkages among the ASEAN Plus Three countries.

III. Looking Forward to a Decade of Consolidation and Closer Integration (2007-2017)

A. Defining the Objectives and Roles of the ASEAN Plus Three Cooperation in the Emerging Regional Architecture

1. We reaffirmed that the ASEAN Plus Three Process would remain as the main vehicle towards the long-term goal of building an East Asian community, with ASEAN as the driving force.

2. We appreciated the significant contributions made by the ASEAN-China, ASEAN-Japan and ASEAN-ROK processes to the overall cooperation within the ASEAN Plus Three framework. We recognised and welcomed the continued commitment and contributions of the Plus Three countries in supporting ASEAN's goals of building an ASEAN Community.

3. We recognised and supported the mutually reinforcing and complementary roles of the ASEAN Plus Three process and such regional fora as EAS, ARF, APEC and ASEM to promote East Asian community building.

4. We reiterated that East Asian integration is an open, transparent, inclusive, and forward-looking process for mutual benefits and support internationally shared values to achieve peace, stability, democracy and prosperity in the region. Guided by the vision for durable peace and shared prosperity in East Asia and beyond, we will stand guided by new economic flows, evolving strategic interactions and the belief to continue to engage all interested countries and organisations towards the realisation of an open regional architecture capable of adapting to changes and new dynamism.

5. We reaffirmed our support to ASEAN's goals of building an open, dynamic and resilient ASEAN Community by 2015, in the security, economic and socio-cultural pillars, and narrowing the development gap within the ASEAN Member Countries. We welcomed the signing of the ASEAN Charter and shared the view that a united and resilient ASEAN is essential to ensuring regional stability and prosperity.

B. Rationalising and Enhancing ASEAN Plus Three Cooperation

We agreed that the future scope of ASEAN Plus Three cooperation would include, but not be limited to, the following areas:

1. That in Political and Security Cooperation, we will expand and strengthen dialogue and cooperation through the development of human resources, conduct of regular security dialogue and exchanges and other capacity-building measures to ensure that our countries live at peace with one another and with the world at large in a just, democratic and harmonious environment.

2. That in Economic and Financial Cooperation, we agreed to push ahead to promote economic growth and sustainable development towards a more prosperous East Asia with a free flow of goods and services and easier movement of capital and labour by promoting economic liberalisation, economic integration, transparency and free trade consistent with WTO agreements, pursuing structural reforms, encouraging investment, promoting transfer and upgrading of technology, protecting intellectual property rights, improving research and policy-making capacity, multilateralising the Chiang Mai Initiative and strengthening the Asian Bond Markets Initiative.

3. That in Energy, Environment, Climate Change and Sustainable Development Cooperation, we reaffirmed the need to take an effective approach to the interrelated issues of climate change, energy security and the environment. On energy security, we will put particular emphasis on improving energy efficiency, diversification of energy supply and development of new and renewable sources of energy. On sustainable development cooperation, we will put particular emphasis on mitigation of and adaptation to climate change, as well as compatibility between environmental protection, and sustained economic growth and social development. We reaffirmed our commitment to the common goal of stabilising atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations in the long run, at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system, and agreed to participate actively in the process of developing an effective, comprehensive, and equitable post-2012 international climate change arrangement, in line with the principles of equity, flexibility, effectiveness, and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities.

4. That in Socio-cultural and Development Cooperation, we agreed to work towards increasing efforts in eradicating poverty and achieving the Millennium Development Goals in East Asia, narrowing the development gap through supporting the Vientiane Action Programme and Initiative for ASEAN Integration, supporting sub-regional development initiatives, enhancing cultural cooperation, education collaboration, deepening mutual understanding and forging a sense of an East Asian identity and consciousness, people-to-people exchanges, addressing social issues such as gender, children, prevention of infectious diseases and natural disaster risk reduction, and encouraging policy consultation and coordination with NGOs to foster civic participation and state-civil society partnerships in addressing social problems.

5. That in Institutional Support and Relations with Wider Cooperative Frameworks, we agreed to further expand our cooperation and refocus our resources on the cooperative sectors in order to fully utilise the advantage deriving from the ASEAN Plus Three cooperation. To this end, we will establish an ASEAN Plus Three Cooperation Fund, and agreed to strengthen the ASEAN Plus Three Unit of the ASEAN Secretariat and enhance cooperation projects through rationalisation and pursuing synergy. We further agreed to promote East Asian regional cooperation in collaboration with those conducted under regional and global frameworks.

IV. Closing

The purpose of this Joint Statement will be realised through the implementation of concrete priority activities and flagship projects as indicated in the attached Work Plan. Relevant sectoral bodies shall implement the Work Plan and incorporate it in their respective programs and plans of action. Progress in the implementation of the Work Plan will be monitored by the ASEAN Plus Three Directors-General and reported to the annual ASEAN Plus Three Ministerial Meeting and ASEAN Plus Three Summit. The Work Plan will be subject to a mid-term review and may be revised for purposes of more efficiently and effectively accomplishing the purposes of this Joint Statement.

Adopted this 20th day of November 2007 in Singapore.