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Mekong–Japan relations key to region’s security and prosperity
Nguyen Tung 17:24, 2020/11/14
Five Mekong countries and Japan should continue to boost trade and investment cooperation to ensure long-term development, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has said.

The strategic partnership between Mekong states and Japan remains essential for not only socio-economic development of each member country, but also for peace, stability and prosperity of the region, according to Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

 Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc at the Mekong - Japan Summit. Photo: Quang Hieu. 

The urgent priority of the partnership at present is to continue containing the Covid-19 pandemic and boosting economic recovery, stated Mr. Phuc at the 12th Mekong – Japan Summit, which was held online on November 13 between Japan and five Mekong countries namely Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand.

At the meeting, leaders of the Mekong countries acknowledged progress in the implementation of the Tokyo Strategy 2018 for Mekong – Japan Cooperation, Mekong Industrial Development Vision 2.0, Mekong – Japan Initiative for Sustainable Development Goals toward 2030, and the Kusanone Mekong Sustainable Development Goals Initiative, among others.

The Mekong countries also welcomed a proposal from Japan’s Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide on the Investment Partnership Initiative for Mekong sustainable development, as well as cooperation in expanding regional supply chains, among others.

 Overview of the online Summit. Photo: Quang Hieu. 

Amid severe impacts from the Covid-19 pandemic, natural disasters and geopolitical tensions, leaders at the summit expressed their commitment to continuing fighting the pandemic and rebuilding economies.

Leaders from six countries also stressed the importance of boosting cooperation and economic development along with environmental protection. In this regard, it is essential for countries to ensure the sustainable development of the Mekong river basin and enhance the region’s resilience against climate change.

To further Mekong – Japan cooperation, Mr. Phuc suggested the six countries should continue promoting trade and investment based on their complementary nature and competitive advantages of each other; enhance medical cooperation via information sharing and anti-Covid-19 measures, including the development of vaccines and equal vaccine distribution; and ensure sustainable development of the Mekong river basin and capabilities in tackling climate change.

The leaders agreed on a joint-statement of the 12th Mekong – Japan Summit and plan for Japan to host the 13th Summit in 2021.

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