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Source: Socialist Republic of Vietnam

In his speech themed “Building together the future of Indo-Pacific,” PM Suga affirmed that ASEAN and Japan are equal partners and friends, with the two supporting each other by working side by side, learning from one another and working together in pursuit of growth.

This is amply illustrated by the recent response to the COVID-19 pandemic, he said, adding that he was deeply moved when Vietnam sent 1.2 million face masks to Japan under the circumstances of many countries suffering from shortages of medical supplies.

Japan has been providing medical supplies and equipment in the form of grant aid, and assisting human resource development with a view to contributing to strengthening health and medical care systems and improving public health in ASEAN. Moreover, Japan and ASEAN are currently working together towards the establishment of the ASEAN Centre for public health emergencies and emerging diseases with the aim to strengthen ASEAN’s response capacity to infectious diseases, he stated.

According to the Japanese PM, the supply chain is an essential and integral element of modern day international business. This trend was ushered in by the investment of Japanese companies in ASEAN.

In this process, Japanese companies enhanced the expertise of their local employees in host countries through training and contributed to nurturing local businesses.

“The key word for further improving connectivity is digital technology and the resilience of supply chains,” he said.

PM Suga added that his country has been carrying out the “WA Project” to foster cultural exchange between Japan and ASEAN through fine arts and the Japanese language.

“When the COVID-19 pandemic is brought under control, I sincerely hope that many people will be visiting both Japan and ASEAN to experience the diverse culture and the rich nature in each country and savor the delicious local cuisines,” he added.

“Students of VJU, please come and visit Japan for employment, research, business trips and other purposes,” he called.

“I myself will exert every effort and treasure the invaluable friendship with ASEAN. As good friends, let us put in the effort, working hand in hand, to move forward to accomplish a free, open and more prosperous Indo-Pacific,” the PM added.

MIL OSI Asia Pacific News