|Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh (second from left) and other foreign ministers at 12th Mekong-Japan Foreign Ministers’ Meeting
Addressing the 12th Mekong-Japan Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, held in Bangkok, Thailand, on August 3 within the framework of the 52nd ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, Minh proposed several aspects that the Japan-Mekong cooperation should focus on, including supporting Mekong countries in responding to climate change, managing and using Mekong River sources sustainably, developing smart agriculture, improving infrastructure, and developing human resources working in industry, agriculture and digital technology.
At the event, foreign ministers of Japan, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam agreed that the Mekong-Japan cooperation has contributed significantly to development and prosperity in the region.
They discussed the implementation of the Tokyo Strategy, the organisation of the Mekong-Japan exchange year in 2019, and cooperation orientations in the time ahead.
Mekong countries highly value Japan’s assistance in fostering regional connectivity.
The ministers agreed to strengthen connectivity collaboration, while stressing the importance of promoting economic development in tandem with protecting the environment, reducing disaster risks, adapting to climate change, and managing and using Mekong River sources sustainably.
They emphasised the need to intensify cooperation with the Mekong River Commission so as to realise the “A Decade Toward the Green Mekong” Initiative and the Mekong-Japan Initiative of Sustainable Development Goals Toward 2030.
The ministers also welcomed the initiative by Japan and the US to establish the Japan-US-Mekong Power Partnership (JUMPP) to support Mekong countries’ development and ensure sustainable energy security.
Participants also exchanged views on regional and international issues, including the Korean Peninsula and East Sea issues.
The meeting approved the co-Chair’s Declaration and agreed to organise the 13th Mekong-Japan Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Japan in 2020.