| James Kon |
AN ASEAN-Japan Defence Ministers’ Informal Meeting was held on the sidelines of the Asean Defence Ministers’ Meeting Retreat (ADMM Retreat) at the Aureum Palace Hotels and Resorts in Bagan, Myanmar.
The meeting, co-chaired by Lieutenant General Wai Lwin, Minister of Defence, Republic of the Union of Myanmar, and Akinori Eto, Minister of Defence, Japan, exchanged views on possible prospects of future defence cooperation between Asean and Japan. They also discussed the various types of non-traditional security threats currently affecting the region.
The Asean Defence Ministers welcomed and commended Japan’s active engagement with Asean member states in contributing to the peace and stability in the region. They also emphasised on the importance of a strong and cohesive Asean while highlighting the significance of the Asean Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM-Plus) as one of the platforms to enhance their defence cooperation with dialogue partners, including Japan.
Akinori Eto stated that Japan maintains its support towards the principle of Asean centrality, and will continue to work closely with member states through the ADMM-Plus to further advance defence cooperation. Asean and Japan have achieved close relations since 1973 including significant progress in the areas of political-security, economic-finance and socio-cultural. Asean and Japan celebrated their 40th anniversary of friendship and cooperation, through the Asean-Japan Commemorative Summit in December 2013.
His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam co-hosted the summit with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan. Partnerships between Asean and Japan will continue on political and security cooperation through dialogues and consultation, which includes ministerial meetings, senior officials and experts meetings, as well as the broader Asean-led architecture such as the Asean Regional Forum (ARF) and the East Asia Summit (EAS).
Representing His Majesty was Pehin Datu Singamanteri Colonel (Rtd) Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Awang Haji Mohammad Yasmin bin Haji Umar, Minister of Energy at the Prime Minister’s Office. He was accompanied by Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Pahlawan Colonel (Rtd) Dato Paduka Haji Abdu’r Rahmani bin Dato Paduka Haji Basir, Ambassador of Brunei Darussalam to Myanmar, as well as Haji Azhar bin Haji Ahmad, Acting Permanent Secretary (Administration and Finance) at the Ministry of Defence and Abu Sufian bin Haji Ali, Deputy Permanent Secretary (Defence Policy and Development) at the Ministry of Defence.