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Japan to Expand ASEAN Aid, Focus On Food Security at Special Summit

Japan and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations are planning on affirming their commitment toward the improvement of food security in the event of emergencies, at a special summit in December commemorating their 50 years of friendship, government sources said Sunday.

The meeting in Tokyo will see Japan expand its assistance to ASEAN, including enhancing measures against cyberattacks, climate change, as well as cooperation on maritime security, according to the sources.

Japan has been working on strengthening its presence in the region, and deepening its relationship with the Global South developing and emerging countries in a bid to counter China’s influence.

Ahead of the Tokyo summit, the leaders of Japan and ASEAN will meet in Indonesia next month, where they will upgrade ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership, the sources said.

Japan is slated to expand training and technological aid to ASEAN through both public and private programs in a bid to maintain and enhance their food supply chain. The two sides will also coordinate on producing high value-added agricultural and marine products that meet consumer demand.

In regards to cybersecurity, Japan plans to provide advanced training to participants at the ASEAN-Japan Cybersecurity Capacity Building Centre in Thailand, said the sources.

The Japanese government is also hoping to highlight the importance of a free and open Indo-Pacific in a joint statement to be adopted at the summit in December.

In 2020, Japan promised to improve infrastructure in the ASEAN region by, among other things, developing a workforce of about 1,000 people over the course of three years. Japan’s new support measures will expand the scope and scale of such cooperation.

Source : Kyodo News