Asean-Japan Centre holds symposium to reflect on Asean’s 50th anniversary

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KUCHING: The Asean-Japan Centre (AJC) conducted a symposium to reflect on Asean’s 50th anniversary in association with Economic Research Institute for Asean and East Asia (ERIA) and the Asean Committee in Tokyo (ACT) in Japan on March 1.

AJC is an intergovernmental organisations of the 10-member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) and Japan based in Tokyo.

“The symposium was organised for the Japanese business people and the media, seizing the timing of publication of a five-volume report ‘ASEAN@50’ which gives in-depth analysis on Asean’s 50-year journey in various aspects, by ERIA to further increase Asean awareness in Japan.

“The symposium attracted some 260 participants,” said a media release recently.

AJC secretary general Masataka Fujita expressed his pleasure to have the joint symposium with ERIA for the first time.

He said the symposium was meant to consider benefits and costs of Asean’s regional integration deepened in the past 50 years through panel discussions on Asean centrality and its community building process.

It also touched on issues related to the Asean Economic Community by prominent experts in the Asean studies, he added.

Japan Foreign Affairs Minister Kazuyuki Nakane was quoted as hoping AJC to effectively implement its activities taking diverse efforts of exchanges into account and continue to serve as a bridge between Asean and Japan.

He also expected ERIA to continue its intellectual contribution for the regional development.

He added that Japan wanted to continue its amicable relations with Asean built up by predecessors and pledged to develop the relations further.

The symposium served as an opportunity to reflect on Asean’s 50 years development and to reaffirm solid Asean-Japan relations for many years to come, concluded the statement.