ASEAN-Japan Vice-Ministers Meet in Okinawa

Speaking at the ASEAN-Japan Vice-ministerial meeting held in Okinawa, Japan on February 18, Undersecretary of National Defense Honorio Azcueta stressed that ASEAN members and Japan must capitalize on respective strengths and complement each other in building capacity to meet non-traditional security challenges. While Japan has the technical know how, ASEAN members have skilled human resources.

Convened by Japan for the 5th time, the vice-ministerial meeting focused on capacity building and equipment-technology cooperation. Japan reviewed its contributions on building capacities of ASEAN members while several ASEAN delegations shared their assessment of the impact of Japan's efforts on their respective countries. Specific suggestions on how ASEAN countries and Japan could pursue equipment and technology cooperation were likewise put forth by country delegations, with Japan taking note of the various recommendations. The challenge, as acknowledged by Japanese Defense Vice-Minister, is how to ensure that Japan's capacity building contributions is what ASEAN members need.

With the role of the ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting (ADMM)-Plus in promoting practical cooperation being referenced all throughout the discussions, the various delegations reaffirmed their commitment to sustain participation in the activities of the ADMM-Plus' experts working group which were established to ensure the conduct of practical cooperation.