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2021/1/1

2021 New Year Message from H.E. Ambassador Chiba


Happy New Year!
 
The year 2021 marks the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the Mission of Japan to ASEAN. I would like to take this opportunity to reaffirm my determination to promote Japan’s cooperation with ASEAN even more strongly, looking ahead to the future of Japan-ASEAN relations which will commemorate the 50th anniversary in two years’ time.
 
Last year, amid the COVID-19 pandemic throughout the world, we once again recognised the importance of the Japan-ASEAN partnership through various efforts to prevent the expansion of the pandemic while accelerating economic recovery.
 
The COVID-19 outbreak revealed the challenges of facing such crisis as the deterioration of global supply chains causing the disruption of flow of goods in a number of countries. Japan and ASEAN amassed our wisdom together and implemented several initiatives for mitigating impact on the current economy and strengthening economic resilience including in digital economy and supply chains towards the post-COVID-19 era.
 
Prime Minister SUGA Yoshihide chose Vietnam and Indonesia for his first foreign visit destination barely one month after he took office last September. In Vietnam, he delivered a speech entitled “Building together the future of Indo-Pacific,” reiterating that Japan and ASEAN, helping each other as friends in Asia, would continue to work together as equal partners to improve connectivity, people-to-people exchange and human resource development. Prime Minister SUGA also underscored that the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP), adopted by ASEAN in 2019, shares fundamental principles with Japan’s Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP).
 
This was reiterated by the Leaders at the Japan-ASEAN Summit Meeting in November. Most notably, it was clearly manifested in their Joint Statement that both the AOIP and Japan’s FOIP concept share relevant fundamental principles.
 
As the AOIP underlines such principles as ASEAN centrality, openness, transparency, inclusivity, and the rule of law, we can confidently say that the AOIP is exactly ASEAN’s identity itself. Japan fully supports the AOIP and will work together with ASEAN to further strengthen our ties.
 
Furthermore, Japan’s assistance for the ASEAN Centre for Public Health Emergencies and Emerging Diseases (A-CPHEED), the establishment of which was formally announced on the occasion of the Japan-ASEAN Summit Meeting last year, is a flagship project of the Japan-ASEAN cooperation. Japan will support ASEAN in enhancing its capacity to combat emerging infectious diseases through our continuous cooperation by fully providing Japan’s expertise, including dispatching experts under JICA’s technical cooperation.
 
Last but not least, Japan wishes to express its utmost appreciation to Vietnam, the 2020 ASEAN Chair, for working tirelessly to realise meetings under the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, as well as for serving as Japan’s Country Coordinator in ASEAN. Japan is committed to working hand in hand with Thailand, which will be our new Country Coordinator from August this year onwards, to support Brunei Darussalam, the 2021 ASEAN Chair.
 
I wish you the very best for a happy and fruitful New Year.

Profile of the Ambassador

Amb Chiba
CHIBA Akira

Born: May 1959, Tehran, Iran
Education:
1984            University of Tokyo, Bachelor of Arts in Law
1985-87       Peking University
1988            University of California, Berkeley, Master of Arts in Asian Studies
 
Government Service:
1984            China Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
1988            Second Secretary, Embassy of Japan, P.R. China
1991            General Affairs Division (legal affairs), Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA)
1993            Assistant Director (budget), Grant Aid Division
1995            Deputy Director, Oceania Division
1997            Deputy Director, Policy Division, Economic Cooperation Bureau
1999            First Secretary (human rights), Permanent Mission of Japan in Geneva
2001            Counsellor (economic affairs), Embassy of Japan, PRC
2004            Director, International Press Division and Assistant Press Secretary, MOFA
2005            Lecturer, University of Tokyo
2006            Director, United Nations Planning and Coordination Division
2008            Director, Registration Division, Ministry of Justice
                    Member, National Bar Examination Drafting Committee (international law)
2010            Minister (Congressional affairs), Embassy of Japan, USA
2013            Minister, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Japan, I.R. Iran
2015            Deputy Director General, Secretariat, Science Council of Japan, Cabinet Office
2016            Consul General, Consulate-General of Japan in Los Angeles
 
Publications:
“Pacific Cooperation and China” The Pacific Review Vol. 2 No. 1 1989
“Traumatic Legacies in China and Japan: An Exchange” Survival, Vol. 47 No. 2 2005
“How to Misunderstand Your Neighbor” (Nicchu Taikenteki Sougo Gokai) Nihon Kyouhousha (Japanese/Chinese) 2005
“High School Senior Life” (Nantatte Kousan) Nihon Kyouhousha (translation) 2006
“Traditional Chinese Correspondence: A Guide for Intermediate Level” (Ippo Sakiwo Yukuhitono Utsukushii Chuugokugo Tegamino Kakikata) Kokusai Gogakusha 2010
(Chinese version “Zhongguo chuantong shuxin jianshang yu xiezuo” published from Shijie Tushu Chuban Gongsi, Beijing 2014)
“Basic Drills in Chinese” (Chugogugono Kihon Doriru) Kokusai Gogakusha 2010
“The Unknown Life of the Chinese Diaspora in Japan” (Nihonjinwa Daremo Kizuite Inai Zairyuu Chuugokujinno Jittai) Saizusha 2010
“How to Befriend Congress” (Naze Amerika dewa Gikaiga Kuniwo Shikirunoka) Potto Shuppan 2014
“The Reversion of Okinawa as the Origin of the Senkaku Islands Issue ―Chiang Kai-shek and his Turbulent Seeds in East Asia―” REVIEW OF ISLAND STUDIES, SELECTED PAPERS 2018, THE SASAKAWA PEACE FOUNDATION 2018