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Greetings from H.E. Mr. Takeaki Matsumoto, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan

26 May, 2011

It is my great pleasure to announce the opening of the Mission of Japan to ASEAN.

Since the establishment of ASEAN in 1967, Japan and ASEAN have worked together to overcome various challenges such as economic crisis and natural disasters, and moved forward together. ASEAN enjoys a remarkable economic growth in today’s global economy, and it is indispensable for the Japanese economy. As the cooperation in the area of political, security and cultural exchanges between Japan and ASEAN has been expanding year by year, we have become irreplaceable partners to each other. ASEAN has been making strenuous efforts for its integration in various fields in order to establish the ASEAN Community by 2015, and increasing its presence in the international community. In light of the trend in which Japan and ASEAN have become closer and the role of ASEAN in the international community has been growing, the opening of the Japanese Mission to ASEAN is to demonstrate our determination to further strengthen the cooperative relationship between Japan and ASEAN and to develop and prosper together.

After the Great East Japan Earthquake on 11 March, 2011, we received various kinds of support from the Governments and the people in the ASEAN Member States and the ASEAN Secretariat, including warm words of sympathy and donations. Those have become great encouragement for the people of Japan. The Special ASEAN-Japan Ministerial Meeting held on 9 April, 2011, with the initiative of President Susilo Bambang Yudoyono of Indonesia, which is the Chair of ASEAN for 2011, had historical significance to prove the strong solidarity and the sense of community between Japan and ASEAN. At that time, I could once again feel the strong friendship between Japan and ASEAN. In order to respond to the solidarity and supports given by ASEAN and the international community, Japan is determined to revive and resurge as a more attractive nation. We will steadily carry on “open reconstruction” in cooperation with ASEAN and the international community.

In this connection, by utilizing the lessons learnt from the disaster, Japan will further strengthen the cooperation with the ASEAN in the area of disaster management, as both of us live in the natural disaster-prone region. Japan, in the manner of “all-Japan” approach, will also provide active support for ASEAN’s efforts to establish the ASEAN Community by 2015 and continue our contribution toward the enhancement of ASEAN Connectivity.

We are determined to further enhance the relationship with ASEAN through the Mission of Japan to ASEAN and will cooperate more closely for the peace and prosperity in the region. I appreciate ASEAN people’s kind cooperation.

Takeaki Matsumoto
Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan