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Joint Statement of the Second Mekong – Japan Summit

Ha Noi, Viet Nam, October 29, 2010

1.We, the Heads of the Governments of Japan, the Kingdom of Cambodia, the Lao People's Democratic Republic, the Union of Myanmar, the Kingdom of Thailand and the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, met in Hanoi, Viet Nam on 29 October 2010, for the Second Mekong-Japan Summit.

 

2.We took note with deep satisfaction that the relationship and cooperation between the Mekong region countries and Japan gained remarkable achievements in various fields such as political and economic areas as well as development cooperation for the past several years especially since the First Mekong-Japan Summit in November 2009 in Tokyo. We welcomed and appreciated the consultations and cooperative efforts of relevant ministries to further enhance Japan-Mekong relationship, which have been shown at the 3rd Mekong-Japan Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Ha Noi on 21 July 2010, and the 2nd Mekong- Japan Economic Ministers'Meeting in Da Nang on 26 August 2010.


3.We welcomed the significant progress of the implementation of the "Tokyo Declaration" and "Mekong-Japan Action Plan 63" and other initiatives proposed by the Mekong region countries since the First Mekong-Japan Summit and determined to enhance the cooperation. We also exchanged views on regional and international issues of common concern. We reinforced our commitment to continue the cooperation for peace, development and prosperity of the Mekong region as well as of East Asia.


4.The Mekong countries Leaders expressed their appreciation to Japan for her important and constructive role in the region, in particular for the development assistance from Japan; reaffirmed their common view that Japan is always considered as a long-standing, reliable and indispensable partner of the Mekong region and expressed their expectation that Japan would maintain her close cooperation with the Mekong region countries. Japanese Prime Minister reiterated that Japan will continue its commitment to join hands with the Mekong region countries to work toward the goals set at the First Mekong – Japan Summit, and also highly appraised the self-help efforts made by the Mekong region countries.

Mekong-Japan Cooperation for Comprehensive, Balanced and Sustainable Development of Mekong Sub – Region:
5.We shared the view that development in the Mekong region should be a model for development that reinforces regional integration, achieves sustainable development compatible with conservation of the environment and is beneficial for both the Mekong region countries and third countries.


6.We reaffirmed our determination to continue to use resources for the development of both hard and soft infrastructure in the Mekong region. In this context, we highly appreciated and adopted the "Mekong-Japan Economic and Industrial Cooperation Initiative (MJ-CI) Action Plan" which focuses on hard infrastructure, trade facilitation/logistics, , enhancement of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), supporting industries, entrepreneurship, service sector and new industrial sector based on the business recommendations from the business community. We recognized that "MJ-CI Action Plan" will promote business activities and narrow the development gap through resolving the "missing links" in the region under the "Action Plan 63". In addition, we welcomed the outcome of the Mekong-Japan International Conference on the East-West Economic Corridor (EWEC) and the Southern Economic Corridor (SEC), co-hosted by Japan and Thailand in Bangkok in September 2010 and the Workshop on the improvement of EWEC in Tokyo, in which participants stressed the importance of addressing the soft infrastructure in addition to the hard infrastructure in order to make full use of the Economic Corridors and increase connectivity in the region.


7.We also noted the necessity to further promote cooperation between the public and private sectors that contributes to the effective implementation of cooperation projects in various areas. In this regard, the Mekong region countries and Japan held the first Mekong-Japan Industry and Government Dialogue in August 2010, in which business community reported recommendations to the governments for the formulation of the MJ-CI Action Plan. In addition, Japan has launched a new forum for the promotion of Public-Private Cooperation in the Mekong region and will hold the first Forum for the Promotion of Public-Private Cooperation, with the participation of the public and private sectors of Japan and the Mekong region countries later this year.


8.We recognized the importance of human resource development in the Mekong region countries for meeting the rising demand of economic development in the region. We took note of the initial development of the "Mekong – Japan Vocational Training Center Project". We also welcomed Thailand's readiness to support the implementation of the "Action Plan 63", especially in the field of human resource development where Thailand has high capacity.

9.We welcomed "A Decade Toward the Green Mekong" initiative and adopted its Action Plan and expressed strong expectation that Mekong-Japan cooperation on the environment conservation would be enhanced in order for the Mekong region to achieve a "Green Mekong" with lush greenery, rich biodiversity and resilience to natural disasters through various effective measures including reforestation.


10.We emphasized the need to promote cooperation on Mekong water resource management, the importance of which was stressed by the Vietnamese Leader at the first Mekong – Japan Summit. In this spirit, the Leaders highly appreciated Japan's decision to support Mekong River Commission (MRC)'s flood and drought projects.


11.We reaffirmed our commitment to cooperate actively in reducing poverty, narrowing economic disparities, enhancing food security and improving public health, to achieve well-balanced development in the Mekong region. We expressed our determination to cooperate with each other to provide support for the people easily affected by the economic slowdown and natural disasters. We also noted the necessity to foster regional industries, develop agricultural sector and socio-economic sector such as primary health and primary education. In this context, the Prime Minister of Japan expressed Japan's willingness to continue the assistance to the development of the "CLV Development Triangle". Leaders of the Mekong region countries requested cooperation of Japan for CLMV and ACMECS projects.

12.We welcomed fruitful outcomes of people-to-people exchanges from the grass-roots to the most senior levels in broad areas such as politics, security, economy, culture, tourism and youth exchange. We appreciated Viet Nam for hosting the Mekong-Japan Tourism and Culture days in Can Tho, in December, 2009, Laos for hosting the "Mekong-Japan Seminar on Women Parliamentarian" in Luang Prabang on 22 December 2009, and Japan for hosting the "Mekong-Japan Symposium on Ancient Capitals" in Nara City, Japan, on 22 June 2010. The Leaders of the Mekong region countries highly valued the implementation of the exchange program in which 30,000 people, including the youths, from the Mekong region countries would be invited to visit Japan during three years starting from 2010.


13.We welcomed the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity, adopted by the Leaders of ASEAN at the 17th ASEAN Summit. We emphasized the importance of the positive synergy of the Japan – Mekong cooperation and ASEAN Connectivity, and shared common view that infrastructure development in the Mekong countries should be harmonized with the infrastructure development in ASEAN and East Asia. The Prime Minister of Japan supported the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity and expressed Japan's willingness to continue the assistance to the Mekong region countries for the development of the physical, institutional and people-to-people connectivity.


Other Issues of Common Interest:


14.We reaffirmed our determination to enhance close cooperation on regional and global issues of common concern, and to deepen and broaden the existing Mekong-Japan cooperation to ensure peace, stability and prosperity in the region.

15.We reaffirmed our support for the United Nations reform, and in this connection reiterated our support for early reform of the Security Council, including the expansion of both permanent and non-permanent membership categories and the improvement of working methods in order to make the Security Council more representative, legitimate, effective and responsive to the realities and needs of the international community in the 21st Century. The Japanese Prime Minister highly appreciated the Mekong region countries' continuous support for Japan to become a Permanent Member of the UN Security Council when its membership is expanded.


16.We reaffirmed our support for a complete and verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in accordance with the September 2005 Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks and the relevant UN Security Council resolutions. We also emphasized the importance of addressing humanitarian concerns of the international community. We reiterated the need to fully comply with relevant UNSC resolutions.


17.We noted the importance of the general elections to be held in Myanmar on 7 November 2010 and expressed our hope that the general elections will be held in a free, fair, and open manner.


18.We agreed that maritime issues should be solved in a peaceful manner on the basis of international laws for peace, stability and development in the Asia Pacific region.


Mekong-Japan Related Meetings:

19. We shared the views that Mekong-Japan cooperation has made a considerable progress in the past years. We reaffirmed our commitment to further enhance our cooperation through related Mekong-Japan fora. We expressed our appreciation for Viet Nam's hospitality and excellent arrangements for the Second Mekong-Japan Summit and looked forward to convening the Third Mekong-Japan Summit in Indonesia in 2011, back to back with the 19th ASEAN Summit, as well as the Fourth Foreign Ministers' Meeting and the Third Economic Ministers' Meeting in 2011 in Indonesia to be organized by Japan.


Done in Ha Noi, the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, on 29 October 2010.

 

Action Plan for "A Decade toward the Green Mekong" Initiative

October 29, 2010

The 1st Mekong-Japan Summit Meeting held in November 2009 adopted the Tokyo Declaration announcing the start of "A Decade toward the Green Mekong" Initiative, which aims at creating a "Green Mekong" rich in biodiversity, resilient to natural disasters, blessed with sustainable water and forest resources, and achieving both environmental protection and economic growth. This Action Plan is based on concepts approved in the 3rd Mekong-Japan Foreign Ministers' Meeting held in July 2010 and was formulated to outline specific areas of cooperation between the Mekong region countries and Japan.

1. Challenges Facing the Mekong Region


The achievement of sustainable growth in the Mekong region is of vital importance to both Japan and the Mekong region countries. In light of the richness of nature that characterizes this region, development must proceed with due attention to the environmental protection and effects of the climate change.


1.1 Importance of Addressing Environment / Climate Change in the Mekong Region


Supported by its wealth of natural resources and abundant labor, the Mekong region has achieved remarkable economic growth in recent years and holds the promise of continued development in the future. Japan and the Mekong region countries share the recognition that achieving sustainable economic growth in the Mekong region, which will lead to its continued stability and development, is of vital importance to the stability and development of Japan as well as all Asian countries. Moreover, Japan and the Mekong region countries recognize the important role that the achievement of sustainable development in this region will have in narrowing gaps in the ASEAN region, thereby promoting regional integration and contributing to the building of the East Asian Community.


The Mekong region's abundant forest resources and river's ecosystems support a rich biodiversity. However, the region is also recognized globally as an area threatened by degradation of ecosystems. Pollution and the degradation of the natural environment caused by such factors as rapid economic growth and lingering poverty have come to a point where they could pose a serious threat to the Mekong inhabitants, rendering the harmonization of economic growth and environmental protection an absolute requirement. With its large population, rapid pace of economic development, and expansive forest areas, the region can potentially make a valuable contribution to global environmental problems by appropriately addressing environment and climate change issues.


1.2 Defining the Challenges

Based on the recognition described above, earnest action must be taken in the Mekong region to address especially the following problems: (1) deforestation and forest degradation, (2) adverse impacts on biodiversity, (3) increasing severity of natural disasters (super-large typhoons, droughts, floods, etc.), (4) drop in the Mekong River's water level, and (5) water and air pollution in urban areas. To meet these challenges, the Mekong region countries recognize environmental and climate change issues as common regional concerns and will actively cooperate in responding to them. Japan will utilize its knowledge and experience to support the efforts of the Mekong region countries.


2. New Approach for Cooperation


To overcome the above problems and challenges, and to achieve development in balance with the environment, it is vitally important to enhance wide-ranging cooperation among Japan, the Mekong region countries, and other development partners. For this purpose, Japan and the Mekong region countries will strengthen the following approaches:

2.1 Strengthening a "Region-wide Approach"


In many cases, tackling environment and climate change must involve cross-border efforts. Hence, it is necessary to encourage greater cooperation and efforts among the Mekong region countries and Japan in addressing the cross-border environmental issues. Since the Mekong region shares the Mekong River as a valuable natural asset, programs for balancing environmental and development demands in this area can serve as a pilot project for sustainable development for the entire world. With this in mind, Japan and the Mekong region countries will strengthen Region-wide approaches.

2.2 Strengthening a "Public-Private Cooperative Approach"

Addressing environmental and climate change issues requires advanced technologies and knowledge covering a diverse range of fields. Therefore, it is essential to utilize the technologies and knowledge of both the public and private sectors and to respond effectively and accurately to a broad scope of needs.


Japan possesses advanced technologies and knowledge in the fields of the environment and climate change and will actively utilize these capabilities for the realization of a "Green Mekong". For this purpose, Japan will strengthen the cooperative ties between the public and private sectors. While mobilizing the knowledge available from both sectors, Japan will promote more effective cooperation through the use of public financial resources such as official development assistance (ODA) and other official flows (OOF), as well as private financial resources to the Mekong region.

2.3 Strengthening an "Open Approach"


Many external development partners have participated in the development of the Mekong region and responded to a wide range of development needs. In promoting Japan-Mekong cooperation, efforts will be made to keep information sharing and maintain dialogues with related partners and to strengthen an open approach.


3. Action Plans to achieve a "Green Mekong"

3.1 New Projects

Following the 1st Mekong-Japan Summit Meeting held in November 2009, Japan and the Mekong region countries launched a number of projects and cooperative actions in the area of the environment and climate change. In order to further advance "Green Mekong" initiative, Japan has taken the opportunity presented by the 2nd Mekong-Japan Summit Meeting to announce its plans to implement the following assistance projects.


(1)This year, Japan decided to provide assistance on forest conservation to Cambodia, Laos, and Viet Nam to realize rich forests and achieve the sustainable utilization of forest resources. In addition to this, Japan decided to provide assistance to Thailand in the same area.


(2)To improve the water resource management of the Mekong River, which constitutes the common asset of the region, Japan wil assist the Mekong River Commission (MRC) to support pr
ects to take countermeasures against drought and floods. Japan will also provide assistance to Viet Nam and Laos for development of irrigation system and capacity building in management of the system. In addition, in the area of capacity development in disaster prevention and response to disaster, Japan decided to dispatch an advisor to Myanmar for capacity building in Forecast and Warning Systems.

(3)To achieve clean urban environments, Japan will provide 3R-related assistance to Viet Nam to build recycle-oriented society.

(4)As part of an initiative to conserve biodiversity in the Mekong River, Japan will provide assistance to protection and surveillance activities of Irrawaddy dolphins in the Mekong River in Cambodia and Laos, and will assist in the development of alternative means of livelihood for fishermen in the area. Working in cooperation with the International Tropical Timber Organization(ITTO), Japan will provide assistance for capacity development of the local administration and livehood improvement of the local people in forest areas of Cambodia and Thailand. In order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through utilization of Japan's low-carbon technologies and products, feasibility studies assisted by Japan will be undertaken in Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam for developing bilateral offset mechanisms.

 

3.2Actions to be Taken in Each Area


In launching "A Decade toward the Green Mekong" Initiative, Japan and the Mekong region countries will implement the following actions covering six areas, while taking into consideration the need to reduce disparities among the countries of the region.


(1)Sustainable Forest Management

Cooperation will be strengthened for developing necessary hard-ware and improving capacity on data collection and analysis to proceed with data collection and develop monitoring system on forest resources. Assistance will be provided for development of forest related laws and legislation as well as capacity building of government officials to decrease deforestation and promote comprehensive forest management system. Promote sustainable forest management with participation of local people by proceeding with such measures as enhancement of awareness of the local people on forest conservation and development of alternative livelihood.


Recognizing that measures for Reducing Emissions from Deforestration and Forest Degradation (REDD+) in developing countries have a highly significant role to play in forest management in developing countries, assistance will be provided for the measures to improve the environment for the implementation of REDD+, such as formulation of national strategies, development of legal systems, capacity building, establishment of monitoring systems and promotion of community forests managed by local population. In response to the progress of improvement of the environment, further assistance will be provided for implementation of national strategies, operation of monitoring systems and implementation of pilot projects for REDD+. While continuing to monitor the progress made in negotiations in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, cooperative actions will be undertaken for the full implementation of REDD+, while keeping in mind opportunities for increased future utilization of private-sector funds.


Mekong region countries will continue to engage in forest management for the achievement of forest cover ratios and other related goals.

(2)Water Resource Management

Cooperation for capacity building in policy making and development of institutional framework of water resource management in the Mekong region countries will be further promoted. Cooperation will be strengthened for data collection and improving monitoring systems for water resources management, which also support countermeasures against flood and drought efficiently in the region. Hardware-oriented assistance will be provided for the repair and improvement of existing irrigation facilities as well as the development of new ones. Parallel to this, assistance will be provided for capacity-building to improve and develop the institutional framework, promote human resources development (eg. training of water resource engineers), and establish and manage irrigation cooperative. Efforts will be made to promote introduction of participatory irrigation management to develop systems for the maintenance of irrigation facilities with an aim to achieving stable food supplies and poverty reduction. Efforts will also be made to promote the Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) approach through the MRC.


(3)Disaster Prevention and Response to Disasters

Hardware-oriented assistance will be provided for riverbank reinforcement and prevention of erosion, and for prevention of floods in urban areas by developing sewarage systems. Assistance will also be provided for capacity development such as observation and data-analysis systems as well as personnel training for enhancing meteorological forecast and warning capabilities. At the same time, efforts will be made for development of related administrative institutions and capacity in the community to respond to disasters.


(4) Improvement of Urban Environment

Seeking to reduce disparities among the countries of the region, Japan and the Mekong region countries will make efforts to promote the development of urban infrastructures (water supply, sewage treatment, waste disposal, etc.) in line with the respective scales and developmental stages of individual cities. Assistance will also be provided for creating environmental impact assessment systems and for facilitating development of transport networks such as urban railways (physical connectivity). From various perspectives, special attention will be paid to pursuing the following initiatives:


– Under the aegis of the "East Asia Smart Community Initiative," the government and private sector will work together to realize "smart communities" in cities where it is deemed technically feasible from the perspective of the availability and diffusion of technologies. "Smart communities" will feature next-generation energy and social systems formed by combining multiple systems in IT-based networks. The systems to be linked will include environmentally friendly transportation systems and energy management systems that make maximum use of solar power, wind power, and other natural energy sources, as well as unused energy from waste heat and river currents.


– To promote the use of alternative energy sources, initiatives for the "biomass town concept" will be pursued.

(5) Conservation of Biodiversity

Japan and the Mekong region countries will strengthen cooperation for developing data collection systems and monitoring systems for forest management in the Mekong region. Japan and the Mekong region will steadily pursue initiatives to proceed with ongoing activities to conserve biodiversity including the preservation of coastal mangrove ecosystems and supporting the protection of Mekong River Irrawaddy dolphins, for further enhancing the conservation of ecosystems and regional biodiversity.


(6) Controlling and Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Japan and the Mekong region will promote the introduction of renewable energy and development of infrastructures including high-efficient energy generation plants. Capacity building for REDD+-related measures will be promoted and initiatives will be strengthened, while bearing in mind opportunities for increased future utilization of private-sector funds. The specific actions and measures to be implemented in the immediate future are as follows:


– Individual projects such as those for the conservation of forests, development of low-emission transit networks, and cross-sector measures related to climate change will be further promoted.

 

– Develop a "REDD+ database" by compiling data collected by REDD+ surveys conducted in developing countries, and transmit information to other stakeholders, including policymakers in the Mekong region.


– Contribute to the global effort to control and reduce greenhouse gas emissions through cooperation in international negotiations for establishment of a fair and effective international framework by all major economies.


– Promote measures to identify and formulate emission-cutting projects featuring the use of Japan's advanced technologies and products and the utilization of renewable energy sources. By undertaking feasibility studies on greenhouse gas emissions reduction volumes and measurement methods, Japan and the Mekong region will promote the development of bilateral offset mechanisms.


– For countries planning to introduce nuclear power generation, cooperate in the development of a framework to ensure nuclear non-proliferation/ safeguards, safety, security and nuclear liability in compliance with the IAEA standards and relevant international treaties. Undertake feasibility studies on large-capacity power transmission networks made necessary by construction plans for large-scale nuclear and other power generation facilities, and cooperate in the development of stable and efficient power supply systems. It is expected that greenhouse gas emissions will be decreased with the reduction of loss in power transmission.


– Promote systematic environmental measures in the Mekong region countries based on the Japan-ASEAN Action Plan on Environment Improvement in the Transport Sector adopted in December 2009. Furthermore, promote the development of environmentally friendly transit systems based on the initiatives by the Regional Environmentally Sustainable Transport (EST) Forum in Asia.


4. Follow-up Mechanism

To ensure the medium- to long-term implementation of this Action Plan, a Green Mekong Forum will be held to follow up on specific initiatives being undertaken by Japan and the Mekong region countries.
Efforts will be made to harmonize with measures and policies being pursued in the wider geographical region through collaboration with the Japan-ASEAN, ASEAN+3, East Asia Summit (EAS), and other frameworks for dialogue. A continuous follow-up process will be maintained by utilizing the opportunities provided in specific areas of concern by such frameworks as the Asia Pacific Climate Change Adaptation Network (climate change), the Regional 3R Forum in Asia (3R and waste management), the Water Environment Partnership in Asia (water resources management), the Regional Environmentally Sustainable Transport (EST) Forum in Asia, and the soon-to-be-formed ASEAN-Japan Public-Private Joint Forum for the promotion of safer and more environmentally-friendly vehicles (reducing greenhouse gas emissions).

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