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ASEAN-Japan Hold Special Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Jakarta

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“10 April 2011 – In response to the earthquake and tsunami that hit the northeastern region of Japan, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Foreign Ministers and Japanese Foreign Minister Takeaki Matsumoto met Saturday in Jakarta to express ASEAN’s full support to Japan in its rehabilitation efforts, as well as to reiterate how ASEAN values Japan as an important partner in the region’s community building efforts.

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono delivered the opening remarks of the meeting highlighting the importance of ASEAN-Japan relations and the need for ASEAN to assist its close friend and partner.

During the meeting, Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert F. del Rosario conveyed the Philippines’ deepest sympathies to Japan.  The Philippines offered Japan a haven for rest, refuge, and medical treatment.

Secretary del Rosario recalled his visits to Libya, Bahrain, Yemen and Japan to attend to the needs of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in those countries.

In light of these experiences, Secretary del Rosario expressed the Philippines’ commitment to stand by Japan’s side on a bilateral and regional level as Japan pursues its reconstruction efforts.

The Secretary emphasized the need for ASEAN Member States to help Japan, guided by ASEAN’s vision to create one caring and sharing community in ASEAN and with its partners.

He also stressed the expeditious establishment and operationalization of the ASEAN Centre for Humanitarian Assistance (AHA Centre) and the full implementation of the flagship projects under the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER) Work Programme  to develop ASEAN’s readiness to respond to disasters.”