Japan and Mekong nations of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam to strengthen ties
Sawako Utsumi and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
Japan and five nations connected to the Mekong Delta have agreed to strengthen ties throughout this important geopolitical region. Once more, for Myanmar, it highlights that this nation isn’t isolated throughout Asia and further afield despite Western and Islamic pressure. Therefore, with Japan seeking a counter to China’s geopolitical ambitions in this strategic region, it is incumbent on this nation to reach out to all Mekong Delta nations.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan ushered a joint announcement after the smooth running of the 10th Mekong-Japan Summit. The leader of Japan stipulated, “The Mekong region has big potential for growth and prosperity. We adopted (the agreements) to realize an affluent future together.”
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc of Vietnam, just like Abe, also raised issues related to areas outside of the Mekong Delta. Hence, Phuc expressed the need to abide by the Convention on the Law of the Sea that was ratified by the United Nations in 1982.
In relation to the meeting in Japan, the Vietnam News Agency reports, “PM Phuc’s presence at the 10th Mekong-Japan Summit and his Japan visit show Vietnam is a reliable partner and is willing to work with Japan and other Mekong countries to build long-term cooperation plans between Greater Mekong Sub-region countries and lifting the Vietnam-Japan strategic partnership to a new height.”
State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi of Myanmar, just like Vietnam and other Mekong Delta nations, also had separate meetings with the leader of Japan and business representatives from this nation. At the Myanmar Investment Conference (held in Tokyo) Aung San Suu Kyi said passionately to the important Japanese business audience, “Please come and visit us, and see for yourselves.” This comment was made in relation to the huge potential of Myanmar and how this nation is focused on countless development projects.
The Irrawaddy reports, “Since Myanmar began to open its economy in 2010, Japan has been actively involved in development projects in the country ranging from financial sector development to railway, road and energy networks. The Thilawa Special Economic Zone (SEZ) is the first Japan-Myanmar public-private initiative to be implemented here as a 2,342-hectare industrial area outside of Yangon.”
Overall, the 10th Mekong-Japan Summit was a huge success where relations between the Mekong Delta nations and Japan were announced to being of “strategic partnership.” Hence, issues related to the infrastructure, business ventures, connectivity, environmental issues, raising the power of human resources, transportation, and other important issues were discussed in order to enhance the region. Therefore, all nations involved have a fresh impetus to improve and strive to create a highly developed infrastructure that will enhance business throughout the Mekong Delta.
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