Bilateral Meetings on the sidelines of the Mekong-Japan SummitBilateral Meetings on the sidelines of the Mekong-Japan Summit
1. Japan-Cambodia summit meeting on 4 July 2015;
On economic cooperation, PM Abe congratulated on the opening of the "Tsubasa Bridge" in Cambodia in April 2015, which was built by Japan's ODA, and expressed Japan's continued commitment to supporting enhancement of the connectivity in the region under the concept of "Quality Infrastructure".
On overall bilateral relations, PM Abe and PM Hun Sen highly valued that the strategic partnership between the two countries was steadily producing fruitful results.
On political and security areas, PM Abe stated that, as part of Japan's proactive contribution to peace, Japan would support election reforms in Cambodia as well as the Khmer Rouge trials.
2. Japan-Lao PDR summit meeting on 4 July 2015;
On overall bilateral relations, taking the opportunity of the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic relations between the two countries, PM Abe and PM Thongsing agreed to steadily implement the New Tokyo Strategy 2015 as well as to produce concrete results of the strategic partnership between the two countries.
On economic cooperation, the two leaders witnessed the signing of the two grant aid projects including the Project for Acceleration of UXO (Unexploded ordnance) Clearance for Rural Development and Poverty Eradication (phase II) and the Economic and Social Development Programme. The aid for the latter will also be utilized for the purchase of necessary materials and equipments upon Lao PDR's taking up ASEAN Chairmanship in 2016.
3. Japan-Myanmar summit meeting on 4 July 2015;
PM Abe stated that Japan would continue to extend support from both public and private sectors for democratization and social /economic reforms in Myanmar, including cooperation towards the free and fair general election.
Touching upon Japan's contribution to peace and stability in the region through proactive contribution to peace, PM Abe further stated that Japan would actively support Myanmar's efforts in reconciliation with minority groups, along with Mr. Yohei Sasakawa, Chairman of the Nippon Foundation, who serves as Special Envoy of the Government of Japan for National Reconciliation in Myanmar.
President Thein Sein conveyed appreciation to PM Abe for Japan's decision of extending Yen loan totaling 100 billion yen (interest rate: 0.01%/year, the term of redemption: 40 years) for; 1) Yangon circular railway line upgrading project ; 2) National power transmission network development project phase II; and, 3) East-West Economic Corridor improvement project.
4. Japan-Viet Nam summit meeting on 4 July 2015;
On overall bilateral relations, PM Abe and PM Dung agreed on deepening bilateral cooperation in a wide range of areas based on "Extensive Strategic Partnership".
On maritime security, the two leaders shared concern over unilateral action to change the status quo including large-scale reclamation in the South China Sea.
On the same day of the summit meeting, an Exchange of Notes concerning Japan's grant aid to Vietnam amounting to 3.66 billion yen was signed in Tokyo by Japanese Ambassador to Vietnam and Minister of Planning and Investment of Vietnam. The projects include: 1) Human resource capacity building project including scholarship programme for young government officials to study in Japan; 2) Water quality improvement project for Japan bridge area in Hoi An City; and, 3) Hai Phong City An Duong water treatment upgrade investment project.
5. Media coverage on the Mekong-Japan Summit;
Overall, Japanese media reported on the Summit positively. Main tone of the reports is that: 1) to strengthen mutually beneficial relations with the Mekong region is beneficial for Japan's national interests; and, 2) Japan should differentiate her development assistance to the region from that of China by promoting Japan-model assistance, i.e. "quality infrastructure".
Concerning the cooperation for the development of Dawei SEZ project, in its editorial dated 7 July 2015, the Nikkei newspaper urged the Japanese government to be held accountable for the participation in the project. It said, "Japan has already been involved in the development project of Thilawa. Thus, the government needs to explain in a consistent manner to the Japanese public why Japan should involve in the two large-scale projects at the same time. To create "quality relations" with the region, the Japanese government is required to ensure transparency and persuasiveness in facilitating huge amount of ODA".
On the bilateral meeting between Thailand and Japan, Japanese media such as Asahi, Mainichi, and NHK briefly reported that the two leaders had touched upon issues such as bilateral cooperation in railway sector and Thailand's political transition.