International Dialogue

Summary of Dialogues

The Third Japan-ASEAN Dialogue Convened "A Roadmap Towards East Asian Community"

The Global Forum of Japan (GFJ) and the ASEAN Institutes of Strategic and International Studies (ASEAN-ISIS), with the cooperation of the Council on East Asian Community (CEAC) and the financial support of the Japan-ASEAN Exchange Projects(JAEP), co-sponsored the Third Japan-ASEAN Dialogue on the theme of "A Roadmap towards East Asian Community" on July 22-23, 2004 in Tokyo. After a welcome dinner on the evening of July 22 hosted by Prof. ITO Kenichi, President of GFJ, lively discussions in Sessions I, II, and III, the Final Wrap-Up Session, a Lecture Luncheon, and a Roundtable Dinner on the 23rd amongst the 138 participants ensued.

Towards Economic Integration
In Session I, the theme of "Reinforcing Economic Partnership" started with a keynote speech by Prof. URATA Shujiro, Waseda University, in which he stated that "as a step towards economic integration, Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA) that subsume East Asia centered around ASEAN+3 should be realized." After that, Mr. Huzaime HAMID, Senior Fellow, Institute of Strategic and International Studies of Malaysia, made a second keynote speech, stating that "a proposal establishing the East Asian Secretariat should be made at the ASEAN+3 Summit expected at the end of 2004. It could be the main driving force to establish the East Asian Peace Community, the East Asian Economic Community, and the East Asian Diplomatic Community. It could positively affect the establishment of a common Asian currency."

In response to the keynote speeches, commentators put forward their opinions for and/or against those speeches. "Open regionalism, which is neither exclusive nor antagonistic towards such outside countries as the United States, is to be pursued," said Mr. SHIOYA Takafusa, President, National Institute of Research Advancement. "There exists the ASEAN community. We should expand it to the whole East Asia," said Dr. Paisan RUPANICHKIJ, First Secretary, Department of ASEAN Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand.

The Perspective of Political and Security Cooperation
In Session II, on the theme of "Strengthening Political and Security Cooperation and Partnership", Prof. Carolina G. HERNANDEZ, President of the Institute for Strategic and Development Studies of the Philippines, gave the first keynote speech. She stated that, "ASEAN nations supports the Japan-US security alliance and recognizes that it is a key to regional security." Following that, Prof. YAMAKAGE Susumu, The University of Tokyo, stated, in the second keynote speech, that "political initiative is indispensable for establishing a community. In the process of its establishment, economic integration would lead. However, early or late, security cooperation must come in."

In response to the keynote speeches, "there is a dilemma between committing to an ASEAN security community and going under the American security umbrella," said Mr. SISOWATH Doung Chanto, Deputy Executive Director and Senior Research Fellow, Cambodian Institute for Cooperation and Peace. "How to handle energy and food issues is significant. Those problems should not be causes of conflicts," commented Mr. MAEBARA Seiji, Member of the Japanese House of Representatives.

Enhancing Cooperation in Culture, Public Relations and Exchanges
In Session III, under the theme of "Enhancing Cooperation in Culture, Public Relations and Exchanges", Prof. INOGUCHI Takashi, The University of Tokyo, made a keynote speech and stated that, "the existing images of Asia of being stagnant and despotic are changing. That is because of its sudden economic growth and democratization." In response, "it is necessary to build, in East Asia, networks of think-tanks, which would lead to the functional cooperation in political, economic and security fields," commented Dr. Sundram PUSHPANATHAN, Head of External Relations Units, Bureau for External Relations and Coordination, ASEAN Secretariat.

In the Final Wrap-Up Session, Mr. JIMBO Ken, Governor, The Global Forum of Japan, summarized, "Upon completing our discussions, we have just passed through the phase of discussing whether or not an East Asian Community is necessary." Dr. Hank LIM, Director for Research, Singapore Institute of International Affairs, added that "what we need now is no more a road map but a road sign, that tells us what to do now and next."

In the Lecture Luncheon, Mr. Jusuf WANANDI, Chairman, Supervisory Board, Centre for Strategic and International Studies of the Republic of Indonesia, gave a speech and said that "for further regional integration, the rise of China must be managed peacefully, and it becomes imperative for Japan and China to establish mutual trust between them."

All shorthand notes of this dialogue in Japanese are available on the web.