Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Japanese Ambassador to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Kiya Masahiko, presented his credentials to Secretary General Dato' Lim Jock Hoi at the ASEAN Secretariat building in Jakarta on Thursday.

"This morning, I had the honor and pleasure of presenting a letter of Foreign Minister of Japan, Yoshimasa Hayashi, to ASEAN Secretary General, Lim Jock Hoi, for my appointment as the ambassador here," Masahiko said at a press conference here on Thursday.

Masahiko has been appointed as the Japanese Ambassador to ASEAN in place of Akira Chiba.

After presenting his credentials, Masahiko held a discussion with Lim on ASEAN-Japan relations in many sectors, especially their aspirations ahead of the 50th anniversary of ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation in 2023.

"It is a great honor to serve as ambassador of the mission of Japan to ASEAN at this significant juncture for the benefit of ASEAN and Japan and also for the region and for the entire world," he said.

He then expressed his hope of forging even closer relations across various fields, from peace and security, economy and global issues, to culture and people-to-people exchange.

Regarding global issues, he said that Japan wants closer cooperation with ASEAN on issues of global health, climate change and decarbonization, as well as disaster management.

"ASEAN’s importance is visible and it is my pleasure that Japan can do its distinct part in enhancing ASEAN central community and together we contribute to over to the region and to the world," he remarked.

Speaking on ASEAN centrality and unity, Masahiko stressed the need for building awareness on the important role of the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP) adopted in 2019. Japan, he said, has expressed its support for the AOIP.

At a summit meeting last month, Japan said that as many as 89 AOIP cooperation projects, which are in line with its four priority areas, have now been implemented.

Their implementation is a demonstration of Japan's commitment, which has been continued primarily because of ASEAN's stance on the rule of law, openness, freedom, prosperity, and inclusiveness.

"One important thing is I believe the importance of listening closely to ASEAN’s voice. We continue to expand our cooperation with ASEAN to the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF) that is driven under the ASEAN framework and we are extending our support," he said.

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Reporter: Katriana
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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