Japan, ASEAN foreign ministers hold special meeting in Jakarta

Updated On: Apr 11, 2011

Japanese and ASEAN ministers held a special meeting in Jakarta just one month after the tragedies that hit Japan. There were two main items on the agenda: 1) ASEAN agreeing to provide quake-related assistance to Japan and 2) ASEAN acknowledging "support for Japan's resolve to take a leadership role" in the international undertaking to improve the safety of nuclear plants.

On disaster relief, many Asean countries pledged to help where they can, either in immediate assistance or looking at longer term engagement. 

Japanese officials said the country is employing strict food safety measures, and asked that ASEAN take a "reasonable response calmly based on scientific evidence."

SIIA Chairman Simon Tay has offered his thoughts on the situation:

"Given how much Japan has helped the region in this past, this is poignant. One area of attention will be on nuclear energy, where Japan and Tepco have offered to assist some Asean countries in developing plants.

"Even for countries without active seismic activity, there are cautionary lessons about risk management. Transparency from Japan is much needed at this time."

Further reading

Japan, ASEAN agree to boost cooperation over nuke power safety [Kyodo News, 10 Apr 2011]

ASEAN, Japan agree to boost cooperation on nuke plant safety [Economic Times, 10 Apr 2011]

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