Japan enhances strategic partnership with Laos

VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/ANN): The Embassy of Japan has detailed the new action plan for future cooperation between Laos and Japan.

The Deputy Chief of Mission of the Embassy of Japan, Keiichi Iwamoto recently posted a message in this regard on the Embassy of Japan’s Facebook page.

He said as mentioned many times in this column, last year marked the 5th anniversary of their strategic partnership.

A short while ago, Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga made a telephone call to Prime Minister Phankham Viphavanh and congratulated him on the new leadership. This was the first ever phone call exchanged between the top leaders of the two countries.

On this commemorative occasion, the ‘Action Plan’ for the advancement of strategic partnership between Japan and Laos was publicly announced.

He wrote that this document navigates the future collaboration in a wide range of areas based upon many successful outcomes in the past five years.

The action plan consists of five main topics that Laos and Japan will focus on – political and security areas, economic cooperation, sustainable development of the Lao PDR’s economy, human resource development, trade and investment, economic partnership agreement, socio-cultural and people-to-people exchanges, and cooperation on regional and international issues.

Both sides affirmed to strengthen cooperation on preventing and responding to natural disasters as well as public health emergencies including Covid-19 and other pandemic diseases that have an effect on socio-economic development.

The socio-cultural and people-to-people exchange will include youth exchanges on both sides and visits by young leaders to Japan and vice versa.

Both sides shared the view to continue to promote people-to-people exchanges through programmes such as Japan-East Asia Network of Exchange for Students and Youths (JENESYS Programme) and the Ship for Southeast Asian and Japanese Youth Program (SSEAYP).

Art and cultural exchanges between both sides will further promote the Japan festival in the Lao PDR and the Lao Festival in Japan.

Both sides have appreciated the proactive efforts of the Japan Foundation Asia Center since 2014 to promote culture, sports, and people-to-people exchanges, particularly among youth and intellectuals.

In this regard, they shared the view to promote arts and cultural exchanges between the two countries in order to foster a sense of solidarity, mutual respect, and understanding of traditions and values of both countries.

Both sides welcomed the introduction of Japanese-language in secondary schools and the remarkable increase in the number of Japanese learners. They appreciated the support activities by Japanese experts. - Vientiane Times/Asia News Network

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