Southeast Asian Social Study Center (PSSAT) UGM collaborated with Mission of Japan to ASEAN held an international seminar entitled Strengthening Japan and ASEAN Relations on the Occasion of the ASEAN 50th Anniversary on Wednesday (29/3) at UGM Central Library. This event was held as a moment to review the roles as well as relations between countries in Southeast Asia region and non-ASEAN countries.
“This event is a form of commitment of PSSAT UGM in developing a study on the Southeast Asia and its relationship with countries outside the region. In this event, PSSAT UGM gives a particular study about strengthening the relations between Japan and ASEAN in social perspective,” said the Head of PSSAT, Dr.Phil. Hermin Indah Wahyuni during the seminar opening.
Furthermore, Hermin said this seminar aims not only to enhance social awareness on ASEAN issues but also to strengthen people to people relations between Japan and Indonesia.
“This seminar aims to be a bridge between ASEAN and Japan to build an advanced cooperation which can give many benefits for Indonesian and ASEAN,” said Hermin.
The seminar was attended by as many as 100 participants coming from various backgrounds and presented Japan Ambassador for ASEAN, H.E. Kazuo Sunaga as the main speaker. Before delivering his material, he expressed his appreciation upon UGM and Indonesian concerns on the relation between Indonesia and Japan.
“ASEAN has an essential meaning for Japan, and Indonesia is one of the important countries for Japan. Therefore, I am very glad to speak about the relation between Japan and ASEAN as well as Indonesia,” said Kazuo during his speech.
In this occasion, he explained the background of the relation between ASEAN and Japan as well as the cooperation which has been built between the two regions. The relation between ASEAN and Japan was started since the establishment of Forum on Synthetic Rubber in 1973 or 7 years after the ASEAN establishment.
Since the first cooperation, the relation between the two parties improves and expands to other subjects, including the establishment of ASEAN Community in 2015. The seriousness of Japan in building relations with ASEAN is showed by the determination of five ASEAN diplomatic principles by Japan Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, which are joint ventures in protecting and promoting democratic values and human rights, trade and infestation enhancement, as well as student exchange.
“Shinzo Abe announced the five Japan to ASEAN diplomatic principles during his visit in several ASEAN countries and during his presentation in Indonesia on January 2013,” said Kazuo.
Moreover, there were two other keynote speakers, they are a lecturer of International Relation Department UGM, Muhammad RUM, and a researcher of PSSAT UGM, Prof. Tri Widodo, Ph.D. After presentation by Kazuo about the development of Japan-ASEAN relation, Tri Widodo continued the seminar by explaining the scope to enhance the economic cooperation which can be built by ASEAN and Japan in the future. Meanwhile, Muhammad Rum gave a presentation on Benelux effect which appears due to the existence of ASEAN-Japan cooperation in political perspective on regional security.