Japan, ASEAN Agree to Cooperate Further on Rule of Law

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Justice Minister Ken Saito speaks at the ASEAN-Japan Special Meeting of Justice Ministers in Tokyo on Thursday.

TOKYO, July 6 (Jiji Press) — Justice ministers of Japan and Southeast Asian nations on Thursday adopted a joint statement that spelled out a plan to strengthen cooperation to promote the rule of law in the region.

At their meeting in Tokyo, the ministers of Japan and the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations affirmed the importance of developing judicial infrastructure, including basic laws and legal experts, for the promotion of the rule of law.

They agreed to cooperate in drafting laws and ordinances and developing related human resources.

The joint statement called for the strengthening of efforts to support the improvement of legal systems. It said that Japan and ASEAN will hold meetings of their working-level judicial officials regularly as well as seminars aimed at boosting expertise.

It was the first time for Japan and ASEAN to hold a meeting of their justice ministers. The gathering was intended to deepen Japan-ASEAN cooperation in the field of legal affairs as the two sides mark the 50th anniversary of their friendship and cooperation this year.

On Friday, ASEAN and the Group of Seven major democracies will hold the first meeting of their justice ministers, prior to a meeting of G-7 justice ministers on the same day.