Japanese Ambassador to ASEAN Chiba Akira said on April 15 that sharing information and knowledge in a free, transparent and speedy manner is of utmost importance and a prerequisite for regional cooperation in response to COVID-19.
Japanese Ambassador to ASEAN Chiba Akira (L) in the interview (Photo: VNA)
In an interview recently granted to Vietnam News Agency in Jakarta, Akira said the virus acknowledges no border and Japan cannot stop the spread of infection alone.
It is a duty of all countries to mobilise all their resources to curb and terminate the spread of the virus together, and Japan will continue to take leadership with ASEAN, China and the Republic of Korea in the fight, he said.
Speaking highly of the initiative to hold the ASEAN Special Summit and the Special ASEAN 3 Summit on Response to COVID-19, he praised Vietnam for foreseeing the necessity of information sharing, cooperation and solidarity among the most concerned nations within the region.
According to the Japanese diplomat, the development of vaccine will be a trump card in the fight against COVID-19. In the meantime, identifying the remedy is important, and Japan will expand clinical studies of Avigan medicine to treat COVID-19 patients.
Akira said Japan – ASEAN cooperation in the fight is based on three pillars. First, Japan will cooperate to strengthen infectious disease responsiveness. Second, Japan will support the establishment of a centre for infectious diseases. Third, the country will support the resilience of ASEAN economy.
“Japan is determined to evaluate trade in accordance with the World Trade Organisation’s rules, and to render the supply chain network centred on ASEAN”, he said, affirming that Japan will welcome all ASEAN athletes to the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, as a symbol of human resilience.
Hailing Vietnam’s active and proactive role in its capacity as ASEAN Chair in promoting common efforts against COVID-19, the diplomat said partnership with Vietnam is of utmost importance to Japan this year, not only because Vietnam is ASEAN Chair and a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, but also because Vietnam is Japan’s Country Coordinator for ASEAN.
He concluded that countries are facing a new normal in uncharted waters, and Vietnam’s helmsmanship has been audacious, innovative and outstanding.
“We are yet to know what awaits us next, but I wish Vietnam all the best for the days to come, so that the region can adapt to this new normal as quickly as possible”, he said.VNA