Director for Japan, ASJA International
I would like to congratulate the opening of the 26th ASCOJA Conference to be held in Singapore for the first time since the start of Covid-19. We are still in the midst of dark clouds, but it is time to try to explore the possibility of constructing a new world of the post-pandemic period. The theme “Out of the tunnel and into the light: The New Norm after Covid-19 for ASEAN and Japan” is quite attractive. Indeed, it is a most aptly chosen subject of today since the fight against virus needs close international cooperation. On behalf of my friends of ASJA, I sincerely appreciate the wisdom and the efforts being taken by JUGAS and its members in preparation of the Conference.
We live today in an increasingly complex world not only in the face of the pandemic but also because of the climate change, the global digitalization and, last but not the least, divided international relations. Therefore international cooperation and dialogue is needed more than ever. ASEAN and Japan constitute a group of closely united nations which will celebrate the 50th anniversary of friendship and cooperation next year. ASCOJA and ASJA partnership can play a significant role in this endeavor. I expect that the Conference will provide useful insights in this respect.
Japan, as in many other countries, has been groping for efficient measures and ways to combat the pandemic. But in certain areas we are not sure whether we are taking actions appropriately or promptly enough. Inputs from our ASEAN partner countries in the fields of education, tourism and entrepreneurship will be very useful and mutually beneficial. Exchange of experiences and ideas in the ASEAN-Japan context will contribute to further enhancing our ties of friendship and cooperation.
Congratulations on the wonderful organization and I wish all of you a great success of the Conference.