In closing the year of 2023, we will celebrate the 50th Year of ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation by hosting one of the biggest high-level events of the year, the Commemorative Summit in Tokyo.

Japan’s relationship with ASEAN started half a century ago, when we decided to begin official dialogues with ASEAN countries ahead of the rest of the world. Since then, Japan and ASEAN have expanded and deepened  relations to become not only major trading and investment partners, but also true friends with “heart-to-heart” connections based on a wide range of “people-to-people” exchanges.

Today, the international community is at a historic turning point and the international order based on the rule of law is under serious challenge. We also face complex and compounding challenges, such as climate change, global health and social disparities.

Looking to the next 50 years, we will diligently continue to work closely together based on mutual trust and respect we nurtured over the years. We will jointly address existing and new challenges and ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific region and provide prosperity for all of us.

Through the Commemorative Summit, I, with my fellow leaders from ASEAN, will set out a vision from Tokyo that will build on the “heart-to-heart” relationship that has been nurtured over the past half century, and hand the bond of trust to the next generation. This vision will show the world that Japan and ASEAN are strongly trusted partners in co-creating a sustainable and prosperous future together, not only for the region, but for the world as a whole.

Download the PDFs of this ASEAN-Japan 50th anniversary Special