The government renewed its commitment to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in its annual report on foreign aid released Friday, with Tokyo stressing the importance of ensuring the safety of sea lanes in the region amid China’s growing maritime assertiveness.

In the latest white paper on the country’s official development assistance, the Foreign Ministry said ASEAN countries are extremely important “from both political and economic perspectives” as they lie along key sea lanes and have strong economic ties with many Japanese firms operating in those nations.

Unable to view this article?

This could be due to a conflict with your ad-blocking or security software.

Please add japantimes.co.jp and piano.io to your list of allowed sites.

If this does not resolve the issue or you are unable to add the domains to your allowlist, please see out this support page.

We humbly apologize for the inconvenience.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.