Japan and Thailand agreed Wednesday to deepen collaboration ahead of a special Japan-ASEAN summit next month in Tokyo as Prime Minister Fumio Kishida expressed hope to unveil a new vision for cooperation.

During a meeting with Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin in San Francisco, Kishida said he wants to work together with him to maintain and strengthen a free and open international order based on the rule of law, the Foreign Ministry said.

The Thai leader was quoted by the ministry as responding that his nation is willing to boost ties with Tokyo.

With Japanese automakers operating production bases in Thailand, the energy and auto sectors were among the areas of cooperation that the two leaders cited during their face-to-face talks, according to the ministry.

Kishida has also proposed the creation of an Asian zero-emission community, in which Japan and other Asian countries jointly aim to transition to clean energy, it said.

Japan and the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations mark their 50th anniversary of friendship and cooperation in 2023, with their special summit scheduled to run for three days from Dec. 16.