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Philippines Leads ASEAN-Japan Center Council On Its 40th Anniversary

Mr. Robespierre Bolivar chaired the Council’s 40th meeting, which discussed strengthening of ASEAN-Japan economic relations.

18 March 2021 – Mr. Robespierre L. Bolivar, Deputy Chief of Mission of the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo and concurrent Council Director for the Philippines, chaired the ASEAN-Japan Center’s (AJC) meeting on March 18 March 2021. The Philippines will chair the Council of Directors for one year, until March 2022, coinciding with the Center’s 40th anniversary.

In his first remarks as Chair, Mr. Bolivar reaffirmed the Philippines’ commitment to enhance ASEAN-Japan cooperation during its leadership of the Council. He highlighted that “the Philippines will help steer the AJC to respond to the current challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, to ensure that ASEAN and Japan derive mutual benefit from the projects we jointly undertake”.

The Council’s 40th meeting assessed the results of the AJC’s 2020 projects in ASEAN Member States, including the Philippines, and discussed proposals for fiscal year 2021 aimed at strengthening ASEAN economies’ capabilities to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Among the core programs of the ASEAN-Japan Center include enhancement of trade and investment relations and promotion of two-way tourism, as well as people-to-people exchanges, between ASEAN and Japan.

AJC is an intergovernmental organization established in 1981 by the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Japan.