"The Council on East Asian Community (CEAC) E-Letter" is delivered electronically bimonthly, free of charge, to readers in the world interested in Japanese thinking on an East Asian Community and other related international affairs by the Council on East Asian Community (CEAC), all-Japan intellectual platform for the study of an East Asian Community.
It will provide the global audience with our news on "CEAC Commentary" and "CEAC Updates."
If you wish to unsubscribe, please enter your email address in the "unsubscribe" box at the following link:
"CEAC Commentary"presents views of members of CEAC on an East Asian Community and other related international affairs. The view expressed herein is the author's own and should not be attributed to CEAC.
----------------- - - - -----------------
Two Salient Developments at the 17th ARF
By ISHIGAKI Yasuji
Delegate for Japan to AALCO and former Professor
of Tokai University
The 17th Meeting of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) was convened in Hanoi on 23 July 2010 with participation of the representatives from 26 countries and EU on ministerial level, including ASEAN+3 countries, the United States, Russia, North Korea, all with keen and vested interests in political and security matters in East Asia. At that meeting, several significant moves and developments were observed with regard to the current situation and future prospect of security in the region. Pak Ui-Chun, Foreign Minister of North Korea, who attended the Meeting for the first time in two years, had arrived many days earlier in Hanoi, and worked hard so that the discussions over the issue of the sinking of a South Korean warship would be conducted to the best advantage of North Korea, and also to make the Six-Party Talks restarted with lifting of the sanctions against North Korea. As it turned out, the Chairman's Statement adopted at the end of the Meeting mentioned no direct involvement of North Korea, just as she so desired.
In my view, the above ARF Meeting was in particular worthy of noting on the following two points. First, it was declared in the final Chairman's Statement that the participating Ministers adopted the Ha Noi Plan of Action to implement the ARF Vision Statement, which contained policy guidance for the ARF to develop and implement concrete and practical actions toward the year 2020. The previous ARF meetings had focused on dialogues and cooperation concerning important issues of political and security nature in East Asia. However, the above Chairman's Statement clarified that the ARF remains the primary forum to discuss political and security issues in the region and supported ASEAN's role as the driving force in the ARF process, and stated that the Ministers reiterated support for ASEAN's central role in the existing regional mechanisms as well as in evolving regional architectures. Besides, it defined clearly the relationship between a new forum of ASEAN Defense Minister's Meeting Plus (ADMM-Plus) and ARF by stating that the envisaged ADMM Plus will complement the work of the ARF. ADDM-PLUS is to be inaugurated in coming October this year with the participation of ASEAN + 8 countries including Japan, China, Korea, United States, and Russia.
Secondly, it was apparent that a heated discussion took place at the meeting among such countries as Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei on one hand and China on the other, over recent increased China's naval activities and resource exploration in the South China Sea. The above-mentioned ASEAN countries, which have individually territorial claims over the islands in the South China Sea, and hold growing concerns over recent Chinese activities in the area, seized the ARF Meeting as a good opportunity to bring the matter to attention of other countries so as to "multilateralize" the issue. In response to such a move, China reacted strongly, arguing that those matters were bilateral issues to be settled directly with the concerned countries.
After all, Vietnam, the host country, managed well to have the final text of Chairman's Statement negotiated and adopted at very late hours of the closing session of the Meeting, stating that the participating Ministers reaffirmed the continuing importance of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) of 2002, embodying their collective commitment to the promotion of confidence-building measures in this area, and encouraging further efforts towards the eventual conclusion of a Regional Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC). This added phrase might be regarded as strengthening the assertion of the ASEAN countries concerned.
Furthermore, it was noteworthy that under those circumstances, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is said to have indicated at a press conference in Ha Noi that, while the United States does not take any position in favor of particular country over the territorial dispute in the South China Sea, the U.S. shares interest with ASEAN member states, stressing that the freedom of the seas, guaranteed by United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, must not restricted in any case.
(This is the English translation of an article by the author as his personal view which originally appeared on the BBS "Hyakka-Somei" of CEAC on 1 August, 2010, and was posted on "CEAC Commentary" on 31 August, 2010.)
----------------- - - - -----------------
For more views and opinions in the backnumber of "CEAC Commentary," the latest of which are as follows, please refer to:
No.63 A New Development of Japan-China-ROK Summit as a Dispute Settlement Mechanism
by ISHIGAKI Yasuji,Delegate for Japan to AALCO and Former Professor of Tokai University
(17 June 2010)
No.62 Bureaucracy behind the One Percent Pass Rate of Foreign Nurses
by IRIYAMA Akira, Guest Professor of Cyber University, and Executive Research Advisor of International Development Center of Japan
(27 April, 2010)
No.61 A Testing Time for Discussions on an East Asian Community
by ISHIGAKI Yasuji, Delegate for Japan to AALCO and former Professor of Tokai University
(26 February, 2010)
No.60 Japan Should Cooperate with U.S. on APEC
by OKAZAKI Hisahiko, President of the OKAZAKI Institute
(25 December, 2009)
No.59 Accelerating Exports to Asia is the Only Way to Regenerate Japanese Agriculture
by SHINDO Eiichi, Professor Emeritus of Tsukuba University
(31 October, 2009)
"CEAC Updates" introduces to you latest events, announcements and/or publications of CEAC.
------------- - - - -------------
The 41st Policy Plenary Meeting (The 1st CEAC-ISAC Joint Study Meeting) Held to Discuss "The East Asian Community-Building Entering its Second Stage"
Taking advantage of the occasion of the 41st Policy Plenary Meeting of the Council on East Asian Community (CEAC), which was held on July 22nd at the conference room of the Japan Forum on International Relations, the 1st CEAC-ISAC Joint Study Meeting cosponsored by CEAC and the International Academic Society for Asian Community (ISAC) was held. Prof. SHINDO Eiichi, President of the International Academic Society for Asian Community, made a keynote report, which was followed by an active exchange of views among members of CEAC and ISAC.
For more, please refer to:
Please send your comments and/or questions to:
To customize your subscription, or unsubscribe, please refer to:
Secretarial Staff: KIKUCHI Yona
The Council on East Asian Community
2-17-12-1301, Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo, 107-0052