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The Future of Asia 2012

Abe Vows Deeper Economic Cooperation In Asia

Friday, May 24, 2013

TOKYO (Nikkei)--Japan will strive to be an active member of fast-growing Asia through accelerated economic collaboration with the region, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said in a speech Thursday.

"I will remake Japan into a country that can be a vital part of Asia, which is going through dynamic integration," Abe said at the 19th International Conference on the Future of Asia.

The speech was based on the five principles governing Southeast Asian diplomacy he unveiled during a visit to Indonesia this January.

Dubbing them the "Abe doctrine," he stressed such goals as spreading universal values like freedom and democracy, establishing the rule of law in the sea, and promoting trade and investment.

"Japan seeks free and open economies that are interconnected," the prime minister said. "We will try to take part in multilateral economic frameworks and will accelerate such cooperation."

Japan is negotiating economic frameworks including the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade pact, a 16-country regional comprehensive economic partnership, and a three-way free trade agreement with South Korea and China.

In cultural exchanges, the government plans new initiatives to "create a future in which Japan and other Asian nations will learn from each other," Abe revealed.

The policies will be announced in December at the Japan-ASEAN summit, which will be held in Japan to commemorate the partnership's 40th anniversary.

(The Nikkei, May 24 morning edition)

Titles of speakers, names of companies, etc., were correct as of the time when the forum was held.