Mon, Oct 24, 2016 | updated 03:42 AM IST

Japan says Indonesia has huge responsibility to maintain ASEAN unity

Updated: Aug 16, 2016 16:45 IST

Jakarta (Indonesia), Aug.16 (ANI): Japan has said that Indonesia has a huge responsibility to maintain unity and promote the integration of the ASEAN.

Japan's Ambassador to ASEAN Kazuo Sunaga said since Indonesia is the biggest country in the ASEAN, in terms of population and size of the economy, it has a major responsibility to maintain ASEAN's unity and promoting its integration.

Ambassador Sunaga was addressing an event to commemorate the 49th ASEAN Anniversary on Monday, reports the website.

Highlighted ASEAN's role in maintaining regional peace and stability, particularly with regard to territorial disputes, including the South China Sea, the Senkaku Island and neutralising escalating tensions in the Korean Peninsula, Ambassador Sunaga said there was need for the grouping to remain united and send out a message in this regard to the world comm unity.

Japan, he said, would always respect the centrality of ASEAN, which is the principle that the Southeast Asian grouping of 10 countries should remain at the center of regional cooperation in addressing regional or common global issues.

Currently, the ASEAN is facing tough challenges related to conflicts and disputes among countries in the region, including the dispute between some ASEAN member countries and China over territory in the South China Sea, North Korean missiles trials, as well as the escalating tensions between China and Japan after some Chinese vessels equipped with a long-range radar sailed near the disputed Senkaku Island.

However, escalating tensions in the East Asian region occurred after regional countries, including China, North Korea, and Japan, met at the East Asian Summit organised as part of the ASEAN ministerial meetings in Vientiane, Laos, in July. (ANI with inputs)