Source:Xinhua Published: 2013-12-15 9:13:01
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Saturday pledged to support the development of five Southeast Asian countries along the Mekong River continuously.
"Japan will continue to make a contribution to the Mekong region's development," Abe said during the Japan-Mekong Summit Meeting, which also included leaders of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.
"Development in the Mekong region and narrowing the gaps between the 10 ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) member economies are the most important issues toward the creation of the ASEAN (economic) community in 2015," he added.
Japan has pledged to extend a total of 600 billion yen in official development assistance to the five countries in a three- year period through fiscal 2015.
Abe also said the number of travelers between Japan and the region has increased as a result of Japan's eased visa requirements for citizens of all of the five Mekong nations.
The two sides also confirmed cooperation in cultural exchanges, insurance, climate change and disaster management.