KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 27 — Malaysia has suggested that ASEAN and Japan explore the possibility of seconding their expert researchers to the ASEAN Centre for Public Health Emergencies and Emerging Diseases to work towards the production of vaccines in the region.
In making the suggestion at the 24th ASEAN-Japan Summit, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said this would help to address the shortage of vaccines in the region and prepare for possible emerging diseases.
He said Japan’s contribution to the center is important and its timely establishment is vital to assist ASEAN Member States in dire need of assistance to mitigate the impact of COVID-19.
“Looking ahead, ASEAN and Japan should enhance multi-disciplinary cooperation in health to better prepare the region to meet future health-related emergencies,” he said in his intervention at the summit on Wednesday.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida also attended the Summit, his first since being appointed to the country’s top post early this month.
Ismail Sabri said Malaysia appreciates Japan’s support and contribution towards the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and Japan’s vaccine contribution to ASEAN member states have contributed greatly to these efforts.
Touching on cybersecurity, Ismail Sabri said ASEAN and Japan should further consolidate cooperation through the ASEAN-Japan Cyber Security Capacity Building Centre.
He said Malaysia looks forward to Japan’s support in developing a digital security professional development and lifelong learning program, aimed at developing capacity building in cyber security.
He also congratulated Japan for successfully hosting the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics during these challenging times.
He added that Japan has remained a steadfast friend of ASEAN since 1973 and the 10-member bloc appreciates Japan’s support and assistance over the years which has contributed to ASEAN’s community-building efforts .
“We look forward to further enhancing ASEAN-Japan dialogue relations. Malaysia welcomes Japan’s proposal to host an in-person special commemorative summit in Japan in 2023, to celebrate 50 years of dialogue relations,” he added.
The 24th ASEAN-Japan Summit was held on the sidelines of the three-day virtual 38th and 39th ASEAN Summits and Related Summits which began Tuesday under the chairmanship of Brunei.