Connectivity, People, Environment: PM Thongloun Joins Mekong-Japan Summit in Tokyo

PM Thongloun (left) & PM Abe
Laos' PM Thongloun Sisoulith (left) with Japan's PM Shinzo Abe in Tokyo. (KPL/ Pool)

Mekong-Japan cooperation, connectivity, people links and the environment are major themes as Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith meets counterparts from neighbouring countries and Japan in Tokyo Tuesday.

Joining Dr Thongloun in being hosted by Japanese counterpart PM Shinzo Abe at today’s tenth Mekong-Japan summit in the capital of Japan are Cambodia’s Mr Hun Sen, State Counsellor of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar H.E. Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi, the Kingdom of Thailand’s Mr. Prayut Chan-o-cha and Vietnam’s Mr. Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

It comes as Dr Thongloun and Japan counterpart Mr Abe held a press conference Monday evening, agreeing for Japan to lend further ongoing support to unexploded-ordnance related projects in Laos at the cost of 900 million yen.

The two agreed to facilitate cooperation between Mittaphab hospital in Vientiane and Kitahara Neurosurgical Institute of Japan, according to the pool reports to Laos’ media by pool reporter from Lao News Agency KPL.

According to Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “the Mekong-Japan Summit Meeting has been held every year since 2009 to strengthen the relationship between Japan and the Mekong countries, and for the sustainable development of and narrowing the development gap within the Mekong region.”

“This Summit is expected to further strengthen the relationship between Japan and the Mekong region.”

After their meeting, the leaders are scheduled to interact with the business community at an investment summit.

They are also expected to meet with youth football players attending “Japan-Mekong Youth Exchange Program (football)” organized as a part of the Japan-East Asia Network of Exchange for Students and Youths (JENESYS2018) via Japan International Cooperation Center (JICE).

The annual summits are held in the participating countries on a rotating roster, with Japan hosting on a triennial basis. The Laotian Times reported Laos’ hosting of the 8th Mekong-Japan summit in 2016 alongside the 28th & 29th ASEAN Summits.