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 11 Mar 2008

EPG meeting to be held March 18

Eminent Persons Group (EPG) from Japan and the 10 countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations will gather March 18 in Tokyo to discuss ways to enhance relations in economic, social and various other aspects, Indonesia’s Antara news agency quoted a foreign ministry official as saying Monday.

The launch of the Japan-Asean EPG Meeting was agreed on during the Japan-Asean summit in January last year.

The meeting will be chaired by Takashi Shiraishi, a professor at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies, and Thongsavath Praseuth, former Laotian ambassador to South Korea.

The group plans to meet a total of three times this year, with an eye to making a proposal at the next Japan-Asean summit meeting to be held in Thailand at the end of this year, Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura said.

Asean groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Other members from Japan include Nobutoshi Akao, secretary general of the Asean-Japan Center, Yasuo Hayashi, chairman of the Japan External Trade Organization, and Mariko Bando, president of Showa Women`s University.

Members from Asean countries include Philippine Ambassador to Japan Domingo Siazon and former Malaysian Ambassador to Japan Marzuki Mohammad Noor.

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