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Foreign ministers from Japan and the five nations along the Mekong River agreed at a meeting Sunday in Brunei to strengthen ties and jointly tackle challenges to prepare for an ASEAN-wide integration.
Japan's Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida expressed support for bolstering the linkages among the nations by promoting development of basic infrastructure such as roads, according to Japan's Foreign Ministry.
Japan pledged about 600 billion yen in official development aid and 2.3 trillion yen for projects to build the infrastructure at the previous meeting among the six nations.
The foreign ministers also agreed to enhance cooperation in disaster prevention measures, the ministry said.
Amid China's greater influence over the region, the meeting was aimed at encouraging development and forging stronger ties between Japan and the five nations along the river -- Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam -- which have lagged behind more advanced members of the ASEAN.
Japan and the five nations also agreed to hold a summit meeting in December when leaders from ASEAN gather in Japan.
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