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Focus on ASEAN

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In 2013 Japan celebrates the 40th anniversary of its partnership with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). But the history of this partnership goes back well before 1973, when the first dialogue took place with the then five members of ASEAN at a forum on synthetic rubber, and even before 1967, when ASEAN was launched. Today, the partnership includes a project to address health care in rural Indonesia, a project with the ASEAN University Network to nurture internationally competitive engineering personnel and to enhance the quality of engineering education and research at the schools (SEED-Net), a study on dengue fever in partnership with Osaka University and Thailand that promises to produce an effective drug, work to help modernize the financial sector of Myanmar and more. As JICA President Akihiko Tanaka says, "As the region prepares to create the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015, Japan's efforts should be aligned with ASEAN's vision of community building." Expect to see more efforts from JICA toward this goal.

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