Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa said Friday that she will set off from Sunday for a six-day trip to Brunei, Vietnam, Laos and Thailand to promote security and economic ties with the ASEAN members amid China's growing regional assertiveness.

Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa holds a press conference in Tokyo on Oct. 6, 2023. (Kyodo) 

At a press conference, Kamikawa said that she intends to affirm continued collaboration with her ASEAN counterparts toward "upholding and reinforcing the free and open international order based on the rule of law" during her planned trip.

Kamikawa added that they will confirm the importance of working together closely to ensure the success of a special summit scheduled for December in Tokyo, which will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the friendship between Japan and the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations this year.

For Kamikawa, who took over the post from Yoshimasa Hayashi in a Cabinet overhaul on Sept. 13, it will be her second overseas trip as Japan's foreign minister, following a visit to New York last month to attend the U.N. General Assembly.

In early September, Japan and ASEAN upgraded their relationship to a "comprehensive strategic partnership" to deepen cooperation in areas of common interest, such as maritime security, when Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and leaders of the region gathered in Jakarta.

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

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