Japan weighs upgrade of ASEAN ties, following China, U

JAKARTA — Japan is seriously considering upgrading its relations with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to a comprehensive strategic partnership, Masahiko Kiya, Japan’s ambassador to ASEAN, told Nikkei Asia, indicating Tokyo’s eagerness to catch up with China and the U.S. by achieving the same diplomatic status with the regional bloc.

In an exclusive interview with Nikkei in Jakarta, Kiya said Japan “is now seriously considering upgrading [to] CSP [comprehensive strategic partnership] status” from the current strategic partnership status.