Japan PM says his relationship with Vietnam 'predestined'

By Tien Anh   April 30, 2022 | 10:00 pm PT
Japan PM says his relationship with Vietnam 'predestined'
Vietnam PM Pham Minh Chinh (R) and Japan PM Fumio Kishida (L) before the talks on May 1, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy
PM Pham Minh Chinh and his visiting Japanese counterpart, Fumio Kishida, have agreed to strengthen bilateral cooperation.

Their talks, held Sunday after a welcome ceremony for Kishida headed by Chinh at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi. After the ceremony, they saw 22 cooperation agreements signed between the two sides.

At a press conference after the talks, Kishida, who greeted everyone in Vietnamese, expressed pleasure at visiting Vietnam for the first time as the PM of his country.

After serving for many years as general secretary of the Japan-Vietnam Friendship Parliamentary Union, he said he "has a predestined relationship with Vietnam".

He said the two countries would strengthen cooperation to achieve economic recovery post-Covid-19 in areas such as supply chain diversification, digital transformation, human resource exchanges, and energy transition by Vietnam.

Japan would work closely with Vietnam to soon complete HCMC’s metro line 1 (Ben Thanh - Suoi Tien), and expand defense and security ties, including cybersecurity, he said.

Chinh said the two sides have "agreed on specific directions and measures to take their strategic cooperation relationship to a new level".

Speaking about the East Sea, internationally known as the South China Sea, the two leaders called on all parties involved to exercise restraint, not use or threaten to use force, comply with international law including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, fully implement the Declaration of the Parties on the East Sea, maintain and promote a favorable environment for negotiations, and achieve a substantive and effective Code of Conduct in the East Sea.

Referring to the Ukraine situation, they said they respect the basic principles of international law and the United Nations Charter, and related parties should not use or threaten to use force in international relations.

Chinh said Vietnam has expressed its comprehensive view on the situation in Ukraine and provided aid of US$500,000 to it through international humanitarian organizations.

Kishida appreciated Vietnam's decision to provide humanitarian assistance to Ukraine.

Vietnam and Japan, who established diplomatic ties in 1973, have had a strategic partnership since 2014.

Japan is Vietnam’s biggest official development assistance provider, the third biggest tourism market and fourth largest trade partner.

Bilateral trade last year was worth $42.7 billion, and Japan has invested $64.4 billion in Vietnam, third behind only South Korea and Singapore.

Vietnamese make up the biggest expatriate population in Japan at over 450,000.

Besides, there are over 51,000 Vietnamese students in Japan, the second biggest group.

Chinh visited Japan in November last year, and was the first foreign leader Kishida met after taking office.

The welcoming ceremony of Japan PM Fumio Kishida. Video by VnExpress/Vu Anh

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