Vietnam again requests aid from Japan for high-speed railway

By Viet Bac   January 13, 2023 | 09:05 pm PT
Vietnam again requests aid from Japan for high-speed railway
The Shinkansen high-speed train in Japan. Photo by VnExpress/Anh Duy
Vietnam asked Japan for the second time Friday for support in building a north-south high-speed railway.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh made the request during a meeting with Japanese Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki in Hanoi.

It was the second time the Vietnamese PM made the request towards Japan regarding the mega railway, after asking the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) to support the project as he received JBIC chairman Maeda Tadashi in Hanoi in July.

The Ministry of Transport has proposed a 1,559 km north-south high speed railway line with speeds of 320-350 kph. This high speed railway would be used to transport passengers, while the current traditional railway routes would be used to transport goods.

The total investment for the high speed rail is expected to be over $58 billion. The first phase of the project, to be completed before 2030, would see the construction of two segments: Hanoi-Vinh and Ho Chi Minh City-Nha Trang.

Japans Finance Minister Suzuki Shunichi (L) is received by Vietnams PM Pham Minh Chinh in Hanoi. Photo by Nhat Bac

Japan's Finance Minister Suzuki Shunichi (L) is received by Vietnam's PM Pham Minh Chinh in Hanoi, January 13, 2023. Photo by Nhat Bac

At the Friday meeting, PM Chinh also asked Japan for help to restructure stakes at Nghi Son Refinery and Petrochemical, Vietnam's largest oil refinery which is owned by Petrovietnam, Kuwait Petroleum International and Japan's Idemitsu Kosan and Mitsui Chemicals.

Chinh also asked Japan to provide consultation in management and digital transformation in the bond and stock markets.

The PM affirmed that Vietnam always sees Japan as a leading strategic and long-term partner, and supports Japan in making positive contributions to peace, cooperation and development of the region and the world.

He said the Vietnamese government will create favorable conditions for Japanese businesses to operate in Vietnam.

Finance Minister Shunichi said Japan will study on Vietnam's requests to come up with practical offers.

Vienam and Japan mark 50 years of diplomatic relationship this year.

Japan is Vietnam's largest ODA sponsor, reaching around $17 billion from 1992 to 2021, accounting for around 30% of all ODA from the international community to Vietnam.

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