Vietnam-Japan share East Sea concern, boost defense and economic ties

By Vuong Duc Anh   May 29, 2016 | 05:31 pm PT
Vietnam-Japan share East Sea concern, boost defense and economic ties
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (right) greets Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc prior to their talks at the Abe's official residence in Tokyo, Japan May 28, 2016. Photo by Reuters/Kazuhiro Nogi
Japanese Prime Minister shares Vietnam's concern over the East Sea issue and has committed to continue providing ODA and financial assistance in climate change and infrastructure to Vietnam, according to the Vietnam News Agency.

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe discussed the countries' strategic partnership at a meeting in Tokyo on May 28 as part of Phuc's three day visit to attend the outreach meeting of the G7 Summit from May 26.

The two officials shared the international community’s deep concerns over Vietnam’s East Sea situation and agreed on the importance of maintaining peace, security, safety and freedom of navigation and aviation in the area.

Both countries agree that the parties concerned should not commit any actions that complicate and intensify disputes and militarization in the seaway and to settle differences with amicable measures, in accordance with international law, namely the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Vietnam Sea (DOC). They stressed that the Code of Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (Vietnam's East Sea) should be finalized soon. 

Also during the meeting, Phuc and Abe discussed measures to cement the Vietnam-Japan extensive strategic partnership. Tokyo will continue to provide Vietnam with official development assistance (ODA) to improve infrastructure and respond to climate change.

Abe announced Japan's grant aid worth JPY300 million ($2.5 million) to assist Vietnam in dealing with drought and salinitization, asserting that Tokyo would work with Hanoi to figure out temporary and long-term solutions to the issue. Experts from the Japan International Cooperation agency (JICA) will be sent to Vietnam to conduct surveys on water management projects in the drought-hit Ben Tre province in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta.

The two leaders also agreed to accelerate the implementation of major infrastructure projects, including the North-South railway and the nuclear power plant in Ninh Thuan.

Meanwhile, PM Phuc called for Japan’s support in terms of access to preferential loans from international financial organizations, including those from the World Bank’s International Development Association after 2017. 

Both countries’ ministries and agencies have signed five agreements, four of which were ODA loans worth 166 billion yen ($1.5 billion) in total.

In addition, PM Abe affirmed that Japan would support Vietnam in preparing for the 2017 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, which is scheduled to take place in the central city of Da Nang.

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