>>Vietnam sees Japan as partner: Party chief
Vietnam considered Japan an important, long-term partner as reflected by its firm foreign policy stance, Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong told Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on September 15 in Tokyo.
Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong (left) meets with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during his working visit to Japan__Photo: Tri Dung/VNA
The Party leader made the statement during his four-day official visit to Japan that ended on September 18.
During their talks, Trong and Abe agreed on initiatives to foster the Vietnam-Japan extensive strategic partnership, focusing on political trust, economic connectivity, and stronger mutual support in regional and global issues.
In their joint vision statement, Vietnam and Japan asserted their determination to promote their overall relationship in the interests of their peoples to contribute to peace, stability, cooperation and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region and the world.
Speaking highly of Japan's support to Vietnam over the past two decades, the Party chief asked Japan to continue to provide official development assistance (ODA) to Vietnam.
Vietnam wanted to receive special priority so that it could realize high-quality infrastructure, business climate and technological advancement of Japan's caliber, Trong said, adding the country hoped that Japan would pour more capital into farming, mechanical engineering, and development of large-scale industrial parks in Vietnam.
The Party leader asked for specific help in improving the country's agricultural value chain, which would make it easier for its farm produce, aquatic products and wood furniture to enter the Japanese market.
Abe confirmed that Japan would continue to support Vietnam's sustainable economic development, including prioritizing Vietnam in the grant of ODA loans.
He announced that Japan would invest roughly JPY 100 billion (USD 834.3 million) in Vietnam's north-south expressway and seaports, expressing Japan's desire to work with Vietnam to build the Long Thanh international airport, Ninh Thuan II nuclear power plant, and specialized industrial parks in Hai Phong and Ba Ria-Vung Tau.
The two leaders agreed to facilitate travel for their citizens, with Abe announcing Japan's decision to extend visas for Vietnamese businesspeople up to 10 years.
With regard to defense exchanges, Abe voiced his willingness to work with Vietnam to improve its maritime law enforcement capacity, and said the Japanese government was prepared to provide second-hand vessels to Vietnam.
Vietnam and Japan will also intensify cooperation in handling traditional and non-traditional security threats.
The Party chief reiterated Vietnam's commitment to pursuing peaceful development and backing Japan's contributions to peace, security, cooperation and development in the region.
The leaders promised to liaise closely at ASEAN and East Asia summits, as well as in negotiations for and execution of regional free trade agreements, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.
Following their talks, Trong and Abe witnessed the signing of six cooperation agreements.
The documents include a medium and long-term vision on Vietnam-Japan agricultural cooperation, which would open Vietnam's market to Japanese apples and Japan's market to Vietnamese mangoes.
They also signed a diplomatic note on providing more than JPY 28.6 billion (USD 238 million) worth of ODA for Vietnam, and another one providing JPY 200 billion (USD 1.6 billion) of non-refundable aid for Vietnam's maritime safety in the 2015 fiscal year.
Other agreements included a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the United Nations peacekeeping mission between the two Defense Ministries, an MoU on establishing a partnership to combat transnational crimes and develop joint cooperation between the Vietnam Coast Guard and the Japan Coast Guard, and an MoU on workforce development in mechanical engineering between the Vietnamese Ministry of Education and Training and Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.
Vietjet Air and Tokyo-Mitsubishi Bank of Japan also reached an MoU on financing for the purchase of three Airbus planes.
In a joint statement issued by Vietnam and Japan during the visit, the two countries stated they were important partners and shared a number of basic interests, adding that each nation's development would create favorable conditions for the other's growth.
Vietnam continued to regard Japan as a top and long-term partner while Japan attached importance to Vietnam's position on foreign policy in the Asia-Pacific region.
Japan welcomed Vietnam's foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, peace, cooperation and development, diversification and multilateralization of relations, and active international integration.
Japan also valued the role of Vietnam in sustaining peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region and the world.
Both countries voiced concerns over recent complicated developments in the East Sea, including island reclamation and large-scale construction, which had increased tensions, undermined trust and threatened regional and global peace and stability.
They said that coastal countries must adhere to international law and refrain from unilateral actions that altered the status quo of the sea areas.
They also highlighted the significance of ensuring peace, security, and maritime and aviation safety and freedom, and urged involved parties not to conduct unilateral actions that might complicate and increase disputes in the East Sea, and to resolve all disputes peacefully in accordance with internationally recognized principles - particularly the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, seriously implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea, and work to issue a Code of Conduct in the East Sea.
In the statement, Vietnam and Japan also stressed the importance of maintaining peace and stability on the Korean peninsula, improving the effectiveness, transparency, democracy and representation of the United Nations, and tapping marine resources in a sustainable manner.
On September 17, meeting with Speaker of Japan’s House of Representatives, Tadamori Oshima, Trong said he appreciated the Japanese lower house’s role in bolstering bilateral relations, particularly in endorsing the Japanese Government’s provision of ODA to Vietnam.
The Party leader appreciated the cooperation between Vietnam’s National Assembly and Japan’s House of Representatives, legislative committees and parliamentarians.
For his part, Oshima said the substantive relations between the two legislative bodies helped realize cooperation agreements serving their extensive strategic partnership.
Meanwhile, President of the House of Councilors, Masaaki Yamazaki, affirmed that the Japanese upper house always gave priority to promoting cooperation with Vietnam and wanted to boost exchange with the Vietnamese legislative body.
He expressed his hope that cooperation between all agencies of the two countries, including cooperation between the House of Councilors and the Vietnamese National Assembly, would be strengthened, and that the visit would be a crucial milestone opening a new vision for bilateral relations in the near future.
During the visit, two MoUs on cooperation between the Communist Party of Vietnam and the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan and the Democratic Party of Japan were signed.
Meeting with representatives of walks of life in Japan, Trong said Vietnam regarded Japan as a partner of top significance in the long run, considering it a consistent advocacy and strategic choice in the country’s foreign policy.
The two countries need to further deepen the bilateral extensive strategic partnership under the motto “fostering trust, promoting economic links, expanding cooperation, boosting sustainable development and looking toward the future”, the Party chief stated.- (VLLF)