Vietnam, Japan upgrade ties to comprehensive strategic partnership

Vietnam and Japan have officially upgraded their relationship to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership “for peace and prosperity in Asia and the world,” the two nations’ leaders announced.

Dung the talks between Vietnamese President Vo Van Thuong and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishidaheld in Tokyo on Monday, the two leaders issued a joint statement on upgrading Vietnam-Japan relations to a “Comprehensive Strategic Partnership for Peace and Prosperity in Asia and the world,” affirming their desire to promote bilateral relations in all fields “to new heights,” and their joint target of expanding into new areas of cooperation.

“This is an important landmark that opens a new chapter in Vietnam-Japan relations,” Thuong told the press after the talks.

He said the new chapter would include more “substantial, comprehensive, effective and closely-linked development to meet the interests of both sides and contribute to peace, stability, cooperation, and development in the region and the world.”

The two leaders’ joint statement said that since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1973, and especially since the two countries upgraded their ties to an Intensive Strategic Partnership for Peace and Prosperity in Asia in 2014, Vietnam-Japan relations have grown and strengthened significantly.

PM Kishida affirmed that Japan is committed to supporting the “strong, independent, self-reliant, and successful industrialization and modernization” of Vietnam, as well as the importance of Vietnam in implementing Japan’s foreign policy in the Indo-Pacific region.

The prime minister added that he appreciated Vietnam’s positive and constructive contributions to international and regional relations.

President Thuong said that Vietnam has always considered Japan one of its most important long-term partners. He said he hoped that Japan would continue to promote its leading role in maintaining peace and stability, cooperation and development in the region and the world.

The two leaders agreed on areas of cooperation to be strengthened between the two countries in the coming time.

In multi-layered and multi-level dialogues and communications, the two sides plan to maintain annual high level exchanges and meetings towards the strengthening of people-to-people exchanges and local cooperation.

Vietnam and Japan will implement bilateral mechanisms and research the establishment of new mechanisms, according to agreements reached at the recent meetings.

The two countries welcome close cooperation between their respective two Foreign Ministries and aim to continue creating favorable conditions for diplomatic and consular representative agencies to operate smoothly.

Regarding security and defense, the two sides agreed to strengthen practical and effective cooperation in the field, including in UN peacekeeping activities and efforts to overcome the consequences of war, such as mine clearance and dioxin detoxification, military medicine, humanitarian relief and natural disaster relief, human resource training and the transfer of defense equipment and technology.

The two countries agreed on the importance of pursuing the implementation of the Agreement on Technology and Defense Equipment Transfer signed in September 2021.

Kishida explained that Japan has established a new cooperation framework called “Official Security Assistance” (OSA) to deepen security cooperation and contribute to maintaining and strengthening international peace and security.

The two leaders agreed to promote cooperation on safety and security at sea through activities such as joint training, information sharing and capacity building, especially within the two countries’ coast guard forces.

Vietnam and Japan will continue to strengthen economic links and affirm the importance of cooperation to ensure economic security, in which Japan continues to support Vietnam in building an independent economy, deep international integration, industrialization and modernization, with the goal of officially becoming a developed country by 2045.

The two leaders welcomed the prospect that the value of yen-denominated loans in the Japanese fiscal year 2023 could exceed 100 billion yen for the first time since 2017. The two sides will make efforts to resolve remaining difficulties in the process of implementing Japanese ODA projects.

The two countries also reported that they want to strengthen the resilience of supply chains to ensure stable production activities for the benefit of both sides, taking into account the importance of transparent, diverse, safe, sustainable and stable supply chains

Regarding human resource development, culture, tourism, local exchanges and people exchanges, the two sides encouraged Vietnamese students to study in Japan. The leaders also agree to enhance exchanges in education between the two countries and promote teaching Japanese in Vietnam.

The two countries aim to boost tourism and cultural festivals, and create a favorable environment for citizens of the two countries to travel freely between the two nations. This includes promoting the dispatch of Vietnamese interns and workers in fields that fit the needs of the two sides.

In new fields such as energy, environment, science and technology, green transformation, digital transformation, and innovation, the two countries will promote cooperation on the development of smart grids and smart cities, improving the electricity market and localizing the energy industry.

Vietnam and Japan will also increase cooperation in development and innovation within the digital economy to create momentum for rapid and sustainable economic development. The leaders recognized the importance of facilitating the free flow of data across borders, developing digital connectivity and promoting consumer and business trust in the digital economy.

The two sides will increase cooperation in law and justice, health, construction, transportation, natural disaster risk reduction and urban development.

Japan will increase technical support and promotion for projects, including underground space management, urban underground works and water-related disaster risk reduction.

This will include “Smart JAMP,” a smart city program based on the ASEAN-Japan joint partnership, and international standards for seaports.

Regarding regional and international issues, the two leaders emphasized the importance of a free and open international order based on the rule of law and principles upholding the United Nations Charter to promote cooperation, and achieve peace, stability, and prosperity in the region and the world.

Vietnam and Japan reaffirmed the importance of solidarity and the central role of ASEAN plays towards that goal, agreeing to work together to improve the effectiveness and role of Mekong-Japan cooperation.

The two leaders expressed concern about the situation in the South China Sea (known as the East Sea) and reaffirmed the importance of avoiding unilateral actions by force or compulsion that increase tensions.

Both sides agreed on the importance of maintaining peace, security, safety, freedom of maritime, aviation and unhindered legal economic activities in the East Sea, self-restraint and peaceful resolution of disputes in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), reaffirming that UNCLOS is the most comprehensive international legal basis for law at sea.


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