Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh met Japanese leaders during his ongoing visit to Japan from May 8-10 at the invitation of Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida. 

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh (L) and Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida 

Meeting Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Speaker of the House of Representatives Tadamori Oshima and President of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Shinichi Kitaoka, Minh expressed his delight at the strong and substantial development of the Vietnam-Japan extensive strategic partnership in diverse areas over the past years. 

PM Abe thanked President Tran Dai Quang for inviting him to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) 2017 and pledged sweeping support to preparations for the event in Da Nang and attending the group’s meetings. 

Meanwhile Speaker Oshima, for his part, hailed Vietnam as one of the important partners in the region and wished to continue further promoting bilateral ties with Japan. 

JICA President Kitaoka said Vietnam is JICA’s largest cooperative partner in the world and vowed to do his best to contribute to Vietnam’s economic development. 

Minh affirmed that the Vietnamese Party, State and Government always consider Japan a leading and long-term strategic partner and stand ready to further deepen the extensive strategic partnership between the two nations. 

During the talks between the two FMs and the ninth session of the Vietnam-Japan Cooperation Committee (VJCC), both sides debated specific measures to effectively implement agreements reached by the two countries’ high-ranking leaders during the Vietnam visit by PM Abe last January as well as scheduled agenda for the upcoming Japan visit by PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc. 

They agreed to regularly maintain visits and exchanges by high-ranking leaders, especially on the occasion of the 45th anniversary of the bilateral ties next year while improving the efficiency of cooperation and dialogue mechanisms between the two countries, including the VJCC and the two foreign ministries’ dialogue mechanisms. 

Host and guest vowed to hold the VJCC’s second session on cooperation in industry, trade and energy in June and early organise the fourth high-level agriculture dialogue in the second half of this year. 

On the economic cooperation, they reached a common consensus on promoting bilateral economic connectivity and working closely together to effectively implement the sixth stage of the Vietnam-Japan Joint Initiative to Improve Business Environment while strengthen joint work in industry and energy. 

Japanese FM Kishida promised continued support to Vietnam’s economic development via the provision of official development assistance (ODA) and increased partnership on infrastructure building. 

Japan will assist Vietnam in carrying out action plans of six industries chosen in Vietnam’s industrialisation strategy within the Vietnam-Japan collaboration framework until 2020 with a vision to 2030, encourage Japanese investment in Vietnam and assist the country in the reform of State-owned enterprises. 

The two sides consented to look into measures to develop Vietnam’s support and automobile industry as well as make it easier for Vietnamese agro-fisheries to enter Japan. 

Deputy PM Minh, in reply, stressed that the Vietnamese government highly values and strives to effectively use ODA funded by Japan. 

He asked for Japan’s technical support to strengthen pollution monitoring in Vietnam’s key industries such as coal-fueled thermal power, steel and chemical fertilizer, and build the Law on Support Industry Development. 

Apart from agreeing to increase partnership across agriculture, climate change response, personnel training and labour, they lauded active negotiations by the two countries’ ministries and agencies towards the early signing of a MoU on Joint Crediting Mechanism and a MoU on cooperation in support for apprentices.

The Japanese side pledged assistance to Vietnam in implementing a project on reforming political apparatus and training leaders of all rankings, especially those at strategic ranking, and wished to receive more Vietnamese apprentices in agriculture, nursing and construction with all possible support. 

The two leaders promised close joint work to prevent receiving illegal workers from the both nations. 

The two countries will also fortify links across culture, sports and people-to-people exchange on the occasion of the 45th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties next year, as well as further ties between localities, thereby facilitating technology transfer and investment. 

On global and regional issues of shared concern, host and guest vowed to offer mutual support at global and regional forums such as the East Asia Summit, the ASEAN, the Asia-Europe Meeting and the United Nations while consolidating partnership in international economic connectivity such as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership and seeking appropriate solutions to the Trans-Pacific Partnership. 

The Vietnamese FM asked Japan to back Vietnam’s run for non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the 2020-2021 tenure and UNESCO General Director for the 2017-2021 tenure. 

Kishida said Japan fully supports Vietnam and will work closely with the country to successfully hold the APEC Year 2017. 

As regards the East Sea issue, both sides shared the international community’s deep concern over the recent developments in the East Sea and agreed on the importance of ensuring peace, security, maritime and aviation safety and freedom, and the settlement of disputes by peaceful means in line with international law, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), and reaching a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) soon.

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