Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe agreed to increase political trust by maintaining high-level exchange visits and meetings, and increasing the efficiency of dialogue mechanisms at their talks in Hanoi on January 16.

During their talks immediately after the welcome ceremony, PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc hailed PM Shinzo Abe as the first foreign high-ranking leader to visit Vietnam this year, saying Vietnam regards Japan as its leading and long-term partner. 

The two leaders have reached high consensus on major orientations and key measures to strengthen the comprehensive strategic partnership in a practical and effective manner.

They pledged to work hand in hand for the forthcoming Vietnam visit by the Japanese Emperor and Empress. 

The Japanese PM wished to welcome his Vietnamese counterpart to Japan this summer and promised to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Vietnam’s central city of Danang later this year.

Both PMs concurred to promote practical collaboration in national defence-security, including bomb and mine clearance and improvement of law enforcement at sea. 

In terms of economics, they underlined the need to enhance economic connectivity via promotion of trade, investment promotion, official development assistance (ODA) and cooperation in supplementary fields such as agriculture and labour. 

PM Phuc asked Japan to continue providing Vietnam with ODA in the time to come with a focus on infrastructure building, human resources training and climate change response. 

Abe, in turn committed an additional US$1.05 billion in ODA for Vietnam in the 2016 fiscal year in the areas of maritime security, climate change response, water drainage and waste treatment. 

Japan is willing to bolster hi-tech application and investment by raising capital from State-owned enterprises and personnel training while facilitating Vietnamese tourist arrivals in Japan and cross-cultural exchanges, Abe told his host.

Both sides vowed to actualize Vietnam’s industrialisation strategy within the framework of the Vietnam-Japan cooperation until 2020 with a vision till 2030 and the sixth stage of the Japan-Vietnam joint initiative to improve Vietnam’s business climate, as well as continue major infrastructure projects such as the north-south highway in Vietnam. 

They lauded the talks between Vietnamese local authorities and Japanese corporate executives during the visit which would give them a chance to further intensify investment ties in the future. 

Host and guest also agreed to step up bilateral ties in hi-tech agriculture, high-quality human resources training and cooperation between localities, as well as raising the number of Vietnamese trainees to Japan. 

PM Abe told that his nation will allow the import of Vietnam’s red-fleshed dragon fruit while PM Phuc also stated that Vietnam will license the import of Japan’s pear fruit. 

On regional and global issues of shared concern, the two PMs vowed mutual support at regional and global forums such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) and the United Nations. 

The Japanese leader affirmed that he will work to help Vietnam successfully host the APEC Year 2017. 

The two PMs emphasized the importance of ensuring peace, security, maritime and aviation safety and freedom in the East Sea, urging parties concerned to refrain from actions that cause tension and militarisation resulting in changing the status quo in the waters, promote the settlement of disputes by peaceful means.

The sides should fully respect diplomatic and legal processes, not to use force or threat to use force, seriously abide by international law, particularly the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), towards rapidly reaching a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC). 

After the talks, the two leaders witnessed the signing of agreements between ministries, agencies and businesses and a number of deals on ODA provision for climate change response and competitiveness improvement projects and a non-refundable project for ensuring waterway security.


Vu Hong Nam

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