Japan always Vietnam's top important, long-term strategic partner: PM

Vietnam consistently considers Japan its top important and long-term strategic partner, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh told member of the Japanese House of Representatives and Chairman of the Policy Research Council of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Hagiuda Koichi during a reception in Hanoi on July 10.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh (R) and Chairman of the LDP's Policy Research Council Hagiuda Koichi. (Photo: VNA)

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh (R) and Chairman of the LDP's Policy Research Council Hagiuda Koichi. (Photo: VNA

Congratulating Hagiuda Koichi on his fourth visit to Vietnam, PM Chinh believed that his visit will contribute to strengthening relationship between the two ruling Parties and Governments.

Since the establishment of diplomatic ties five decades ago, the Vietnam-Japan ties have been growing strongly and substantively in all areas, with high political trust. Currently, Japan is Vietnam's top economic partner, ranking first in terms of the supply of official development assistance (ODA), second in labour cooperation, third in investment and tourism, and fourth in trade, he said.

The host wished that Hagiuda Koichi would continue pushing forward Vietnam-Japan extensive strategic partnership across the board that meets the expectations of the two countries and their people.

He also sought Japan’s further support to achieve the goal of turning Vietnam into a developing country with a modern industry and high middle income by 2030, and a developed country with high income by 2045, especially via supplying new-generation ODA to Vietnam for infrastructure development and human resources training, two of the three strategic breakthroughs that Vietnam is making.

The Vietnamese Government leader suggested enhancing high-level exchanges and contacts, promoting locality-to-locality cooperation, tourism, and people-to-people exchange between the two countries.

There should be a stronger cooperation in national defence-security, investment promotion, technology transfer, and support for Vietnamese firms to join more deeply in the global value chain, he said, suggesting Japan consider opening its market for Vietnamese fruits.

"It is also important to create favourable conditions for the Vietnamese community to study and work in Japan, support Vietnam's personnel training, and strengthen student exchange between the two countries," he said.

Vietnam backs Japan's role on the international arena, he said, asking Japan to help Vietnam in programmes and initiatives related to digital transformation, green growth, circular economy and sharing economy.

Agreeing with PM Chinh’s proposals, the Japanese guest affirmed that Japan expects to lift extensive strategic partnership with Vietnam to a greater height.

Japan will help the Vietnamese firms join the global supply chain, facilitate Japanese investment in Vietnam, fulfill their ODA commitments to the Southeast Asian nation, and provide assistance in human resources training, including expanding the acceptance of Vietnamese interns. Japan will also assist Vietnam in digital transformation, green transition, and achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, he added.

Wishing for Vietnam’s greater role in the Japan-ASEAN relationship, he suggested Vietnam actively join the upcoming ASEAN-Japan Commemorative Summit.

On regional and global issues of shared concern, both sides expressed support for Vietnam's and ASEAN's stances on the East Sea issue, the maintenance of navigation and overflight freedom and safety, the peaceful settlement of disputes in line with international law, full implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) toward an effective and practical Code of Conduct (COC) in accordance with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

During a working session with Hagiuda Koichi the same day, Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien said he hopes that the Japanese official will engage in discussions with relevant Japanese management agencies to boost trade and business exchanges between the two countries.

In the field of industry, Dien suggested active bilateral cooperation through the Vietnam-Japan technology innovation partnership initiative to enhance Vietnam's production, technology and industrial development capacity, thereby enabling Vietnamese enterprises to join the global supply chain more extensively.

In energy, he proposed that Japan offer technical support to Vietnam to promote the economical and effective use of energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions for small and medium-sized enterprises. He also recommended early discussions to reach a "Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in energy transition", creating mechanisms for Japan to back Vietnam in the energy transition process, towards the country's carbon neutrality goal by 2050.

Hagiuda Koichi also proposed several contents in which Japan wishes to strengthen cooperation with Vietnam in the future.

They include diversifying supply chains, maintaining high and comprehensive standards of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) for countries interested in joining the agreement; promoting supply chains of important mineral resources to reinforce economic security, collaborating on energy transition, particularly regarding liquefied natural gas (LNG); developing high-quality human resources in various industries, and continuing to promote people-to-people exchanges between the two countries.

In reply, Dien affirmed that the Vietnamese Government and the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) are always ready to create favourable conditions for the operations of Japanese enterprises in Vietnam.

The MoIT will continue working closely with the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry on various aspects, including the preparation for the sixth meeting of the Vietnam-Japan Joint Committee on Cooperation in Trade, Industry and Energy, slated for late 2023.

He also urged further support from Japan in human resources training, expert exchanges and technology transfer in industry and energy fields, as well as joint work to develop energy policies, innovation and technology, thus bringing benefits to both countries.