Viet Nam News
On the occasion of the 84th birthday of the Emperor of Japan Akihito, the Japanese Ambassador to Việt Nam, Kunio Umeda, highlights a year of special significance for Japan - Việt Nam relations.
Việt Nam is a trusted partner of Japan and shares many strategic interests. Sustainable development in Việt Nam is also important for Japan, so we will continue to strengthen the partnership.
The year 2017 carries special significance for Japan-Việt Nam relations. We have witnessed many leadership-level exchanges between our two countries this year, deepening the mutual trust between Japan and Việt Nam.
In particular, the first visit to Việt Nam by Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress upgraded our bilateral relations to a new level. The Vietnamese Government and its people warmly welcomed Their Majesties. In Hà Nội, they met with the leaders of Việt Nam, Vietnamese students who had studied in Japan, and families of former Japanese soldiers who remained in Việt Nam.
In Huế, Their Majesties enjoyed traditional "nhã nhạc" music and visited the memorial house of Phan Bội Châu, who led "Đông Du movement" in the early 20th century. Japanese newspapers and TV programmes repeatedly reported the visit. This increased a sense of affinity to Việt Nam among Japanese people.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited Việt Nam twice this year - first in January and again in November. Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc visited Japan in June. The Japan-Việt Nam summit meetings held in Hà Nội, Tokyo and Đà Nẵng have expanded the partnership and exchanges between the two countries in areas such as Japan’s investments in Việt Nam, economic co-operation, defence co-operation, cultural exchanges, and co-operation at local-government level.
Japan’s investments in Việt Nam this year amounted to about US$8.5 billion, which is four times higher than last year and the highest amount ever. In the field of economic co-operation, Japan is strengthening co-operation in human resource development and high quality infrastructure development.
The year witnessed a profound increase in people-to-people exchanges. The number of Vietnamese people living and staying in Japan has increased six times in the five years since 2012. The number of Vietnamese technical trainees in Japan has increased eight times in the last five years and now exceeds 100,000.
The number of Vietnamese students studying in Japan has increased by 12 times to 70,000, which is the second largest by country. The Japanese Government will collaborate more closely with the Vietnamese Government to create favourable environments for Vietnamese youths visiting Japan.
The success of both the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week and the TPP Ministerial meeting in Đà Nẵng has enhanced the reputation of Việt Nam as host country in the international community. I believe that Japan also played a part in that success through close co-operation in co-hosting the TPP Ministerial Meeting with Việt Nam.
During the year of 2017, I made efforts to strengthen relationships with local governments in Việt Nam. During the past year, I met with the leaders of five special cities and 16 provinces. At these meetings, representatives from Japanese companies, JICA, JETRO, JBIC, Japan Foundation and JASSO were present to strengthen our efforts in investment promotion, economic co-operation, Japanese language education, and issues around students studying in Japan.
The year 2018 is a commemorative year that marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of Japan - Việt Nam diplomatic relationship. In August, the Embassy of Japan set up an executive committee for the 45th anniversary together with the Japan commerce associations and other related Japanese organisations in Việt Nam. We are now planning various programmes and events for the 45th anniversary.
In January 2018, the Japan-Việt Nam Festival in HCM City will officially start events for the anniversary. I sincerely wish that the year will bring good health for everyone and further development for Japan - Việt Nam relations. — VNS