Japanese Ambassador to Viet Nam Fukada Hiroshi was asked to comment on the visit to Japan by Viet Nam Party Leader Nguyen Phu Trong.
What is the significance of Party General Secretary Trong's visit to Japan?
At the invitation of the Government of Japan, Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong is going to pay an official visit to Japan from September 15. Although he has visited Japan four times, including a visit in 2008 as National Assembly Chairman, this will be his first visit to Japan since he assumed the position of Party General Secretary in 2011. It is also the first time in six years a Party General Secretary has visited Japan since Nong Duc Manh's visit in 2009.
When President Truong Tan Sang visited Japan in March 2014, Japan and Viet Nam elevated their bilateral relations to an "Extensive Strategic Partnership for Peace and Prosperity in Asia".
Building upon that, both countries have developed their bilateral relationship in both name and substance and there have been frequent high-level exchanges between the two countries since then.
This year Japanese Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Akihiro Ohta visited Viet Nam in January for the inauguration of Noi Bai International Airport Terminal 2 and Nhat Tan Bridge, in which Japan co-operated with Viet Nam.
Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Yoshimasa Hayashi also made a trip in August to co-chair the 2nd High-Level Dialogue Meeting on Japan-Viet Nam Agricultural Co-operation.
From Viet Nam, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung visited Japan in July to attend the 7th Mekong-Japan Summit Meeting, and so did Deputy Prime Minister cum Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh to co-chair the 7th Meeting of the Japan-Viet Nam Cooperation Committee. Most recently, Deputy Chairwoman of the National Assembly Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan visited Japan to attend the World Assembly for Women in Tokyo: WAW! 2015. These frequent high-level exchanges took place during a short period of time, strengthening the bilateral relationship between the two countries. Leader-to-leader diplomacy between the two countries will culminate in Party General Trong's visit.
This year marks the 70th anniversary of Viet Nam's independence and foundation, and the 12th Party Congress, which will set the direction for the Party and State at the beginning of next year. It is significant that Party leader Trong will visit Japan at this critical moment so that he and Prime Minister Abe can discuss the way forward for their bilateral relationship, recalling the path both countries have taken together.
The Japan-Viet Nam bilateral relationship has never been better than it is today. I hope that Party General Secretary Trong will candidly discuss various matters with Prime Minister Abe, such as politics and security, the economy and economic co-operation, and further collaboration in the region and beyond, and that both leaders will deliver concrete commitments towards pushing their bilateral relationship forward.
How do you foresee the Japan-Viet Nam relationship in the future? What are your expectations of Viet Nam?
Both Japan and Viet Nam have been playing proactive roles for peace, safety and prosperity in Asia and the international community in recent years. This exemplifies the "Extensive Strategic Partnership for Peace and Prosperity in Asia" between the two countries. I expect Japan and Viet Nam to promote shared values in the region and the international community based on their sound bilateral relationship, while further strengthening that same bond.
In the political field, I expect both countries to play leading roles in discussing and undertaking efforts to address regional and global issues, such as enhancing the rule of law at sea; upholding freedom and safety of navigation; promoting peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula; further collaboration in the international arena, including UN PKO; maintaining regional and global peace and stability; and UN Security Council reforms.
In the economic field, I expect Viet Nam, in line with globalisation and liberalisation of trade through the ASEAN Community, the TPP and others, to continue its economic reforms to improve the trade and investment environment, as well as State-Owned Enterprise reforms. I also hope that Viet Nam will develop its support, agro and IT industries to reach self-sustainable development.
Japan has worked with Viet Nam on its infrastructure and human resources, and Japanese companies operating in Viet Nam have contributed to its economic development. I hope that Viet Nam will continue to effectively utilise Japanese ODA and improve its business environment to attract more foreign investment from Japanese and other overseas firms in order to ensure its economy grows on the right track. In the course of these efforts, Japan is willing to reinforce the mutually complementary economic relationship between the two countries by facilitating their economic connectivity. — vnA