|Minister of Foreign Affairs Bùi Thanh Sơn. VNA/VNS Photo|
Minister of Foreign Affairs Bùi Thanh Sơn spoke to the media in Japan about Việt Nam's participation at the G7 Summit and the celebration of the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Việt Nam and Japan.
What is your view on the importance of Việt Nam’s participation at the G7 Summit with Partners in Hiroshima, Japan?
At the invitation of Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính will attend the upcoming G7 Summit with Partners in Hiroshima, Japan. His attendance at this Summit bears great significance for Việt Nam in numerous aspects.
First and foremost, the G7 Summit with Partners is an important international forum, where leaders of the top 7 industrial countries and representatives of other high-profile states and international organisations gather to exchange views on strengthening cooperation in addressing global issues.
This is the 3rd time that Việt Nam has been invited to attend the G7 Summit with Partners in the past 7 years. This bears vivid testament to the recognition by G7 countries and the international community of Việt Nam’s increasing stature and active contributions in high responsibility to bolster joint efforts worldwide in response to global challenges over the past years.
During this summit, Việt Nam will continue to work closely with the international community to outline and implement substantive and effective measures to bolster regional and international cooperation. Such endeavours will serve to maintain peace and stability, expedite sustainable post-pandemic recovery and growth, and tackle global issues on the basis of equality and mutual benefit. These include energy security, food security, climate action, disease prevention, and gender equality, among others.
Việt Nam is determined to fulfil its commitments to addressing common challenges facing the region and the world, including the pledge to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. At the event, Việt Nam will share its development experience in its capacity as a developing country currently undergoing industrialisation, modernisation, and comprehensive and extensive international integration.
In addition, Việt Nam hopes that G7 countries and those attending the summit will also provide useful lessons and effective practices in tackling issues around the world and resolving challenges against sustainable development, particularly for developing countries.
Bilaterally, this is the second time that Japan, as the G7 host, invites Việt Nam to attend the G7 Summit with Partners. Việt Nam’s participation in this summit is of even greater importance, for it coincides with the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Việt Nam and Japan.
This bears vivid testament to the strong political trust between the two countries, and the robust and comprehensive growth of the Việt Nam-Japan Extensive Strategic Partnership. This also demonstrates the common positions and interests between the two countries regarding regional and international issues.
On the occasion of the G7 Summit, Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính will hold bilateral talks with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, and meet with Japanese leaders, businesses, and friends. These meetings serve to exchange views on the ways and mean to add fresh impetus to the ever-thriving Việt Nam-Japan Extensive Strategic Partnership. They also bring about further benefits for the two peoples, and make greater contributions to peace, stability, and development cooperation in the region and beyond.
At the same time, the Summit also provides an opportunity for Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính to meet with leaders of other countries and international organisations, with a view to strengthening bilateral cooperation and discussing issues of mutual interest.
2023 marks the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Việt Nam and Japan. Can you elaborate on how Việt Nam wishes to further strengthen its ties with Japan? In which areas does Việt Nam wish to bolster its cooperation with Japan?
Việt Nam and Japan enjoy a great many cultural similarities. The connection between the two peoples has also enjoyed extensive growth throughout the history of Việt Nam - Japan ties. Since the establishment of diplomatic relations 50 years ago, despite the ups and downs in the region and the world, the friendship and cooperation between Việt Nam and Japan have witnessed robust and comprehensive growth in all areas. These entail politics, economic cooperation, defence, security, socio-cultural relations, and people-to-people exchange, among others.
To this very day, the sincere affection, mutual trust, and the Extensive Strategic Partnership between Việt Nam and Japan have become the underlying foundation for the two countries’ collaboration at all levels, across all sectors, and among all social strata. Japan is among Việt Nam’s top economic partners.
It is also Việt Nam’s top ODA provider, 3rd largest partner in terms of FDI and tourism, and 4th largest trading partner.
We do hope that the two countries' relations will continue to grow extensively and sustainably on the basis of political trust, economic efficiency, and diverse people-to-people exchanges and socio-cultural activities, so as to fulfil the aspirations and interests of the two peoples.
To this end, the two countries need to continue to increase exchange of leaders’ visits, deepen political and diplomatic cooperation, and strengthen defence and security ties. Such endeavours will help consolidate political trust, and contribute to the development of each country as well as to peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region and beyond.
Việt Nam is striving to realise its development visions and goals. These include becoming an upper-middle income country with a modern industrial base by 2030, and a developed, high-income country by 2045. As sincere friends and reliable partners, Việt Nam looks forward to Japan’s increasingly substantive cooperation and support to achieve such goals.
For the time being, the two countries should continue to expand and improve the efficiency of economic collaboration, particularly in fostering post-pandemic economic recovery and diversifying supply chains. It is also important to maintain the effective and substantive implementation of signed bilateral agreements and treaties, especially the Việt Nam-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement, CPTPP, and RCEP.
We stand ready to work with Japan to explore new directions and cooperation mechanisms in potential fields. These include science and technology, innovation, digital transformation, green growth, and clean energy. We highly appreciate Japan's commitment to providing next-generation ODA to Việt Nam. Such assistance will be harnessed for building critical infrastructure for transportation, combating climate change and developing high-quality human resources. It will also be very much appreciated if Japan would encourage its businesses to increase their investment in Việt Nam in fields such as supporting industries, high-tech industries, agricultural modernisation, and the environment, among others.
In addition, it is necessary to further expand and deepen cooperation in education and training, healthcare, culture, tourism, and exchanges between the two countries’ localities and peoples. These should be carried out via increasingly diverse, high-quality and effective means. For the time being, the two countries should work closely to organise meaningful activities in celebration of the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations.
What role does Việt Nam expect Japan to play in the international community? In which specific areas can the two countries enhance cooperation to fulfil regional and global security and development goals?
Japan has made many important efforts and contributions to regional and global security and development. Japan is currently the G7 host and will soon assume the UNSC non-permanent membership for the 2023-24 term. We hope that Japan, in such capacities, will play an increasingly important role and make active and responsible contributions to consolidating a peaceful and stable environment, promoting cooperation in addressing common global and regional challenges, and assisting developing countries in realising Sustainable Development Goals.
As Extensive Strategic Partners with high political trust and common positions on many international issues, Việt Nam and Japan will continue to coordinate and support each other on issues of mutual interest at multilateral and regional forums, especially the United Nations, ASEAN, APEC, and Mekong sub-regional cooperation arrangements.
Việt Nam wishes to join Japan and the international community in contributing to maintaining peace, stability and cooperation in the region, and upholding the UN Charter and international law.
We also strive to enhance regional economic linkages and infrastructure connectivity, especially in Southeast Asia and the Mekong sub-region. Moreover, Việt Nam also aspires to bolster collaboration in developing digital economy, green economy, and circular economy, protecting the environment, responding to climate change, and ensuring energy security and food security.
Given the strong foundation of friendship, sincerity and mutual trust, and the determination and efforts of the leaders and peoples of both countries, the Việt Nam-Japan Extensive Strategic Partnership will be increasingly and effectively strengthened, for the prosperity of each country and for peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region and the world. — VNS