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Prime Minister Dung supports Japan-Mekong co-operation

Update: April, 23/2012 - 09:41


PM Nguyen Tan Dung (left) meets Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda yesterday in Tokyo, Japan. — VNA/VNS Photo Duc Tam
TOKYO — Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has confirmed Viet Nam's support for Mekong-Japan Co-operation and the role it played in the prosperity, stability and development of the Mekong region and East Asia in general.

The Vietnamese leader attended the fourth Japan-Mekong Summit in Tokyo on Saturday, chaired by Japanese PM Yoshihiko Noda.

Dung underlined the priorities given to specific activities, including coping with floods, natural disasters and salinity levels in the region, ensuring food security, and seeking long-term solutions for sustainably using the Mekong River's water resources.

Top priority should be given to research and assessing the impacts of the exploitation of the Mekong River on the environment and its water resources, he said.

Dung also proposed an initiative to develop an integrated transport network to increase connectivity between the economic corridors in the Mekong sub-region.

The summit reviewed the implementation of the Mekong-Japan co-operation programme for the period 2010-2012 and the adopted Tokyo Strategy. It defined three priority tasks, including, enhancing connectivity in the Mekong region, promoting trade and investment and co-operation on environmental issues, and public security.

The leaders reached a consensus on research for the sustainable management and development of the Mekong River, including the impact of hydro-power dams.

At the conference, Japan pledged ODA provision of JPY 600 billion to the Mekong countries for the period 2013-2015 while Thailand pledged JPY 883 million.

The Tokyo Strategy confirmed its members' stance on the region's political and security issues such as the Korean peninsula, non proliferation of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction, and UN reforms.

The Mekong countries and Japan emphasised that maintaining peace, stability, maritime safety and freedom in the East Sea was a common aspiration and in the interests of countries both in and outside the region.

They said that all concerned parties should settle the East Sea dispute by peaceful means with a spirit of mutual understanding and respect, and obey international law, especially the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea as well as creating a Code of Conduct for the East Sea (COC).

The summit assigned their ministers to come up with a new action programme for the 2012-15 to implement the Tokyo Strategy and agreed to hold the next summit in 2013.

Addressing a press conference at the end of the summit, Dung highlighted Japan's commitments to the Mekong region and its assistance as the country is still overcoming the consequences of its recent earthquakes and tsunami.

PM Noda reaffirms support

During talks with his Vietnamese counterpart on the sidelines of the summit Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda reaffirmed his country's strong support for Viet Nam's socio-economic development, committing to continuing Japan's provision of official development assistance (ODA) to Viet Nam, especially for infrastructure and energy projects.

He said Japan would continue to help Viet Nam to implement poverty reduction and climate change adaptation programmes, formulate and carry out national industrialisation strategy until 2020, and develop the country's East-West Economic Corridor.

The Japanese leader proposed that both countries work closely to speed up projects on scientific cities and ecological urban areas in Viet Nam.

Dung thanked Japan for its commitment to supply Viet Nam with the largest-ever ODA sum in the 2011 fiscal year, despite its ongoing national reconstruction efforts.

Viet Nam always created favourable conditions for Japanese businesses to operate efficiently in the country, Dung affirmed, adding that he encouraged Japanese companies to take part in infrastructure construction projects in the form of Public-Private Partnerships (PPP).

He proposed that Japan further help Viet Nam develop supporting industries and intensive industrial complexes in the northern city of Hai Phong and the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau.

Dung also asked Japan to strengthen co-operation in search and rescue work with Viet Nam, and increase scholarships for Vietnamese students.

At the talks, both PMs agreed that the two countries should maintain frequent exchanges of high-level visits and dialogues, soon convene the 4th session of the Viet Nam-Japan Co-operation Committee, and jointly organise activities to celebrate the 40th anniversary of their diplomatic ties in 2013.

Both sides expressed their pleasure with the ongoing implementation of joint economic co-operation projects, including those to build large-scale infrastructure facilities and the Ninh Thuan 2 nuclear power plant, and develop the rare earth industry in Viet Nam.

They welcomed Japan's recent decision to receive Vietnamese nurses and orderlies, and an agreement between Viet Nam Airlines and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to purchase MRJ mid-range passenger jetliners and develop the aviation industry in Viet Nam.

The two prime ministers exchanged views on regional and international issues of mutual concern, and vowed to co-ordinate closely at multilateral forums.

Noda supported Viet Nam's stance on ensuring free trade and maritime security and safety in the East Sea, as well as the settlement of disputes through peaceful means on the basis of international laws, particularly the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

Earlier, Dung delivered a speech at the Japanese Press Club and answered the Japanese media's questions on bilateral ties and co-operation.

Later on in the day, Prime Minister Dung and his entourage left Tokyo for Ha Noi. — VNS

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