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Viet Nam and Japan pledge to strengthen strategic partnership

Update: December, 16/2013 - 08:36
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung (left) meets his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe in Japan yesterday. — VNA/VNS Photo Duc Tam

TOKYO (VNS) — The Prime Ministers of Viet Nam and Japan reaffirmed yesterday their commitment to comprehensive development of the strategic partnership between both countries.

In talks held between Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe, the commitment found concrete expression in the latter's announcement of an official development assistance package of around US$1 billion (JPY1 trillion) for the second half of the 2013 fiscal year.

The money is to be spent on five projects: the building of two sections of the North-South Highway; two infrastructure development projects at Lach Huyen Port in northern Hai Phong City; a programme to support Viet Nam's response to climate change; and a programme to enhance national competitiveness.

The Japanese PM also promised to consider Viet Nam's proposal to build a Japan-Viet Nam Friendship Hospital and to expand the programme of training Vietnamese nurses in Japan.

The two sides agreed on directions and a number of specific measures to further deepen their strategic partnership.

They expressed satisfaction at the progress made in bilateral co-operation in all fields, saying "practical activities" in celebrating the Viet Nam-Japan Friendship Year and the 40th anniversary of diplomatic ties have made significant contributions to the consolidation of friendship and mutual understanding.

PM Dung said Viet Nam has always treasured co-operation with Japan and wishes to boost their strategic partnership in a more comprehensive manner.

The two leaders agreed on the significance of maintaining regular high-level meetings as well as the effective implementation of co-operation mechanisms, lauding in particular the recent establishment of a security dialogue arrangement between the two countries.

They pledged to continue close co-ordination in implementing important economic co-operation projects such as the North-South Highway, construction of the Ninh Thuan No 2 Nuclear Power Plant and the Viet Nam Space Centre.

An action plan to realise the potential of agricultural co-operation as well as the establishment of a joint-working group for the purpose deserves serious consideration, the two leaders agreed.

PM Dung affirmed that Viet Nam would create all possible conditions for Japanese firms to invest in the country by effectively carrying out the Viet Nam-Japan Joint Initiative on improving the investment environment.

He called on Japan to pay more attention to the ongoing project to build the Bach Dang Bridge.

Meanwhile, PM Abe pledged to back Viet Nam in carrying out action plans in six sectors prioritised for bilateral co-operation by the two sides.

He said Japan will also consider the suggestion to create favourable conditions for Vietnamese agricultural products to enter the Japanese market.

Both sides agreed that co-operation in human resources development will be a key facet of strengthening bilateral relations.

Viet Nam-Japan University

The leaders welcomed the initiative to establish the Viet Nam-Japan University in Ha Noi and said they would jointly facilitate the project's early implementation.

PM Dung proposed that both sides study the possibility of setting up a long-term co-operation programme in education and training.

The two leaders also discussed international and regional issues of common concern.

They agreed on the importance of ensuring peace, stability and development in the region, including safety and freedom of navigation and aviation based on international law.

They also agreed to continue working closely with each other at international forums, contributing to peace, stability, cooperation and prosperity in the region.

After the talks, the two PMs witnessed the signing of a diplomatic note of exchange for three projects for the 2013 fiscal year - the international terminal T2 at Ha Noi-based Noi Bai International Airport, the Da Nhim hydro-power plant and the Mai Dich-Nam Thang Long section of the flyover on Ha Noi's Ring Road 3.

At a joint press briefing following the meeting, PM Dung thanked Japan for its long-standing ODA support.

For his part, PM Abe hailed the success of the Viet Nam-Japan Friendship Year, and said his country places great importance on co-operating with Viet Nam, especially in trade, investment, infrastructure development and human resources training.

The two leaders also discussed international and regional issues of common concern.—VNA/VNS Photo Duc Tam

Yukio praised

During his visit, PM Dung met with former Japanese Prime Minister Hatoyama Yukio and lauded the latter's contributions to consolidating bilateral relations.

He congratulated Yukio on receiving the Friendship Order, the highest honour that Viet Nam bestows on a foreigner.

For his part, the former Japanese PM affirmed that he will do his utmost to further the multi-faceted co-operation between the two countries, especially in vocational training.

In another meeting with Tsuneo Kita, President of Nikkei Inc, Dung lauded the newspaper's role in strengthening friendship between the two countries by prompt and accurate dissemination of relevant information.

Political trust

Visiting the Vietnamese embassy in Tokyo, PM Dung said the growing relationship between Viet Nam and Japan was based on strong political trust.

He told the embassy staff and members of the Vietnamese community in Japan that the host country has always supported Viet Nam's development strategy as well as its stance on national sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Japan has also been Viet Nam's largest official development assistance provider over the past two decades, and ranks first in the line of foreign investors with a total capital of about $35billion, he said.

Bilateral co-operation in several fields including defence, security, education and human resources training is growing steadily, Dung said.

He urged the embassy staff to make more efforts for further boost the friendship between the two countries in all areas, and to create more opportunities for businesses of both sides to meet and establish enduring partnerships.

The embassy and the Vietnamese community should act as a bridge linking Japan and Viet Nam in all fields for the development of both countries, he reiterated.

Ambassador Doan Xuan Hung briefed Dung on the successes recorded in celebrating the Viet Nam-Japan Friendship Year.

The Vietnamese community in Japan has positively contributed to enhancing cross-cultural exchanges and mutual understanding between the two peoples, Hung said.

At the embassy, Dung witnessed the signing of several co-operation documents between agencies, enterprises and organisations of both countries.

Shortly after, the Vietnamese leader concluded his four-day official visit to Japan. — VNS

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