President Trần Đại Quang (R) receives visiting Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida in Hà Nội yesterday. — VNA/VNS Photo Nhan Sáng
Viet Nam News -HÀ NỘI — President Trần Đại Quang has affirmed Việt Nam’s consistent policy of continuing to regard Japan as its leading and long-term partner.
At a reception for visiting Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida in Hà Nội yesterday, the State leader praised the fruitful developments of the bilateral co-operation in various areas, as well as the enhanced mutual political trust.
Lauding economic, trade and investment ties between the two countries, he thanked the Japanese Government, the National Diet (Japan’s National Assembly) and people for their contributions to Việt Nam’s efforts in socio-economic development and poverty reduction via official development assistance (ODA) over the years.
Việt Nam and Japan share similar strategic interests and concerns on both bilateral and multilateral collaboration, the host said, adding that the growing bilateral relationship matches the interests and aspirations of their people and contributes to peace, stability, co-operation and development in the region.
He also used the occasion to thank Kishida for his valuable support to Việt Nam, namely a 500 million JPY (US$4.7 million) aid package Japan committed to during the Foreign Minister’s official visit to Việt Nam in 2014. The aid is to help the country enhance the capacity of its maritime law enforcement.
He called on Japan to continue its co-operation with Việt Nam in economics, trade, investment, ODA, agriculture and the climate change response, and assist the country in sustainable development, economic restructuring, and improving competitiveness and high-quality human resources development.
President Quang appealed to Japan to step up its technological transfers and facilitate Vietnamese farm produce’s presence in the local market, in tandem with supporting the country’s bid to run for a nonpermanent seat on the UN Security Council for 2020-21.
Expressing his sympathy over human and property losses caused by consecutive earthquakes in Kumamoto prefecture last April, he voiced his hope that the Japanese Government and people will swiftly overcome the devastating consequences.
He asked Kishida to convey his invitations to the Emperor, the Empress and other royal members of Japan, as well as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, to visit Việt Nam.
Kishida said Japan strongly backs the peaceful settlement of disputes at sea in accordance with 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, and also wants to quickly reach a Code of Conduct in the East Sea.
Committee holds 8th meeting to cement Việt Nam-Japan ties
The eighth meeting of the Việt Nam-Japan Co-operation Committee also took place in Hà Nội yesterday, co-chaired by Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Phạm Bình Minh and Kishida.
The two sides agreed to enhance political trust through regular high-ranking visits and meetings at all levels. They reached a consensus on stronger co-operation regarding the economy, trade, investment, education and healthcare.
Accordingly, Japan will continue promoting investment in Việt Nam through phase six of the Việt Nam-Japan Joint Initiative this year. It will implement big projects, including the North-South expressway, the Ninh Thuận 2 nuclear power plant and an industrialisation strategy.
The officials also agreed that Japan will consider support to Việt Nam in building a fundamental and long-term response plan for drought and saline intrusion, which are devastating the central and southern regions.
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Minh asked Japan to facilitate the granting of visas for Vietnamese citizens. At a press conference following the meeting, Minh underscored that Japan remains a leading and long-term partner in his country’s foreign policy after the recent 12th National Party Congress.
He said he appreciated the Japanese Government’s provision of $2.5 billion in ODA loans in the fiscal year 2015, while proposing the continuation of ODA funding at a high level.
Kishida pledged that Japan will strongly assist Việt Nam in socio-economic development through providing ODA in high-quality infrastructure building, competitiveness improvement, manpower training and climate change response.
Japan will co-operate with Việt Nam during the implementation of a credit package worth 110 billion JPY (nearly $1.03 billion) that helps Asian countries develop high-quality infrastructure, along with the funding of 750 billion JPY ($7.01 billion) under the Japan-Mekong Connectivity Initiative, launched on May 2, Kishida added.
The two officials also announced that they discussed regional and international matters of mutual interest, including the recent situation in the East Sea.
They shared the view that the concerned parties in the East Sea must strive to ensure peace, security, safety and freedom of navigation and aviation in the waters. They should settle disputes by peaceful means, adhere to international law and refrain from actions that change the status quo, complicate and expand disputes, or increase militarisation in the East Sea.
At the end of the committee’s meeting, the two sides inked a diplomatic note on the Japanese Government’s provision of a 20.97 billion JPY ($196 million) ODA loan in the fiscal year 2015 for phase two of the water environment improvement project in HCM City.
The document also includes the Japanese Government’s non-refundable aid worth 500 million JPY ($4.67 million) for supplying medical equipment to Việt Nam in the same fiscal year.
In addition, Kishida and Vietnamese Minister of Education and Training Phùng Xuân Nhạ signed another diplomatic note on the Japanese Government’s non-refundable aid valued at 390 million JPY ($3.65 million) for a project on human resources development scholarships in the fiscal year 2016. — VNS