Viet Nam News
TOKYO — The defining aim of the Việt Nam – Japan partnership is to contribute to regional peace and prosperity, said Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
He was speaking in an exclusive interview granted to General Director of the Vietnam News Agency (VNA) Nguyễn Đức Lợi, who is paying a working visit to Japan.
The two countries have been enjoying dynamic economic cooperation and people-to-people economic exchanges, and Japan is keen to partner with Việt Nam to address defence and security matters, regional issues, and economic development, according to the PM.
Abe said he had been a congressman for 25 years and when he was first elected, he and other parliamentarians visited Việt Nam and received a warm welcome from the Vietnamese Government.
Việt Nam’s economy at that time was developing thanks to the implementation of reform policies, he said.
The PM added that he also visited Việt Nam in his first term as the Prime Minister in 2006.
So far, he has visited Việt Nam four times in his capacity as the Japanese Prime Minister, and is glad to witness the vibrant development of the Southeast Asian country.
He recalled his visit to Việt Nam in November 2017, during which he was invited to Hội An by Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc.
The two PMs walked around the Vietnamese ancient city and visited the Japanese bridge, as well as a number of shops where Japanese people used to trade in ancient times, through which he better understood the history of exchange between the two countries.
While sharing his expectations on the potential to develop the friendly and cooperative ties between Việt Nam and Japan, PM Abe said the bilateral relations must also be mutually supportive and collaborative.
In the eyes of Japanese people, Việt Nam is an industrious, smart, and patient nation with warm-hearted people, according to the PM. He noted that the number of people travelling between the two countries had amounted to 1.2 million while there were some 300,000 Vietnamese living in Japan.
He highly appreciated those Vietnamese people who have become familiar with Japanese language and culture.
The PM hoped more Vietnamese skilled workers would come to work in Japan as its new policy to receive foreign workers takes effect from April 1 this year.
As Japan is scheduled to host the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo, Abe hopes many Vietnamese sports teams will join the competition and a large number of Vietnamese will visit Japan to watch the event.
Abe said he had invited Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc to attend the G20 Summit in Japan.
As Việt Nam would hold the ASEAN Chairmanship in 2020, the two countries should cooperate to address regional and global issues, he said.
Regarding the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), Abe said the birth of the deal was an important and meaningful result to promote free trade, especially as there was increasing global concern over trade protection policies.
This was also the outcome of the close connectivity between Japan and Việt Nam, he said, adding that the agreement was very important and progressive for the 21st century because it covered numerous issues such as intellectual property protection, the environment and e-commerce.
Thanks to that, a new economic region would be built based on fairness and freedom, he said, adding that the Asia-Pacific region would become a place to create that economic model.
He hoped that Việt Nam would be able to optimise benefits from the deal to further develop its economy and improve the living conditions of its people. The PM also expressed his belief that the CPTPP would help promote trade and economic exchanges between Việt Nam and Japan.
The stable and peaceful Asia-Pacific region would lay a foundation to develop peace and prosperity between the two countries, he said.
Japan wants to cooperate with all nations, including Việt Nam, to jointly create a free and expansive Asia-Pacific region.
The PM also recommended popularising and reinforcing the spirit of respecting law and freedom of navigation and trade, as well as looking toward the goal of economic development through increasing multinational connectivity in the region, ensuring peace and stability via law enforcement on the seas, and building humanitarian aid and research alongside rescue capacity. — VNS