Vietnamese Ambassador to Japan Vũ Hồng Nam speaks to Vietnam News Agency. —VNA/VNS Photo Đào Tùng
TOKYO — The Việt Nam-Japan relationship has become “a model of friendship and win-win partnerships”, creating a foundation for co-operation in ensuring stability and peace in Southeast Asia and beyond, Vietnamese Ambassador to Japan Vũ Hồng Nam has said.
He was speaking in an exclusive interview with Vietnam News Agency (VNA) correspondents in Tokyo ahead of the visit to Việt Nam by Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide, which is being made at the invitation of Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc.
Slated for October 18-20, the visit will mark the second time Việt Nam has been selected by a new Japanese PM as their first overseas destination upon taking office.
According to Ambassador Nam, PM Suga’s decision to visit Việt Nam and Indonesia during his first overseas trip expresses Japan’s regard for the Southeast Asian region.
The PM’s policies towards Việt Nam will be a continuation of Japanese policies over the years, especially under former PM Abe Shinzo’s administration. Nearly 50 years since the establishment of bilateral diplomatic ties, Việt Nam and Japan have become trustworthy partners in an extensive strategic partnership for peace and prosperity in Asia. Japan has made important contributions to Việt Nam’s economic growth and vice-versa, the diplomat said.
He noted that relations have expanded strongly over the last decade and more, especially during the administration of PM Abe. All indicators on bilateral co-operation rose strongly, especially in the fields of investment, trade, and people-to-people exchange.
Some 500,000 Vietnamese people are now living in Japan, making it the largest foreign community in the country.
Japanese investors, meanwhile, consider Việt Nam an attractive, reliable, and safe investment destination. Japan now stands as Việt Nam’s second-largest investor, with committed investment of more than US$60 billion.
The ambassador expressed his belief that with Japan’s policy of diversifying supply chains, more Japanese investors will come to Việt Nam.
Predicting investment of Japanese businesses in Việt Nam after the pandemic has been contained, the ambassador said there was currently a strong wave of investment capital flowing from Japan to Việt Nam.
“In 2019, the capital flow was very strong. In 2020, we are concerned that the COVID-19 pandemic could affect that flow. However, up to now, we are still witnessing a rather large inflow of investment capital from Japan into Việt Nam. That is such good news,” he said.
The investment is mostly in high tech, telecommunication and sectors related to important infrastructure of Việt Nam, he added.
“I think the import and export activities will have some developments. Even though people-to-people exchanges have been slowed down, trade activities continue. Trade between the two countries is developing very strongly both by sea and especially by air. Those are very good signals in 2020.”
Regarding the major agenda items at the upcoming meeting between the Vietnamese and Japanese PMs, Ambassador Nam said they will discuss a wide range of issues relating to bilateral ties, including measures to continue reinforcing and developing economic ties.
At the same time, amid emerging challenges in Asia and Southeast Asia in particular, they will exchange views on security and political matters as well as global diplomatic and co-operative relations.
They will also discuss co-operation in COVID-19 prevention and control, especially the re-opening of the border and commercial flights between the two countries, to maintain and expand trade, economic exchange, and people-to-people contact.
The ambassador expects the Japanese PM’s visit will be fruitful, creating an important milestone in political-diplomatic relations between the two countries. — VNS