Japan aspires to strengthen strategic partnership with Vietnam

VOV.VN -Japan attaches great importance to relations with Vietnam and wishes to reinforce the extensive strategic partnership, said Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on April 10 while receiving Defence Minister General Ngo Xuan Lich, currently on an official visit to Japan at the invitation of his counterpart Onodera Itsunori.

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The Japanese PM highlighted Minister Ngo Xuan Lich's first official visit to Japan amid the celebration of 45 years of diplomatic relations and praised the two Defense Ministries for signing a Joint Vision Statement on Vietnam – Japan Defence Relationship towards the next decade, noting that the current relations between the two nations are in their most thriving period ever.

Shinzo Abe said he hopes that the two countries will continue bolstering cooperation in national defense, diplomacy, economics, people-to-people exchange.

Minister Ngo Xuan Lich emphasized that Vietnam and Japan have enjoyed the time-tested friendship and shared cultural similarities and customs. Japan has always been Vietnam's leading partner in economic development and is one of the major ODA providers to Vietnam, making considerable contributions to the Southeast Asian nation’s socio-economic development.

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"The Government and people of Vietnam always place great importance on developing comprehensive and more substantial relations with Japan. 2017 was a memorable year for bilateral ties, which witnessed Vietnam visit by the Emperor and Empress of Japan as well as exchange visits by the two Prime Ministers.

Vietnam always appreciates the role and initiatives of Japan and support Japan in boosting ties with Southeast Asian nations and the ASEAN bloc as a whole. The country is keen for Japan to make greater contributions to the maintenance of peace and stability in the region,” Minister Ngo Xuan Lich said.

Lich informed PM Shinzo Abe about the outcomes of the talks with Defense Minister Onodera Itsunori, stating that the signing of the Joint Vision Statement on Vietnam – Japan Defence Relationship will contribute to boosting the bilateral defense cooperation in an effective and practical manner.

Minister Ngo Xuan Lich said he hopes that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe would continue supporting the stronger defence ties between Vietnam and Japan in the time ahead.

Earlier, Vietnamese Defence Minister Ngo Xuan Lich and his Japanese counterpart Onodera Itsunori hold talks, during which both underlined the importance of building a stable, free and open order in line with law in the Indo-Pacific region.

Itsunori told Lich that his nation wishes to foster partnership with Vietnam in an effort based on the Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy. 

Minister Lich, for his part, expressed his belief that the visit will make positive contributions to promoting the friendship and deepening mutual understanding between the Vietnamese and Japanese people and armies, for the sake of peace and stability in the two countries as well as in the region and the wider world. 

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He underscored the importance of maintaining peace and stability, maritime and aviation freedom in accordance with law in the region.

Regarding territorial disputes at sea, including the East Sea issue, both sides emphasized that parties concerned need to exercise self-restraint, fully respect diplomatic and legal processes and peacefully settle disputes in line with international law, especially the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) while seriously complying with the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea towards formulating an effective Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).

They voiced support for denuclearisation by peaceful means, constructive and practical actions to fully implement resolutions by the United Nations Security Council, contributing to maintaining peace, security and stability in the region and the world.
The two ministers extolled the flourishing Vietnam – Japan ties in multiple areas, especially between the armies. They agreed to step up cooperation under signed agreements and enhance exchanges between the army services, joint work in search and rescue, the United Nations peacekeeping mission, response to disasters and cyber security. They consented to hold the sixth deputy ministerial-level strategic dialogue in Japan. 

The Vietnamese minister suggested stepping up army medical cooperation, including scientific training and research, search and rescue, humanitarian assistance and maritime security and affirmed Vietnam's willingness to welcome Japan’s self-defence vessels.

Lich also hailed Japan’s role in multilateral mechanisms and proposing initiatives to maintain peace and stability in the region, including the Vientiane Vision. 

Vietnam will well perform the role as Chair of ASEAN in 2020, when holding the 10th anniversary of the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Plus Meeting (ADMM+), Lich said, and wished that Japan would support his country in taking the role and hosting national defence conferences and activities marking the event.

At the talks, the two defence ministers signed a Joint Vision Statement on Vietnam – Japan Defence Relationship towards the next decade. 
During the visit , Lich met Special Advisor to the Japanese PM Koya Nishikawa and received General Secretary of the Japan – Vietnam Friendship Society of Sakai city Kato Hitoshi, Director of the Sasakawa Peace Foundation Yohei Sasakawa and former Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshito Sengoku. He also visited Vietnamese Embassy in Japan. 

On the occasion, the Military Hospital 108 and Military Hospital 103 signed a cooperation agreement with the Juntendo University of Japan.