Dec 13, 2019 / 18:45

Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force calls for stronger ties with Vietnam

The Hanoitimes - Hanoi and Tokyo have been boosting their defense ties as part of their broader extensive strategic partnership over the past few years.

The chief of Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) has called for stronger cooperation with Vietnam’s navy while keeping in mind China’s maritime presence, according to NHK.

 Admiral Hiroshi Yamamura (L), Chief of Staff of the JMSDF, and Vice Admiral Pham Hoai Nam, Commander of the Vietnam People’s Navy. Photo: Baohaiquanvietnam.vn

Admiral Hiroshi Yamamura, JMSDF Chief of Staff, said Vietnam is one of the most important Southeast Asian countries to Japan.

The admiral said when JMSDF held a workshop on removing unexploded underwater mines aboard the minesweeper tender Bungo on Friday when it made a port call in Danang, central Vietnam, NKH reported.

About 30 divers and Vietnamese navy personnel took part in the workshop. Members of a JMSDF special unit talked about their experience in disposing of unexploded mines and bombs off the coast of Okinawa Prefecture, southern Japan, during World War Two.

They also spoke about necessary equipment and training for the task.

Yamamura’s visit to Vietnam is the first by a JMSDF chief in six years. On December 11, he met a senior official of the country’s defense ministry.

Hanoi and Tokyo have been boosting their defense ties as part of their broader extensive strategic partnership over the past few years in the course of perplexity in the South China Sea where Beijing flexes military muscle.

Vietnam and Japan have also already been discussing prospects for collaboration on this front and attempting to better understand each side’s procurement and defense industrial capabilities.

The shape of cooperation in this sphere would include capacity-building and cooperation in familiar areas such as military medicine, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, and peacekeeping.

Back in 2007, the two sides agreed in the Joint Statement that they would exchange high-ranking visits and port calls paid by the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF), according to the BBC.

In the same year, they held joint search and rescue exercises off Vietnam’s Danang shore.

In 2008, Japan’s Yamayuki, Masuyuki, and Hamayuki destroyers visited Vietnam in five days.

In 2009, Vietnam and Japan exchanged military visits, port calls, and search and rescue.

In 2011, the two countries reached an agreement on air force and air defense.