Wednesday, 24 Jul 2019
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Why Vietnam-Japan ties called extensive strategic partnership in Asia?

Updated at Monday, 01 Jul 2019, 19:50
The Hanoitimes - Currently, Japan is the biggest ODA supplier for Vietnam and the leading investor in 2018.
The Vietnam-Japan relation is labeled “Extensive Strategic Partnership for Peace and Prosperity in Asia”. What are the reasons for such a title?
 
Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe in Tokyo on July 1. Photo: VGP
Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe in Tokyo on July 1. Photo: VGP
Vietnam and Japan established diplomatic ties in 1973. The relationship was upgraded to extensive strategic partnership in 2014. So far, the ties are believed to be at the best period in the 46-year relationship. 

Currently, Japan is the leading economic partner of Vietnam, ranking second out of 132 countries and territories investing in Vietnam with total commitments of US$57.89 billion in 4,190 projects as of June 20, 2019, the government said on its website. 

Japan is Vietnam’s fourth largest trading partner with the two-way trade valued at US$37.8 billion in 2018 or 7.9% of the latter’s total trade in the year. 

As of January 2019, Japan is the biggest ODA supplier for Vietnam with roughly US$35 billion, mainly in infrastructure and transport projects.
 
Japan-funded Nhat Tan bridge in Hanoi - a symbolic construction of the partnership. Illustrative photo
Japan-funded Nhat Tan bridge in Hanoi - a symbolic construction of the partnership.
Japan’s ODA projects are operational in all parts of Vietnam, enabling the Southeast Asian country to carry out three strategic breakthroughs namely socio-economic development, economic structuring, and sustainable growth.

The two countries have also boost ties through cooperation in multilateral ties via forums like the UN, APEC, ASEM, ASEAN, ADMM+, GMS, CPTTP, among others.

The deepened relationship is once again affirmed at the meeting between Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe in Tokyo on July 1. 

In talks with Shinzo Able, Phuc reiterated that Japan remains Vietnam’s most reliable partner while the Japanese PM highlighted Vietnam’s rising status in the region and the world. 

The two leaders agreed to facilitate the implementation of the public-private partnership (PPP) mechanism and the import of additional farm produce; to support Vietnam in training manpower, improving qualifications of state cadres, boosting labor productivity, building e-government and improving digital economy.

Phuc said Vietnam encouraged the investment in manufacturing, energy, IT, smart city, infrastructure, hi-tech agriculture, finance-banking, and privatization of state-owned enterprises. 

Meanwhile, Shinzo Abe said a factor which exerts huge impacts to the bilateral ties is the Vietnamese community in Japan which numbered more than 330,000, saying it is the common valuable asset of both countries. 

During the visit, the two sides inked six agreements at the presence of the two PMs. The deals include the transfer of jail-sentenced people, the project for Human Resource Development Scholarship by Japanese Grant Aid (formerly Japanese Grant Aid for Human Resource Development Scholarship (JDS), cooperation in health, in manpower training, and lending agreement on renewable energy projects between Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Foreign Trade of Vietnam (Vietcombank) and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC). 
Linh Pham
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