Oct 18, 2020 / 23:31

Suga arrives in Hanoi in first overseas trip as Japan PM

The Hanoitimes - Japan is Vietnam’s top economic partner, the largest official development assistance donor, second biggest investor, third largest tourist source and fourth largest trade partner.

Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide has arrived in Hanoi on Sunday evening to start a three-day visit to Vietnam in his first overseas travel since taking office on September 16.

 Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide is welcomed by Minister-Chairman of the Government Office Mai Tien Dung in Hanoi on October 18. Photo: VNA

Landing in Noi Bai airport, Mr. Suga and his wife were welcomed by Minister-Chairman of the Government Office Mai Tien Dung and other government officials.

This is second consecutive time that a Japanese prime minister has selected Vietnam as his first overseas destination after being installed.

"I would like to show a resolve to contribute to peace and prosperity in the region toward realizing a free and open Indo-Pacific," Mr. Suga told reporters before leaving Haneda airport in Tokyo.

The Japan PM and his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Xuan Phuc will meet on Monday and are expected to agree to facilitate the cross-border flow of medical equipment and other goods as Japan looks to diversify its supply chains due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

They are rumored to sign a military agreement enabling Japan to export defense equipment and technology to Vietnam, including patrol planes and radar that would help improve its surveillance capabilities

Mr. Suga will also make a policy speech at Vietnam Japan University, which opened in 2016.

Vietnam and Japan established diplomatic ties in 1973, and both countries lifted their ties to the extensive strategic partnership in 2014.

Japan is Vietnam’s top economic partner, the largest official development assistance donor, second biggest investor, third largest tourist source and fourth largest trade partner.