Sep 16, 2021 / 11:19

Vietnam, Japan boost cooperation

The two countries are facing maritime disputes with China.

A phone talk held on September 15 between Vietnam’s President Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Japan’s Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide is aimed at discussing issues of mutual interest.

Vietnam’s President Nguyen Xuan Phuc at the phone talk on Sept 15. Photo: MoFA 

The conversation was just three days after the conclusion of the three-day visit to Hanoi paid by Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi.

In the talks, the two leaders exchanged views on the fight against Covid-19, in which Japan has donated Vietnam 3.58 million vaccine doses.

The two leaders agreed that trade and investment have made good momentum over the past two years despite Covid-19.

Japan has remained Vietnam’s second-largest investor with US$65 billion. In 2020, the two-way trade reached US$40 billion.

They shared common concerns on freedom of navigation. Hanoi is facing Beijing’s maritime claims in the South China Sea while Tokyo is confronting tension in the East China Sea with Beijing.

During Nobuo Kishi’s visit to Hanoi, the two countries signed an agreement that allows Vietnam to import weapons and defense technology from Japan.

In 2020, an official direct assistance loan worth US$350 million was signed for purchasing six Japan-built patrol vessels for Vietnam between July 2020 and October 2025.

Over the past time, Japan has offered Vietnam three big decommissioned fishing vessels.

The Vietnam-Japan relations were upgraded to a strategic partnership in 2014.