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Sep 18, 2020 / 00:34

Vietnam expects to lift up ties with Japan after Abe's resignation

Whoever succeeds Abe Shinzo, the two nations have ample reasons to widen and deepen their cooperation across a host of domains.

Vietnam wishes to enhance the relationship with Japan to take the strategic partnership to a new height, a spokesperson said after the election of Japan’s new cabinet.

 Japan's newly-elected Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide. Photo: EPA 

“Vietnam always attaches importance to the friendship with Japan and wishes to enhance the cooperation with the new PM and the new cabinet to take the comprehensive and substantive strategic partnership to a new height for the sake of the two peoples and for peace, stability, cooperation, and development in the region and the world,” Spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang of Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

Vietnam's top leaders have sent messages of congratulation to Japan's new cabinet members in a gesture to “appreciate the friendship with Japan”.

On September 16, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc congratulated Mr. Suga Yoshihide after the latter was elected as Japan’s new prime minister after his predecessor stepped down due to illness.

One day earlier, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam and State President Nguyen Phu Trong also sent a message of congratulations to Mr. Suga for winning the leadership of Japan’s ruling party Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).

Vietnam’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh also congratulated his Japanese counterpart for the position in the new cabinet.

Khang Vu, Hanoi born and raised PhD student at Boston College, said Abe is the most popular Japanese politician in Vietnam for his efforts to elevate the bilateral defense relations. His resignation will be felt across Vietnam.

Hanh Nguyen, who is taking an MA at International Christian University, Tokyo, writes for The Diplomat that whoever succeeds Abe Shinzo, the two nations have ample reasons to widen and deepen their cooperation across a host of domains.

There are good reasons to believe that Japan-Vietnam relations will continue on their present upward trajectory. Largely, the strong bilateral partnership has been born out of a shared concern about China’s waxing power and influence, she said.

Vietnam and Japan are in the extensive strategic partnership status. Since the establishment of the bilateral ties in 1973, Japan has supported Vietnam in three pillars namely trade, investment, and official development assistance (ODA).

Currently, Japan is the biggest ODA donor to Vietnam with US$27 billion.

The relationship covers fields such as security and defense, industrialization, agriculture, science-technology, education and training, culture, sports, tourism, environment, local-level exchanges, and people-to-people exchanges.