Vietnam and Japan on Monday issued a joint statement on the elevation of their relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership on the occasion of Vietnamese State President Vo Van Thuong’s official visit to Japan from Monday to Thursday, making Japan the sixth country to see its relationship with the Southeast Asian nation reach the highest level in Vietnam's international relations.
The upgrade of the two countries’ ties coincides with the two sides celebrating the 50th anniversary of their diplomatic relations.
Vietnam previously established comprehensive strategic partnerships with China, Russia, South Korea, India, and the United States.
At a press conference following his talks with State President Thuong in Tokyo, Japanese PM Fumio Kishida said they discussed orientations for the two countries’ bilateral relations in the future and agreed to elevate the relationship.
The two sides will promote cooperation in several sectors, including economy, the Japanese premier said, affirming that Vietnam is an indispensable partner to Japan during the implementation of Tokyo’s 'Free and Open Indo-Pacific' initiative and an important link in its supply chains.
The two countries will jointly work to create forward-thinking industries, focusing on high-tech and human resource training, he added.
The Vietnamese workforce is indispensable to Japan’s socio-economic development, according to PM Kishida.
The two countries will expand exchanges between their young people and localities in terms of culture, sports, and tourism, he noted.
Vietnam and Japan will also boost their cooperation at regional and international forums and join hands to consolidate and maintain international order and freedom in a law-based manner.
Speaking at the press briefing, State President Thuong said, “We issued the joint statement on the elevation of the Japan-Vietnam relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership for peace and prosperity in Asia and the world.
“This is an important event that opens a new chapter in the two countries’ ties, which will develop in a more comprehensive, effective, and closely-linked manner to meet the interests of both sides and contribute to peace, stability, cooperation, and development in the region and the world.”
In politics, national defense, and security, the two sides agreed to enhance exchanges at high levels with flexible forms.
Hanoi and Tokyo will continue effectively deploying existing cooperation mechanisms and establish new ones to intensify the practical and effective collaboration in national defense and security, State President Thuong added.
Vietnam and Japan also reached a consensus on bolstering economic cooperation and expanding coordination in new sectors, such as innovation, technological transfer, digital transformation, and green transition.
Both leaders welcomed Japan's official development assistance (ODA) loans for Vietnam, which will likely exceed 100 billion yen (US$671 million) this year, the Vietnamese state leader said, adding that it is a prerequisite for the two countries to maintain and foster their ODA cooperation in the years to come, with a focus on strategic infrastructure, digital transformation, green transition, climate change response, and healthcare.
He spoke highly of PM Kishida’s affirmation that Japan would keep supporting Vietnam’s industrialization, modernization, and development of an independent and self-reliant economy, as well as Hanoi's important role in the diversification of Tokyo’s supply chains.
The Vietnamese leader also treasured the Japanese prime minister’s pledge to facilitate Vietnamese enterprises joining more deeply in the global supply chains of Japan's firms, and support the Southeast Asian country to realize commitments, including the net zero emissions target by 2050.
The two countries will enhance manpower connectivity and the cooperation between localities in tourism and culture, as well as people-to-people exchanges, he shared.
Vietnam and Japan set up diplomatic ties on September 21, 1973 and established a reliable, stable, and long-term partnership in 2002.
The two countries elevated their ties to a strategic partnership for peace and prosperity in Asia in 2009 and an intensive strategic partnership for peace and prosperity in Asia in 2014.
State President Thuong, his spouse, and a high-ranking delegation of Vietnamese representatives arrived in Tokyo on Sunday evening (local time), starting their official visit to Japan through Thursday at the invitation of the Japanese state.
This is President Thuong’s first visit to Japan since taking office in March this year.