Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung will lead a Vietnamese delegation to attend the seventh Mekong-Japan Summit that is scheduled to open on July 2 in Tokyo, focusing on orientations for bilateral cooperation in 2016-18. PM Dung’s attendance in the three-day event follows the invitation of his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe, said Le Hai Binh, the Vietnamese foreign ministry spokesman. The annual summit will bring together leaders from Japan and the five countries in the Mekong River Sub-Region, namely Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. The conference will also review Mekong-Japan cooperation in the past, especially the implementation of the Mekong-Japan action plan during the 2013-15 period. PM Dung’s participation in the event is also aimed at strengthening relations between Vietnam and the other four countries in the sub-region as well as deepening the strategic partnership between Vietnam and Japan, Binh said. The Vietnamese government leader is expected to have talks with Japanese PM Abe and will join the leaders of the other four countries in meeting with the Japanese emperor. In addtion, PM Dung will have talks with the presidents of both the lower and upper houses of Japan, and meet with representatives from the Japan-Vietnam Friendship Parliamentary Alliance, the Japan International Cooperation Agency, and the Japan Trade Promotion Organization. Speaking at a forum in Tokyo in February, Japan’s Senior Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Minoru Kiuchi said the leaders of Japan and the Mekong River sub-regional countries would meet to outline a new strategy that follows the “2012 Tokyo Strategy for Mekong-Japan Cooperation” to boost their development, in the context of both sides prepared to enter a new cooperation period, according to the Vietnam New Agency. The sixth summit was organized in Myanmar in November 2014.
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