Attaching great importance to promoting Vietnam-Japan extensive strategic partnerships

Monday, 2017-01-16 11:56:24
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PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe. (Credit: VGP)
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NDO—Today, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife arrive at Hanoi to begin an official visit to Vietnam at the invitation of Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

The visit is a significant politically important event in bilateral relations, affirming that both sides are seriously interested in promoting the traditional friendly relations and extensive strategic partnership between Vietnam and Japan with the goal of increasingly comprehensive and substantive growth for the benefit of the two peoples and for peace and development in the region and the world.

Located in the Pacific Ocean to the east of the Asian mainland, Japan has a total area of 377,944 km2 with a population of 127.1 million. The island country is not rich in natural resources and even suffered economic devastation after World War II, but thanks to their strong will, great determination and passion, hard work, creativity and ground-breaking reforms, the people of Japan pushed their country forward to become a leading developed nation.

Japan currently leads the world in science and technology and is the third-largest economy in the world, with a GDP of about US$5 trillion a year. Japan is a member of the United Nations and it participates in the Group of Eight (G8) Industrialised Nations.

The political situation in Japan is generally stable under the coalition of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and New Komeito Party (NKP) which has seen the LDP in power since December 2012. The government of PM Abe with its strong deployment of new economic policies labelled “Abenomics” has revived the nation’s economic growth and reconstructed areas heavily damaged by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

Regarding foreign relations, Japan maintains a foreign policy with three pillars, namely strengthening the Japan-US alliance, improving relations with neighbouring countries and implementing economic diplomacy. Moreover, the government of PM Abe also actively implements a new security policy of “positive peace,” aimed at strengthening Japan’s regional and international position, including promoting strategic partnerships between Japan and ASEAN.

Vietnam and Japan have many similarities in culture, with a long tradition of cultural and trade exchanges from early in the past, creating a strong basis for the development of bilateral relations in the future. Vietnam-Japan relations are in full bloom at their highest point since the two countries established diplomatic relations in 1973, and they have become an “extensive strategic partnership for peace and prosperity in Asia.”

Over the past few years, the two countries constantly witnessed the rapid, reliable and substantive development of their extensive strategic partnership in the sectors of the economy, politics, diplomacy, security and defence, in the spirit of mutual understanding, respect and cooperation for mutual benefit.

The two sides have maintained frequent high-level visits and exchanges. Japan was the first country in the G7 group to welcome Vietnam’s General Secretary to visit (1995); to establish a strategic partnership with Vietnam (2009); and to recognise Vietnam’s market economy status (2011).

The world’s third economic powerhouse is also among the most important economic partners of Vietnam, its number-one ODA provider, the second-largest investor in the country and the its fourth-largest bilateral trading partner.

In 2015, the two-way trade turnover between Vietnam and Japan reached more than US$28.5 billion, in the first eleven months of 2016 reaching US$26.8 billion. By the end of November 2016, Japan has 3,242 FDI projects still in force in Vietnam, with a total registered capital of over US$42 billion.

Cooperation between the two countries in the fields of agriculture, climate change response and local exchanges has witnessed more breakthroughs. Cooperation in other fields, such as science and technology, education and training, culture, sports, tourism, the environment and people-to-people exchanges, is increasing. The two also cooperate well at multilateral forums, such as the UN, ASEAN, APEC, ASEM and the UN Human Rights Council.

Besides showing respect for the strong Vietnam-Japan strategic partnership, welcoming the head of the Japanese government’s official visit to Vietnam, we again affirm our consideration of Japan as an important and long-term partner to Vietnam.

May his visit be a success, contributing to further strengthening and developing comprehensive bilateral relations to a new height, bringing benefits to the two peoples and contributing to peace, stability, cooperation and development in the Asia-Pacific and around the world.

NHAN DAN