Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh will pay an official visit to Japan from November 22-25 at the invitation of his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida in an effort to bring the two countries’ extensive strategic partnership to new heights.
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This is Chinh’s first official visit to Japan in his capacity as Prime Minister and after Kishida took office. The visit is to realize Vietnam’s foreign policy of independence and self-reliance for peace, friendship, cooperation and development which was reaffirmed at the 13th National Party Congress.
Vietnam and Japan established diplomatic relations on September 21, 1973. They decided to lift their relationship to the strategic partnership in 2009 and the extensive strategic partnership for peace and prosperity in Asia in 2014.
Bilateral relations have developed well over the years through their top leaders’ regular visits and meetings at international and regional forums.
Japan was the first G7 country that invited the General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam to visit in 1995. It recognized Vietnam’s market economy status in 2011, and invited Vietnam to attend the expanded G7 Summit in May 2016.
The two countries have maintained important cooperation mechanisms, including the Vietnam-Japan Cooperation Committee, the Vietnam – Japan Strategic Partnership Dialogue on Diplomacy – Security – Defense, the Vietnam – Japan Defense Policy Dialogue, the Deputy Ministerial Security Dialogue, the Joint Commission on Trade, Energy and Industry, and the Vietnam – Japan Maritime Policy Dialogue.
In addition, the two countries closely coordinate at international and regional forums, especially at the United Nations and ASEAN.
Japan is Vietnam’s leading economic partner. It is the largest ODA donor, the second largest investor, the third largest tourism partner and the fourth largest trade partner of Vietnam.
The opening nine months of 2021 saw bilateral trade reach US$31 billion, including US$14.7 billion worth of Vietnamese exports. By September 20, Japan had 4,748 valid FDI projects in Vietnam capitalized at US$63.85 billion, accounting for 15% of Vietnam’s total investment capital and ranking second among 140 countries and territories investing in the country.
Progress has been made in agricultural cooperation since the 2015 signing of the Medium- to Long-Term Vision for Japan-Vietnam Agricultural Cooperation. The two countries inked the revised vision in 2018 and is now implementing the second phase of the vision for 2020-2024.
The two countries have also cooperated in climate change response. Japan has over the years provided Vietnam with ODA to undertake a number of climate change response projects.
Bilateral cooperation in education and training has also been enhanced. Japan has received large numbers of Vietnamese trainees and students every year. It is upgrading four Vietnamese universities and building a Vietnam-Japan University to train high-quality human resources for Vietnam in the fields of science, technology, management and services.
The two countries have supported each other in the fight against COVID-19. Japan granted aid worth more than JPY4 billion to provide equipment and technical support to improve Vietnam’s healthcare system. It also donated more than 4 million doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to Vietnam. Meanwhile, Vietnam presented more than 1.2 million face masks to Japan.
One of the highlights in the Vietnam-Japan relations is the strong cooperation between the two countries’ localities. Localities of Vietnam and Japan have signed more than 70 cooperation documents, including those between Ho Chi Minh City and Osaka and Nagano, between Hanoi and Fukuoka and Tokyo, and between Da Nang and Sakai and Yokohama.
Currently, nearly 450,000 Vietnamese people are living, working and studying in 47 Japanese localities, mainly in Aichi, Tokyo, Osaka, Saitama, Chiba and Fukuoka. During the coming visit, PM Pham Minh Chinh is scheduled to meet representatives of the Vietnamese community to inquire into their living conditions and encourage them to work hard to contribute to promoting the Vietnam-Japan partnership.
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