The flight carrying PM Suga, accompanied by his wife, landed in Hanoi on schedule at 6 p.m.
Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc will host an official welcome ceremony for his Japanese counterpart on the morning of Monday. Later, the two leaders will hold talks and meet the press.
Suga will meet with Party General Secretary and State President Nguyen Phu Trong and National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan.
The Japanese PM is also scheduled to meet students of the Vietnam-Japan University, visit the President Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and the Monument of the Martyrs on Monday.
An official reception will be held in his honor in the evening. PM Suga will leave Vietnam for Indonesia the next day.
Vietnam is Suga‚Äôs first overseas destination after he took office. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang said Thursday that Suga‚Äôs visit was taking place at a time when Vietnam-Japan relations were developing well.
She said Japan continues to be one of Vietnam‚Äôs top economic partners, including the provision of official development aid (ODA). The country is also Vietnam‚Äôs second-largest investor and fourth-largest trade partner.
The Japanese PM‚Äôs visit signals the desire to continue strengthening relations with Vietnam. The leaders of both countries will discuss measures to promote cooperation in all fields and exchange views on regional and international issues of mutual concern, Hang added.
Other observers noted that the Japanese PM was visiting Vietnam while it was the ASEAN Chairman to show support for the ‚Äúcentral role‚Äù of the regional bloc. At the same time, Japan wants to work with Vietnam to define a long-term direction of cooperation post Covid-19 especially in the new global supply chain, they added.
Vietnam and Japan established diplomatic ties in 1973 upgrading bilateral ties to strategic partnership in 2009 and to an extensive strategic partnership in 2014.
PM Suga, born in 1948 graduated from the Faculty of Law, Hosei University. He began his political career in 1975 as a secretary to a senator, then the Chief of the Cabinet Office of Japan under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe‚Äôs administration.
On September 16 he became Prime Minister of Japan after a parliamentary vote, replacing Abe, who resigned with his cabinet, citing health problems.
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