Japanese special ambassador hopeful of resuming ODA by April

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and Vietnam-Japan’s Special Ambassador Sugi Ryotaro met in Hanoi on Feb. 9 to discuss the resumption of Japan’s provision of ODA to Vietnam, which could be reinstated as early as April.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung shakes hands with Vietnam-Japan’s Special Ambassador Sugi Ryotaro at the Government Guest House in Ha Noi on February 9, 2009. (Photo: VNA)

Prime Minister Dung welcomed the Japanese messenger and pledged that his government would do its utmost to transform its relationship with Japan into a strategic partnership, in the interests of both nations.

Referring to the PCI scandal that led to Japan deciding to suspend its provision of official development assistance to Vietnam, Mr. Dung reiterated his government’s firm stance in the ongoing battle against corruption and expressed regret over Japan’s unilateral decision to halt its flow of ODA into Vietnam at a recent donor’s meeting.

He made it clear that, following the discovery of the scandal, the Vietnamese Government immediately asked the Japanese side to provide relevant information and documentation and cooperate in investigating the case.

“Vietnamese investigative agencies have started legal proceedings against the suspects, while the Supreme People’s Procurary has sent a dispatch to the Japanese Prosecution Institute to provide evidence in order to bring the case to justice in line with the law,” said the Government leader.

Until now, Vietnam had not received a reply from the Japanese judiciary, despite the fact that the Vietnamese side had met all of the requirements of their Japanese counterparts, he added.

“Japan’s ODA decision sparked negative public opinion and affected bilateral relations, which are now faring well,” he said.

He concluded by stressing that Vietnam had previously used Japan’s ODA in an effective manner and expressing his hopes for Japan’s early resumption of providing ODA to Vietnam.

The Japanese ambassador expressed his personal regret over Japan’s suspension of ODA.

He said that the Japanese Government was hoping to resume the aid in April and pledged to do his best to contribute to the resumption.

Mr. Sugi Ryotaro also announced the details of a campaign to provide 50 fire engines to Vietnam, offer Japanese jobs to Vietnamese nurses and promote cultural and cinematographic cooperation among business circles in the two countries.

Source: VNA

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