This was PM Suga’s first overseas trip since he took office last month. It marked the second consecutive time that a Japanese PM has selected Vietnam as the first overseas destination after taking office.
During his stay in Vietnam from October 18-20, PM Suga paid a courtesy call on Party General Secretary and State President Nguyen Phu Trong; held talks with PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc; witnessed the exchange of signed cooperative documents; met with Chairwoman of the National Assembly Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, received Head of the Party Central Committee’s Organisation Commission and Chairman of the Vietnam – Japan Friendship Parliamentarians’ Group (VJFPG) Pham Minh Chinh, and met with students of the Vietnam – Japan University.
At the meetings, both sides expressed their satisfaction about the strong and comprehensive development of Vietnam – Japan relations, with high political trust as well as mutual support and enhanced international collaboration in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. They agreed on orientations and measures that help deepen the Vietnam – Japan extensive strategic partnership.
They reached consensus on reinforcing political trust through maintaining high-level visits and meetings, improving the efficiency of existing dialogue mechanisms, and promoting ties between the Communist Party of Vietnam and the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan as well as between the two governments and parliaments.
They vowed to apply prioritised travelling mechanisms between the two nations, soon resume commercial flights and restore bilateral collaboration activities.
The two sides agreed to speed up the signing of mid- and long-term visions for agricultural cooperation for the next period, soon open each other’s markets for fresh Vietnamese longan and Japan’s tangerine, and increase the number of Vietnamese apprentices to Japan in more fields.
They consented to effectively carry out key cooperation projects, especially in climate change, natural disasters prevention and control, improving capacity in coping with drought and saltwater intrusion, environmental protection, and e-Government building.
Besides, the leaders pledged to work closely together at regional and international forums like ASEAN, Mekong and the United Nations, and to promote economic connectivity mechanisms like the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
They reaffirmed the importance of ensuring peace, security, safety and freedom of navigation and aviation, and respect for law in the East Sea, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
They agreed to lift the Vietnam – Japan ties to a new height, deepen joint work in diverse areas, thus making active contributions to peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region and the world.
On the occasion, the two PMs witnessed the exchange of 12 cooperative documents worth around nearly US$4 billion signed between ministries, sectors, localities and enterprises of the two nations.
PM Suga’s official visit to Vietnam took place in the context that the Vietnam-Japan extensive strategic partnership has unceasingly developed in various sectors and the mutual political trust has been reinforced. It was an opportunity for Vietnam to affirm itself as a safe destination amidst the global COVID-19 pandemic, highlight its socio-economic achievements, enhance its position on the international arena and prove its determination to accelerate international integration.