Vietnam, Japan boost strategic partnership

Vietnam and Japan on October 31 issued a joint statement on the comprehensive development of strategic partnership for peace and prosperity in Asia during Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s visit to Vietnam.

The following is the full text of the document:

1. Introduction
At the invitation of H.E. Mr. Nguyen Tan Dung, Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, H.E. Naoto Kan, Prime Minister of Japan, paid an official visit to Vietnam from October 30 to 31, 2010, following the ASEAN related Summit meetings held in Hanoi . During his visit, Prime Minister Naoto Kan held a summit meeting with Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and paid a courtesy visit to H.E. Mr. Nong Duc Manh, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam and H.E. Mr. Nguyen Minh Triet, President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

At the meeting between Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and Prime Minister Naoto Kan on October 31, the two leaders welcomed the significant development of bilateral relationship between the two countries in recent years and shared the strong intention to further develop in a stronger and more comprehensive manner the Strategic Partnership between Vietnam and Japan for peace and prosperity in Asia.

2. Strengthening Exchanges and Dialogue

The two sides affirmed the importance of maintaining annual summit-level visits as well as strengthening dialogue channels at all levels and in all areas. The two sides expressed their expectation that the new Vietnamese leaders would visit Japan at early and mutually convenient dates for both sides in 2011.

The two sides decided to hold the fourth meeting of the Vietnam-Japan Cooperation Committee in 2011, which aims to further strengthen overall bilateral cooperation with the participation of ministers and senior officials from relevant government agencies of both countries. They also decided to hold the first Vietnam-Japan Strategic Partnership Dialogue in December 2010 to discuss comprehensively political, diplomatic, defense and security matters. The two sides shared the view that such a dialogue between the two countries would contribute positively to the peace, stability and prosperity of the region.

3. Japan’s Economic Assistance to Vietnam

The Vietnamese side affirmed that the Government and people of Vietnam always remember and are sincerely thankful to Japan for its contribution to Vietnam's economic and social development as the largest donor country in Official Development Assistance (ODA) to Vietnam, and welcomed the fact that the volume of Japan's ODA to Vietnam reached one hundred and fifty five billion yen in the fiscal year 2009, the highest level to date.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung appreciated the progress on Japan’s assistance to Vietnam's priority infrastructure projects such as the North South expressways, Hoa Lac High-Tech Park, and the feasibility studies for the two sections of the high-speed railway: Ho Chi Minh-Nha Trang and Hanoi-Vinh. The Vietnamese side also explained the importance of the Da Nang-Quang Ngai expressway and upgrading of Hanoi-Noi Bai railway and drew the attention of the Japanese side to these projects. Prime Minister Naoto Kan took note of the remarks by the Vietnamese side, and reaffirmed Japan 's strong support for Vietnam's economic development through providing assistance in such priority areas as promotion of economic growth, improvement of living standard and social safety net, institution and capacity building while utilising advanced Japanese technology and expertise. The Japanese side welcomed Vietnam’s determination to advance economic reform and anti-corruption measures related to Japan’s ODA. Prime Minister Naoto Kan expressed his intention to provide a total of 79 billion yen in Japanese ODA Loan to five projects including Lach Huyen Port Complex, in which maintenance and implementation of berth facility will be developed by a consortium of multiple Vietnamese and Japanese companies.

Mr. Nguyen Tan Dung, Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (R) and H.E. Naoto Kan, Prime Minister of Japan sign joint statement on the comprehensive development of strategic partnership for peace and prosperity in Asia.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung appreciated this assistance and welcomed the fact that the Japanese Government had decided to seriously and promptly consider assisting the Long Thanh international airport project, Ninh Binh-Bai Vot expressway project, Nha Trang-Phan Thiet expressway project and new subway line projects in Ha Noi and Ho Chi Minh City . Prime Minister Naoto Kan expressed his intention to continue to expand Japanese ODA to assist Vietnam in its economic development and improvement of people’s life.

Prime Minister Naoto Kan also affirmed the continued cooperation with Vietnam in the area of software infrastructure such as human resources development and the implementation of concrete cooperation activities to develop supporting industries in Vietnam.

4. Trade and Investment

The two sides reaffirmed that the Economic Partnership Agreement between the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and Japan together with the Agreement for the Liberalisation, Promotion and Protection of Investment between Vietnam and Japan would advance the bilateral economic relationship to a new stage and strengthen mutually beneficial economic collaboration between the two countries by facilitating the process of greater liberalisation of goods, services and investments. The two sides also agreed that the strengthening of economic relationship would expand opportunities and benefits for business sectors, contribute to the economic development of both countries and promote the well-being of the people of Vietnam and Japan . The two sides affirmed that the above-mentioned Agreements would contribute positively to the achievement of the objectives of the WTO multilateral trading system. The two sides also affirmed the need to expedite the negotiation on the movement of natural persons in accordance with the Economic Partnership Agreement.

In response to Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung’s strong desire that the Japanese Government recognise Vietnam’s full market economy status at the earliest possible timing, the two sides committed to accelerate the process of considering this issue and decided to hold the Second meeting on Vietnam ’s full market economy status in December 2010.

The two sides highly praised the Vietnam-Japan Joint Initiative to Improve Business Environment, and shared a view that this initiative had played an effective role in strengthening Vietnam’s competitiveness and in expanding Japan’s investment in Vietnam. The two sides also recognized the need to further improve investment environment for Japanese businesses in Vietnam and welcomed the intention of relevant parties on implementing the Phase Four of the Joint Initiative.

5. Energy, Natural Resources Development and Climate Change

The two sides recognized the importance of cooperation in the field of peaceful uses of nuclear energy from the standpoints of energy security and the protection of the global environment. The two sides would strengthen bilateral cooperation in the area of nuclear energy and uplift cooperation in this area to a new height, including development of necessary infrastructure for the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, while recognising the necessity to ensure nuclear non-proliferation/safeguards, safety and security in accordance with the provisions of relevant international treaties that Vietnam and Japan are parties to. The two sides welcomed the successful conclusion of negotiations on the substance of Vietnam-Japan Agreement on peaceful uses of nuclear energy, expecting that the two countries will sign the Agreement at the earliest possible date.

The Vietnamese side highly valued Japan’s continued assistance to Vietnam in the field of peaceful uses of nuclear energy. The Vietnamese side affirmed that on the basis of examining the proposal from the Japanese side the Vietnamese Government had decided to choose Japan as the cooperation partner for building two reactors at the second nuclear power plant site in Ninh Thuan province, Vietnam. Prime Minister Naoto Kan welcomed the decision and assured that Japan would meet the conditions that Vietnam had set out, such as assistance in conducting feasibility studies for the project, low-interest and preferential loans for the project, use of most advanced technology with highest safety standards, technology transfer and training of human resources, cooperation in the waste treatment and the stable supply of materials for the whole life of the project. The two sides concurred to task relevant agencies and entities of the two countries to continue working together for the early signing of relevant documents on the above-mentioned project.

The Vietnamese side highly appreciated Japan 's cooperation in the area of mineral resources, coal, oil and natural gas, oil stockpiling, electricity, energy efficiency and conservation, clean energy development and ICT. The two sides confirmed that both countries would promote cooperation for the development of rare earths industry in Vietnam in the form of joint geological investigation, human resource development, transfer of environmentally friendly technology for sustainable resource development and joint R&D program on a Government-to-Government basis. Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung expressed the decision of the Vietnamese side to select Japan as its partner in investigation, exploration, exploitation and processing of rare earths in Vietnam . Prime Minister Naoto Kan welcomed the decision and expected that the rare earths development by the two countries would proceed smoothly through such measures as the provision of financial and technical support by the Japanese side.

The two sides reaffirmed the on-going cooperation between the two countries in the field of climate change such as forest-related cooperation, building of infrastructure projects to respond to sea level rise and so on. The two sides confirmed their decision to further promote cooperation in this field. The two sides affirmed that advanced technologies related to energy conservation, clean energy development, and environmental conservation, are of paramount importance in making the environment and economy compatible, as well as in addressing the climate change issues while achieving sustainable growth. The two sides agreed to task relevant agencies of the two countries to exchange views for the realisation of these objectives including the potential establishment of bilateral offset credit mechanism.

The two sides recognised the urgent necessity of resolving the climate change issues, and reaffirmed that the two countries will cooperate in international negotiations for the establishment of a fair and effective international framework participated by all major economies.

6. Cooperation in Science and Technology

The two sides recalled and welcomed the achievement made in the meeting of the Vietnam-Japan Joint Committee on Science and Technology, held in Hanoi on June 19, 2009. The Vietnamese side welcomed Japan’s efforts to promote bilateral space cooperation.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung proposed that Japan work in examining the possibility of establishment of a high-quality University in Vietnam believing that this is a substantive cooperation of special significance for Vietnam-Japan cooperation in the long term. Prime Minister Naoto Kan expressed his intention to consider this proposal by Vietnam .

7. Mutual Understanding between the Peoples of the Two Countries

The two sides reaffirmed the importance of promoting people-to-people exchanges, especially among youths, and were convinced that cultural exchange activities would deepen mutual understanding between the peoples of both countries. Prime Minister Naoto Kan affirmed that Japan would continue to receive Vietnamese students and invite Vietnamese youths to visit Japan under various programs including the Japan-East Asia Network of Exchange of Students and Youths (JENESYS) program and on the basis of ODA schemes.

The two sides appreciated the progress made under the framework of the Vietnam-Japan Cooperation Committee on the preservation of Thang Long cultural heritage and the cooperation realized by utilizing UNESCO’s Japan Funds-in-Trust, and welcomed the enhanced cultural cooperation between the two countries on the occasion of the 1,000th anniversary of Thang Long-Hanoi and the 1,300th anniversary of Heijokyo Capital. Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung informed the Japanese side that the Vietnamese Government had decided to organize annually the Vietnamese tourism-cultural Festival in Japan.

8. Regional and International Cooperation

The two sides noted with deep appreciation that the relationship and cooperation between Japan and the Mekong region countries have made considerable progress in various fields such as political and economic areas in the past years, contributing practically to peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region.

The two sides welcomed the results of the Second Mekong-Japan Summit meeting held on October 29, 2010, and noted the significant progress in the implementation of “Mekong-Japan Action Plan 63” and other initiatives proposed by Mekong region countries. Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung highly valued the Initiative of “a Decade towards a Green Mekong” and the “Mekong-Japan Economic and Industrial Cooperation Initiative (MJ-CI) Action Plan” and expressed his hope that these initiatives would be effectively implemented.

The two sides shared the recognition that advancing cooperation in addressing regional and global challenges is important. Prime Minister Naoto Kan praised the constructive role of Vietnam as the Chair of ASEAN 2010. Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung appreciated the role of Japan as the Chair of APEC 2010 and affirmed that Vietnam would work closely with Japan for the success of the 18th APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting in November 2010.

The two sides reemphasised the importance of close cooperation in further promoting existing regional frameworks, such as ASEAN- Japan, ASEAN+ 3 and the EAS, reaffirmed the determination to promote cooperation in various fields of mutual interest, and encouraged efforts toward regional integration in East Asia, including the studies on Comprehensive Economic Partnership in East Asia (CEPEA) and effective contribution of the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA).

The two sides reaffirmed their determination to advance their cooperation for early reform of the UN Security Council, which would include expansion of both permanent and non-permanent categories, in order to render the body more representative, legitimate, effective and responsive to the realities of the international community in the 21st century. The Vietnamese side reaffirmed Vietnam ’s support for Japan to become a permanent member of the Security Council.

The two sides affirmed their support for complete and verifiable denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula in accordance with the September 2005 Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks and the relevant UN Security Council resolutions. The two sides underlined the importance of resolving the issues of humanitarian concern of the international community.

The two sides expressed their satisfaction at the outcome of Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s first official visit to Vietnam, and shared the recognition that the visit opened up a new phase in the friendly and multi-dimensional cooperative relationship between Vietnam and Japan./.

source VNplus

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