Japan treasures cooperation with Vietnam: Ambassador
Updated : Saturday, September 22, 2018 9:14 AM (GMT+0700)

Japanattaches special importance to its cooperation with Vietnam, which is reflectedthrough the more regular exchange of high-level delegations between the twocountries and higher level of trust between their leaders in recent years.

An activity held to mark 45th anniversary of Vietnam-Japan diplomatic ties -
Photo: thoidai.com.vn

Japanese Ambassador toVietnam Kunio Umeda made the statement in an interview granted to Vietnam News Agency on the occasion ofthe 45th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties (September 21,1973-2018).

According to the diplomat,the Vietnam-Japan relationship is now at its highest level so far, based onmutual trust and close attachment. As the two nations share many strategic benefits,Japan wishes to strengthen collaboration with Vietnam on the basis of basicperceptions of Vietnam’s sustainable economic development and capacityenhancement to ensure national defence and security. 

“This is especiallyimportant to the stability and prosperity of Japan, as well as the wholeAsia-Pacific region”, he said, adding that the enhancement of bilateralcooperation is becoming more and more significant as the world has beenwitnessing changing global relations.

Regarding priority cooperationareas between the two countries, the diplomat said Vietnam is now in a greattransition phase in terms of politics and economy, with abundant energy sourcesfor growth. If the country can bring into full play these sources, it will seegreat strides.

“I hope that Vietnam canfully tap that opportunity to grow strongly”, he said.

Bilateral economiccooperation has developed drastically in recent times, with the increasingattention from Japanese businesses towards Vietnam reflected through the numberof Japanese enterprises and projects popping up in the Southeast Asian nation,the ambassador.

In 2017, Japan’s directinvestment in Vietnam hit 9.1 billion USD, the highest level so far. The figurefor the first half of this year was 6.5 billion USD, making Japan the largestforeign investor in Vietnam.

More than 3,100 Japanesebusinesses have landed investment in Vietnam, marking an increase of 40 percentin four years. Japanese firms now top 1,700 members of the Japanese BusinessAssociation in Vietnam, surpassing those in Thailand.

The Japanese side wishes tocontinue cooperating with Vietnam, especially in boosting the growth of itseconomy, the ambassador said, noting that Japan has been busy implementing anarray of collaboration programmes with Vietnam in developing hardwareinfrastructure, such as bridges, seaports, airports, and expressways.

Regarding softwareinfrastructure, Japan has partnered with Vietnam in perfecting the latter’slegal system, training human resources, and improving labour productivity, headded.

In the coming time, togetherwith expanding investment areas and scale, the Japanese side expects tocontinue cooperating with Vietnam in infrastructure development, thussupporting its sustainable development. 

The diplomat said his countryalso hopes to join hands with Vietnam to improve its administration capacity.

Joining Vietnam’sadministrative reform efforts, Japan will share all of its experience – bothsuccesses and failures – with Vietnam, he stated.

“As Japan is prone tonatural disasters and Vietnam is one of the countries hardest hit by climatechange, we wish to enhance affiliation in this field in order to minimisenegative impact of climate change on Vietnam”, said Kunio Umeda.

Regarding prospects forbilateral collaboration – as both Vietnam and Japan are members of theComprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP),formerly the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) – the ambassador stated that atthe APEC Economic Leaders’ Week 2017 held in Vietnam’s central city of Da Nangin November last year, the two countries co-chaired the TPP MinisterialMeeting, during which several important decisions were made, such as thetitular change.

This is just one of thecooperation achievements between Japan and Vietnam, he said, adding that in thecontext of rising protectionism in several economies, bringing the CPTPP intoforce at an early date is particularly crucial to both countries.

Six of the 11 participatingeconomies must complete domestic ratification procedures to make the dealeffective. At present, only three economies have completed such procedures,namely Mexico, Japan, and Singapore. 

It is known that theVietnamese National Assembly will verify laws related to the CPTTP at itsupcoming session, he said, expressing his hopes that Vietnam will become one ofthe first six economies to ratify the agreement. 

If the CPTTP comes intoforce, Vietnam’s exports will surely increase, he predicted.

On measures to boostcultural and educational cooperation as well as people-to-people exchange, theambassador said as 2018 marks the 45th anniversary of Vietnam-Japan diplomaticties, more than 170 related events are scheduled to take place in bothcountries this year.

At the Vietnamese Festivalsin Tokyo, Yokohama of Kanagawa prefecture, and Aichi prefecture, around 100,000Japanese people came to have an insight of the land, culture and cuisine ofVietnam.

Meanwhile, in Hanoi, theJapanese Embassy in Vietnam has coordinated with organisations and friendshipassociations in arranging a wide variety of celebration activities, including aconcert of NHK orchestra on September 7 and the Vietnam-Japan Music Festival2018 on September 15.

In the field of educationalcooperation, Kunio Umeda said that alongside connections between Vietnamese andJapanese universities and projects to increase the number of Japanese languagelearners, new cooperation activities have also been deployed, including sharingexperience in organising lunches at public schools, and music and physicaltraining at high schools in Vietnam.

The Vietnam-JapanUniversity, a symbolic project for the bilateral collaboration in this field,is expected to see gigantic developments in the time to come, he noted.

In addition, Japan has alsopaid close attention to exchanges between the two countries’ youths, especiallyin sports, he said, hoping that many Vietnamese athletes will take part in thenext Olympics and Paralympics to be held in Tokyo in 2020.


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