Japan continues close cooperation with Vietnam in COVID-19 fight
The spokesman of the Japanese Prime Minister during the latter’s official visit to Vietnam from October 18-20, Yoshida Tomoyuki, on October 19 informed the outcomes of the ongoing trip by PM Suga Yoshihide and his spouse.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (R) and Japanese PM Suga Yoshihide (Photo: VNA)
Yoshida said during the talks between PM Suga and his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Xuan Phuc, the two PM expressed their satisfaction about the strong and comprehensive development of Japan – Vietnam ties with high political trust, mutual support and increased international cooperation in the fight against COVID-19. The visit has contributed to further tightening connections between the two leaders.
According to the spokesman, PM Suga affirmed that the Japan – Vietnam relationship is now at its best in history. The PM has attached importance to relations with Vietnam, evidenced by his selection of Vietnam as the first destination of his first overseas trip after taking office.
PM Suga said Japan is offering technical assistance and medical supplies worth 40 million USD to Vietnam and will work closely with Vietnam in combating the COVID-19 pandemic.
Having spoken highly of bilateral cooperation in human resources, the PM pledged to continue supporting the Vietnamese community in Japan.
He also expressed his sympathy with Vietnam over huge losses caused by floods in the central region, adding that the Japanese Government has decided to offer equipment as urgent relief to Vietnam via the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
The two leaders also discussed several new mechanisms for Vietnamese guest workers to work in Japan, and projects using official development assistance (ODA) funded by Japan, Yoshida said.
They presented their joint vision on the Indo-Pacific strategy with a liberal and broad vision.
Regarding the East Sea issue, the two leaders reaffirmed the importance of ensuring peace, security, safety and freedom of navigation and aviation, and respect for law, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
Following the talks, they witnessed the exchange of documents worth about 4 billion USD signed between ministries, agencies, localities and businesses.
On the occasion, the spokesperson answered reporters’ questions about ODA cooperation, policies to attract Japanese firms to Vietnam, and bilateral defence, economic, trade and investment ties.
Japanese news agency spotlights PM Suga Yoshihide’s Vietnam visit
Japanese news agency Kyodo ran articles highlighting Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide’s official visit to Vietnam, including his talks with his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Xuan Phuc on October 19, during which the two are expected to discuss numerous issues, particularly economic cooperation.
During the bilateral talks, Suga is expected to promote efforts to achieve a “free and open Indo-Pacific,” and agree with Phuc to facilitate the cross-border flow of medical supplies and other goods, Kyodo reported, citing sources of Japanese officials.
Japan is looking to diversify its supply chain to mitigate risks brought to light by the COVID-19 crisis, including its reliance on Chinese imports for face masks.
The government is handing out subsidies to firms that move production to Southeast Asia, which is both geographically well-placed and can provide relatively cheap labour.
Of the 30 firms chosen so far to receive the subsidies, ranging from manufacturers of medical gowns and disinfectant wipes to car engine parts, half are planning to set up in Vietnam.
The Japanese PM is also slated later in the day to make a policy speech at the Vietnam Japan University, which opened in 2016 with funding from both countries.
After meeting with other Vietnamese political leaders, Suga will fly to Jakarta on October 19, the second leg of his first foreign trip since taking office, for talks with Indonesian President Joko Widodo./.VNA