| Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide (Photo: Nikkei Asia)
The visit promises a new stage of cooperation between the two countries, whose bilateral Extensive Strategic Partnership has been thriving. Japan continues to be Vietnam’s most important economic partner, the largest provider of Official Development Assistance (ODA) to Vietnam, and the second largest investor in Vietnam.
Suga Yoshihide, who was elected Japan's new Prime Minister on September 16, has vowed to continue Abe Shinzo's economic and foreign policy. Like Mr. Abe, Prime Minister Suga chose to visit Vietnam first in order to demonstrate the consistency of the Japanese government's policy towards Vietnam.
Since resuming aid to Vietnam in 1992, the Japanese government has respected Vietnam’s position both politically and economically. Japan was the first G7 country to welcome the General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam (1995), establish a strategic partnership with Vietnam (2009), and invite a high-ranking leader of Vietnam to the expanded G7 Summit (2016).
Japan provided ODA capital to Vietnam very early in 1992. Its ODA has continuously increased, now accounting for more than one third of the total ODA foreign countries have provided to Vietnam. This aid has been used effectively for poverty reduction and economic development. Projects such as Noi Bai International Airport, Tan Son Nhat International Airport, and Nhat Tan Bridge have become symbols of the friendship and cooperation between the two countries.
Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh (C) and Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Kajiyama Hiroshi co-chair the 4th online meeting of Vietnam-Japan Joint Committee on Cooperation in Industry, Trade and Energy, August 7, 2020.
50 years after establishing diplomatic relations, Vietnam and Japan have become strategic partners for peace and prosperity in Asia.
Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Quoc Dung said, “The Vietnam-Japan relationship is very special. Japan attaches great importance to Vietnam in its foreign policy. Japan’s presence is seen in all areas of Vietnam. Japanese investment in Vietnam is much higher than its average investment in ASEAN and Japan is one of the leading investors in Vietnam.”
The remarkable achievements of half a century will by furthered by Prime Minister Suga's upcoming visit. Vietnam is a reliable destination for Japanese investors, especially those specializing 21st century technologies like digital technology, telecommunications, and renewable energy. Vietnam will continue to be a big provider of human resources to Japanese businesses, as the Japanese economy recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Japanese Ambassador to Vietnam Yamada Takio said, “Vietnam is playing a very important role in the post-COVID-19 recovery. Economic cooperation between Vietnam and Japan will thrive in the coming months. The 50th anniversary of Vietnam-Japan diplomatic relations will be a very special time. The two will work towards a new relationship. It is a relationship of equality, mutual recognition, and mutual respect.”
In a challenging regional security context, sharing information and defining directions for cooperation for peace and stability in the region will top the agenda of the Japanese Prime Minister’s trip. Economics, trade, and investment will also be discussed.