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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs   16 September 2013  

VN consolidates ties with Japan

Vietnamese Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh has affirmed that Viet Nam has always considered Japan one of its leading strategic partners, particularly in economics and trade.

He made the affirmation at a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during his official visit to Japan from September 12-14 at the invitation of his Japanese counterpart Kishida Fumio.

Minh also affirmed the willingness to work with the Japanese side to consolidate and boost the two countries' comprehensive co-operation.

Abe, for his part, stressed that Japan saw Viet Nam as one of its important partners in the region and wants to further develop the bilateral strategic partnership in the coming time.

During the talks with his Japanese counterpart Kishida Fumio and at the Viet Nam-Japan Co-operation Committee's fifth meeting, the two foreign ministers expressed their delight at the strong development of the two countries' relationship since the fourth meeting in July 2012.

They reached a consensus on specific directions and measures to further strengthen bilateral ties, emphasising the importance of maintaining visits and exchanges between the two countries' high-ranking leaders even through unofficial visits or exchanges on the sidelines of international and regional meetings and telephone talks.

They also agreed to intensify co-operation between the ministries, sectors and localities, and promote co-operation and dialogue mechanisms such as the Viet Nam-Japan Co-operation Committee, the Viet Nam-Japan Joint Initiative on improving the investment environment, the Strategic Partnership Dialogue and the Defence Strategic Dialogue.

In terms of economic co-operation, the two sides praised specific results gained during the implementation of their leaders' agreements, including the approval of Viet Nam's Industrialisation Strategy within the framework of the two countries' co-operation up to 2020, with a vision towards 2030.

They agreed to continue fostering co-operation in agriculture and infrastructure, and implement important and large-scale projects like building nuclear power plants, railways and airports.

Minh spoke highly of Japan's valuable support through its official development assistance (ODA) over the past 20 years while Fumio revealed that Japan would provide Viet Nam with further ODA worth US$500 million for three projects in the 2013 fiscal year.

The two foreign ministers also exchanged views on international and regional issues of mutual concern, and agreed to strengthen co-operation at international and regional forums.

Minh affirmed the country's willingness to co-ordinate with Japan to successfully organise the ASEAN-Japan Commemorative Summit in December.

Both sides stressed the importance of maintaining peace, stability and maritime freedom at sea, and settling all disputes by peaceful means in accordance with international law, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

They praised the two countries' successful organisation of activities to celebrate the 40th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties, thus contributing to intensifying exchanges and mutual understanding between the two peoples.

During the visit, Minh also attended the opening ceremony of "Vietnamese Days in Japan", which takes place in Tokyo, Osaka, Kobe, Fukuoka and Nagoya from September 12-22.

On the behalf of the Vietnamese State and Government, Minh presented Friendship Orders and the Prime Minister's Certificates of Merit to Japanese individuals who have actively contributed to boosting the two countries' friendship and co-operation.

He also met and exchanged views with several ministers and leaders of the Japan-Viet Nam Friendship Parliamentary Alliance, the Japan International Co-operation Agency and the Japan Federation of Economic Organisations.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

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