Deepening Mekong-Japan and Vietnam-Japan relationship

Thursday, 2015-07-02 12:02:51
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The 6th Mekong-Japan Summit in 2014
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NDO - At the invitation of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, today, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and a high level Vietnamese delegation arrived in Tokyo for the 7th Mekong-Japan Summit, taking place from July 2 - 4.

The summit is taking place between representatives of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and Japan to map out directions for the co-operation between Japan and the Mekong region in the 2016-2018 period. On this occasion, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and other leaders will meet with Japanese King Akihito and hold talks with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to foster multi-faceted cooperation between the Mekong region and Japan, as well as the Vietnam-Japan comprehensive strategic partnership.

Japan initiated the Mekong-Japan co-operation framework in 2007, and the first summit was held in 2009, with the approval of the Tokyo declaration and a 63 item Action Plan. This document directs co-operation between the countries, focusing on hard and soft infrastructure, sustainable economic development, narrowing the development gap, environmental protection, combating diseases and natural disasters, and furthering exchanges among Mekong countries and Japan. After six successful summits, the relationship between the concerned countries has been enhanced and thus become more effective, especially in regards to the implementation of the Tokyo 2012 Strategy.

In Vietnam, various projects have been implemented, such as the Lach Huyen International Gateway, Mekong-Japan Vocation training centre in Hai Phong’s Maritime University as well as many exchange programs between countries of the Mekong region and Japan. The 7th Summit will allow leaders of regional Mekong countries and Japan to review the implementation of their Action Plan 2013 – 2015, and to agree on the Tokyo 2015 Strategy to guide future cooperation.

We are glad that the Vietnam-Japan relationship has been upgraded to a comprehensive strategic partnership for peace and security in Asia after the official visit to Japan made by President Truong Tan Sang in March 2014. Bilateral relations have continued to grow in all areas, including in economics, politics, diplomacy, security and defence. Political trust has also been enhanced, and Japan continues to be Vietnam’s most important development partner, as well as the biggest ODA financier to Vietnam with Japan financing approximately 30% of the total ODA provided to Vietnam. Japan is also the biggest investor in Vietnam, and is the first G7 country to acknowledge Vietnam’s market economy status. Recent co-operation in agriculture has seen new breakthroughs, and the two countries have been closely cooperating in international and local forums.

The attendance of the high level delegation and Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung to the Mekong-Japan Summit demonstrates Vietnam’s appreciation of this cooperation mechanism, and aims to affirm Vietnam’s role and position in sub regional cooperation. It also aims to promote priorities that are suitable to Vietnam’s socio – economic development. Meetings and discussions between the Prime Minister and his host, as well as documents to be signed all aim to consolidate and promote the bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership for peace and security in Asia, and for the benefit of both people, contributing to peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region and the world.