Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks at a press conference on January 16

Hanoi (VNA) - Visiting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said at a press conference on January 16 after meeting with Vietnamese leaders that he always attaches much importance to the relationship with Vietnam.

“This was the reason I chose Vietnam as one of the Asian countries I visited during my trip early this year,” said he.

The PM affirmed Japan would continue to assist Vietnam’s economic development.

“For the long-term, Japan and Japanese businesses will continue to provide assistance for the economic development of Vietnam,” he said.

He said his government will pursue a foreign policy with a strong base in the Asia-Pacific region with a widening vision. Japan and Vietnam are neighbours attached by a free sea together with the Philippines, Indonesia and Australia, he added.

“The nations which I visit this time are important neighbouring countries sharing an open and free sea named the Pacific, and sharing basic values with Japan and the principles of marine security, safety and freedom,” he noted.

To implement the principles, laws must be completely respected, he affirmed.

During the visit, Japan pledged to provide patrol ships to Vietnam and the Philippines to improve marine law enforcement.

At the press conference, the Japanese PM expressed his support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

To reach common prosperity in the region, the basic foundation was trade liberalisation.

“We should create a liberalised market based on just and equal rules,” he said. “And the foundation for the trade liberalisation is the TPP”. He affirmed that Japan is leading in promoting trade liberalisation.-VNA