Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc at Vietnam-Japan University (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s upcoming official visit to Japan and attendance at the 23rd International Conference on the Future of Asia from June 4-8 aim to further deepen Vietnam-Japan extensive partnership across diverse areas.

The trip is also expected to promote economic ties at the central and local level and reflect Vietnam’s active role in the region.

From the reliable, stable and long-term partnership framework established in April 2002, the two nations upgraded their relations to the extensive strategic partnership for peace and prosperity in Asia in March 2014.

While in Japan in September 2015, Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and Japanese PM Shinzo Abe issued a Declaration on Joint Vision for Vietnam-Japan Relationship.

Japan is Vietnam’s economic partner of top significance and the first G7 country to recognise Vietnam as a market economy.

In 2016, two-way trade hit 29.7 billion USD. In the first four months of this year, the figure passed 10 billion USD, up 16 percent annually.

Japan is the largest supplier of official development assistance (ODA) to Vietnam, accounting for around 30 percent of the total.

Over the past years, the two countries have made breakthroughs in agricultural link with the signing of the Medium to Long-term Vision for Vietnam-Japan Agricultural Cooperation.

Japan continually provides ODA for Vietnam in climate change response, and has pledged to study mid- and long-term assistance to Vietnam in the regard.

On the educational front, Japan is one of the biggest suppliers of non-refundable aid for Vietnam’s education-training. The number of Vietnamese students in Japan neared 60,000 in late 2016. Japan is working to help Vietnam upgrade its four universities and assist the country in Japanese teaching in several secondary schools in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

In the four months of this year, up to 261,571 Japanese tourists arrived in Vietnam, ranking third behind China and the Republic of Korea (RoK). Locality-to-locality cooperation has been strongly reinforced.

At present, around 13,500 Japanese people are living in Vietnam while 170,000 Vietnamese are working and living in Japan.

On June 2, Japan’s Nikkei ran an article by Prof. Pham Quang Minh, Rector of the University of Social Sciences and Humanities under the Vietnam National University-Hanoi, which described PM Phuc’s upcoming visit as a symbol of a new step in the Vietnam-Japan strategic partnership for peace and prosperity in Asia.

In the context of regional and global politics encountering complicated developments, the two countries should step up cooperation across the board, Minh wrote.

In an interview granted to Vietnam News Agency in Japan, Prof. Kenichi Ohno from the Japan National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies said Vietnam is always among the five countries favoured by Japanese enterprises.

He expressed his belief that following the visit, bilateral ties will further progress.

Prof. Fujimoto Koji, who specialises in international cooperation from the Tokyo-based Takushoku University, commented that the visit would contribute to multi-faceted ties between the two countries, particularly in the field of economy.-VNA