Japan attaches importance to relations with Vietnam and pledges to continue assistance to Vietnam’s economic development, including maintaining official development assistance (ODA) to important cooperation projects.

Japanese Foreign Minister Takeaki Matsumoto made the statement at his meeting with Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Gia Khiem on the sidelines of the ongoing 44 th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and related meetings in Bali, Indonesia on July 23.

The two sides highly valued new development in strategic partnership between the two countries over the past time and discussed measures to promote bilateral economic and trade cooperation in the future, especially infrastructure development projects as well as preparations for visits of the two countries’ high-ranking leaders.

FM Khiem expressed the Vietnamese government and people’s sympathy and solidarity over severe losses caused by earthquakes and tsunami in Japan on March 11, affirming that Vietnam is willing to help Japan in overcoming the consequences of the disasters.

The two sides also discussed international and regional issues of mutual concern, agreeing that the maintenance of peace, stability, security, safety and maritime freedom in the East Sea is mutual benefit of all countries in and outside the region.

The Japanese side also voiced its support for relevant countries’ peaceful negotiations to settle disputes in the East Sea on the basis of international law, especially the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea in 1982 and in the spirit of respecting Declaration on Conduct of Parties in the East Sea./.