Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc met with the Speaker of Japan’s House of Representatives Takahiro Yokomichi in Tokyo on July 3.

At their meeting, Yokomichi said that Vietnam ’s socio-economic development and political stability have made an important contribution to peace, stability and development in Asia . He went on to say that Japan is very keen to enter into more joint development initiatives.

He said the relationship between Japan and Vietnam has never been better with half a million Japanese tourists visiting Vietnam each year.

Deputy PM Phuc assured his host that the Vietnamese people will do their utmost to assist the Japanese people hit by the devastating earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.

He said he hopes the Japanese Diet will continue to support the two Governments’ moves to develop the rare earth industry and draw up bilateral industrial cooperation strategies for the years up to 2020.

Later the same day, Deputy PM Phuc met with Japan ’s Minister of the Economy, Trade and Industry, Yukio Edano, where they both expressed their delight at the recent in-depth development of Vietnam and Japan ’s strategic partnership.

The Deputy PM proposed that both work closer together to implement existing agreements made by senior officials from both countries.

He said he hopes Japan will help Vietnam to develop supporting industries and build specialised industrial zones in the northern city of Hai Phong and the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau . He also asked the country to encourage more small and medium sized Japanese enterprises to invest in Vietnam and promote the public private partnership model.

Despite two-way trade reaching more than 21 billion USD in 2011, Phuc said there remains a great deal of potential, particularly for Vietnam ’s agricultural and aquatic exports.

Minister Edano stated that Japan will assist Vietnam to carry out an industrial development strategy until 2020 and also help to develop the country’s infrastructure.

The minister added that Japan ’s business community is increasing its investments overseas and Vietnam has drawn a lot of attention.

He also said that he hopes both countries will step up cooperation in environmental issues and climate change.-VNA