Despite the fact that bilateral trade between Vietnam and Japan reached 21 billion USD in 2011, there is still room for further growth, Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said on July 1 during his meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda.

Noda expressed to his gratitude for the support and aid the Vietnamese people had given to Japan during and after the earthquake tsunami in March 2011.

Meanwhile, Phuc thanked the Japanese government for the official development assistance it had given to Vietnam over the years and the role played by the Japan International Co-operation Agency in co-ordinating and implementing ODA projects in the country.

Noda said Japan will continue to support Vietnam with ODA and in transferring technologies, especially for the agricultural sector.

Regarding the East Sea, Noda said Japan supported Vietnam’s position on ensuring peace, stability and maritime freedom and safety in its drive to settle disputes through peaceful means in accordance with international law, in particular the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea in 1982.

The leaders said both sides will work together to organise Vietnam - Japan Friendship Year in 2013. Meanwhile, the deputy PM passed on an invitation from Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung to Noda to visit Vietnam./.