Japan will not suspend its official development assistance (ODA) to Vietnam, a Vietnamese official has reported.

The statement by Deputy Director of the Ministry of Planning and Investment’s Department for Foreign Economic Relations, Nguyen Xuan Tien, has quelled fears that erupted after bribery allegations concerning a Japanese-funded Hanoi urban railway project were revealed three months ago.

Japan will approve new ODA projects after Vietnam commits to launching an in-depth investigation into the case, seriously punishing all those involved, and coming up with plans for all possible contingencies, he said.

To utilise ODA packages to the full, the ministry will issue a code of conduct in tender and a pilot regulation for third parties bidding for Japanese ODA projects.

It will also outline a set of procedures to inspect all ODA contracts in general, and others funded by Japan in particular, and work together with the Japan International Cooperation Agency to reexamine several bidding packages of some Japanese ODA projects.

All possible constructive changes will be made to investment, corporate and tender laws which will come into force on July 1.

The Law on Public Investment will be ratified by the National Assembly soon, making tender process and corporate finance more transparent.

Both Vietnamese and Japanese sides are working together on the alleged bribery case, with suspects held in custody.-VNA