Deputy Director General of the Japanese Foreign Ministry’s Bureau of Asian and Oceanian Affairs Fumio Shimizu (Photo: VNA)

Tokyo (VNA)
– The Vietnam visit by the Japanese Emperor and Queen in 2017 and the upcoming Japan visit by President Tran Dai Quang and his spouse as national guests is the symbol of the closest friendship between the two countries, said Deputy Director General of the Japanese Foreign Ministry’s Bureau of Asian and Oceanian Affairs Fumio Shimizu.

During an interview recently granted to Vietnam News Agency on the occasion of the President’s visit to Japan from May 29 – June 2, Shimizu expressed his delight at the development of Vietnam – Japan ties, evidenced by exchange activities in diverse areas via the legislature, business community and people-to-people channel.

Since the resumption of official development assistance (ODA) provision for Vietnam in 1992, Japan has always been the largest supporter of Vietnam’s economic growth, with focus on infrastructure such as roads, ports and electricity, thereby improving the country’s business climate.

Over 1,700 Japanese enterprises are operating in Vietnam, the largest in Southeast Asia.

Cultural and people-to-people exchanges have also progressed. Tourist arrivals in the two countries surpassed 1 million last year. More than 260,000 Vietnamese people are living and working in Japan, around 700 of them are candidates for the nurse training programme under the Economic Partnership Agreement.

Shimuzu said the two economies are mutually beneficial with increasingly strengthened friendship and trust between the two peoples.

As a gateway of the region, Vietnam is an important partner of Japan on the basis of shared strategic interests. Under Japan’s Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy, Southeast Asia links the Pacific and Indian Oceans, and the strengthening of the regional connectivity is key to Vietnam’s sustainable development.

Japan wants to cooperate with Vietnam in improving industrial competitiveness, human resources training, administrative reform to fuel Vietnam’s development, he said.

In order to boost Vietnam – Japan strategic partnership, bilateral collaboration in regional and global issues play an important role, he said, adding that the two nations have worked closely together on the Trans-Pacific Partnership. From this August, Vietnam will serve as a coordinator within the ASEAN framework, together with Japan.

As rotating Chair of ASEAN in 2020, Vietnam will increasingly improve its position on the international arena. On the basis of further strengthening trust between Vietnam and Japan, bilateral ties in regional and global issues will produce better results in the near future, he said.

As coastal countries, Vietnam and Japan share interests brought about by sea, he said, adding that efforts to maintain an open and free maritime order in line with the law will play a significant role in the near future.

Shimizu said that the visit will reaffirm the development of cultural exchange and bilateral cooperation over the past 45 years, affording both sides a chance to discuss their ties amidst complicated developments in the region, towards an open and free world order and strengthening bilateral trust.-VNA