Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung arrived in Tokyo, Japan, on November 6 for the first ever Mekong-Japan top-level meeting.

Upon his arrival, the Vietnamese Government leader had several bilateral meetings with the officials of friendship associations and corporate executives.

PM Dung praised the special Vietnam-Japan Ambassador, Sugi Ryotaro, for his contributions to boosting cooperation and friendship between the two countries, especially his moves to speed up his country’s resumption of ODA to Vietnam.

The PM said that he hoped that the friendship ambassador would continue with his efforts to elevate bilateral ties on a par with the strategic partnership that the two countries have recently adopted.

After lending his support to the ambassador’s plans to organise a film festival and a Japanese-Vietnamese trade fair in Vietnam, as well as make films for children, the PM urged him to continue raising funds so that Vietnamese children suffering from congenial heart disease and cleft palates could have surgery.

Ambassador Ryotaro told PM Dung that he expected his visit would strengthen Vietnamese-Japanese ties even further and that he was working hard to boost cooperation between the business communities of both countries to get involved in the culture and film-making sectors.

On meeting with the Chairman of the Japan-Vietnam Friendship Parliamentary Alliance Takebe Tsutomu, PM Dung stated that Vietnam always values the expansion and promotion of cooperative ties with Japan and will work closely with Japan in their new strategic partnership.

He praised the alliance’s successful operations, particularly Chairman Tsutomu’s contributions to consolidating and promoting the friendship and multi-faceted cooperation between the two countries.

The PM expressed hopes that the alliance will continue to work with Vietnam to boost investment in the country’s infrastructure, training human resources and tackling issues related to climate change.

He also met with the President of the Japanese Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) Hiroshi Watanabe, the Mitsubishi Corporation President Yorihiko Kojima and the Chairman of Keidanren, Fujio ZMitarai. PM Dung vowed that the Vietnamese Government will continue to improve its investment environment for foreign investors.

He praised the Japanese corporations for investing in Vietnam, saying that this has helped to speed up economic cooperation between the two countries.

In those meetings, the Japanese business executives all expressed their desire to increase investment in Vietnam in areas that Japan is strong in, including automobile manufacturing, steel, cement, oil, gas and chemical industries and the mining sector.

They pledged to bolster cooperation between the two countries in economics, trade, and investment as well as in the fields of culture, education and training and science and technology.

The JBIC President said that his bank is keen to team up with the Vietnam Development Bank to develop various sources of commercial loans and provide guarantee for Vietnamese government bonds so they can be issued on the Tokyo bond market, and financing environmental and energy-related projects./.