Hanoi (VNA) – Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc hosted a reception in Hanoi on January 6 for Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs Motegi Toshimitsu, who is on an official visit to Vietnam.

Welcoming the Japanese official, PM Phuc said he is impressed with the newly-appointed minister’s efforts and sense of responsibility towards the two countries’ relations.

He affirmed Japan is always a strategic partner of leading importance to Vietnam, especially in the fields of economy, trade and investment.

Pledging concerted efforts to contribute to bilateral diplomatic ties, Motegi once again thanked Vietnam and PM Phuc for promoting the consensus on the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement on Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) at the APEC summit in Da Nang city in 2017.

He noted that as Vietnam serves as the ASEAN Chair and a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in 2020, he chose the country as the first destination to visit this year.

At the meeting, PM Phuc voiced his support for Japan to strongly bring into play its role in the region. He also asked his guest to convey his thanks to the Japanese PM for paying continuous attention to promoting the countries’ friendship and cooperation.

Vietnam has always made efforts to effectively realise the high-level commitments between the two nations, he added.

To boost the substantive development of bilateral ties, the host leader suggested both sides strengthen political trust via mutual high-level visits. He also asked the Japanese Government to cooperate more closely to reinforce the two economies’ connectivity, encourage Japanese firms to continue expanding operations in Vietnam, and create favourable conditions for agricultural and aquatic products of Vietnam to access the Japanese market.

On this occasion, he invited the Japanese PM to visit Vietnam and attend ASEAN summits in the country in 2020.

PM Phuc also highly valued locality-to-locality links and asked Japan to keep assisting Vietnam in administrative reforms, e-Government building, and high-level official training.

The countries should coordinate more closely at international forums and work together to promote international economic connections, especially the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), according to the leader.

He spoke highly of Japan’s viewpoint and called on the country to continue supporting ASEAN and Vietnam’s stance on ensuring peace, security, safety and freedom of navigation and overflight, as well as to comply with international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, in the East Sea.

Minister Motegi affirmed his country’s commitment to cooperating closely with and supporting Vietnam to fulfill the roles of the ASEAN Chair and a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council. He also thanked PM Phuc for his attention to the removal of difficulties facing bilateral cooperation, including Japan’s official development assistance and projects in Vietnam.

Japan believes that with Vietnam’s efforts, the RCEP will be promoted strongly and the CPTPP implemented effectively, he said, adding that Japan welcomes and will seek ways to facilitate Vietnamese farm produce’s entry into its market. It is also ready to help Vietnam with e-Government building.

Regarding the East Sea issue, he stated Japan always supports the viewpoint of resolving disputes by peaceful means, along with the need to respect ASEAN’s role and abide by international law.

Appreciating the foreign minister’s opinions, PM Phuc shared the view on the necessity to further diversify bilateral relations, enhance mutual support at regional and international forums, and cooperate closely with each other as well as with other countries to ensure peace and stability in the Asian-Pacific region./.