The close cooperation between the Vietnamese and Japanese legislative bodies has laid an important legal foundation for the two countries’ relations to follow the right track and ceaselessly develop.

President Truong Tan Sang made the point in his speech delivered before the National Diet of Japan on March 18 during his State-level visit to the country from March 16-19.

He attributed the two countries’ major developments to the strong support of the two legislatures, including contributions from the Vietnam-Japan Friendship Parliamentarians Group and the Japan-Vietnam Friendship Parliamentarians Alliance.

He recalled the long-standing relationship between Vietnam and Japan since the 8 th century when a Buddhist monk named Phat Triet carried on his missionary work in Japan. He is now worshipped by locals in Nara city.

Over four centuries ago, Japanese businesses built a Japanese street in Hoi An city, the central province of Quang Nam, and set up trade ties with their Vietnamese partners at Pho Hien town (now Hung Yen province in the north), he said.

Despite geographical distance, similarities in culture and historical links have helped bring the two nations closer, serving as a firm foundation for the sustainable development of their relationship, the President noted.

The Vietnam-Japan relationship has developed in a comprehensive manner over the past four decades, he said, citing the establishment of a strategic partnership for peace and prosperity in Asia in 2009.

The partnership has brought great and practical benefits for the two countries’ people while affirming that tolerance, dialogue, mutual respect and cooperation for mutual benefits are the best solutions for countries.

Japan has become Vietnam’s leading and significant partner, helping the country on the path of industrialisation and modernisation, the leader said.

He further said Japan’s official development assistance (ODA) has been used effectively in Vietnam, especially in infrastructure, schools, hospitals, plants, seaports and aviation.

President Sang used the occasion to thank the legislature, Government and people of Japan for their assistance to Vietnam even when the country was struggling to overcome consequences of earthquakes and tsunami in 2011.

Apart from bilateral cooperation, Vietnam and Japan have also joined hands at major multilateral forums such as the United Nations, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the International Parliamentary Union (IPU), the East Asia Summit (EAS), the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) and the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM+).

He affirmed Vietnam’s support for Japan’s permanent membership of the UN Security Council to contribute to peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region and the world.

Vietnam also highly appreciated Japan’s initiatives to spur cooperation for regional peace and stability, including one on the Expanded ASEAN Maritime Forum (EAMF), the President said.

Concluding his address, the leader thanked the Japanese legislative body for its interest and support to Vietnam and called on parliamentarians to continue backing measures to elevate the Japan-Vietnam relationship to a new height.-VNA