Vietnam and Japan have affirmed their determination to effectively implement their economic partnership agreement for common benefits.

At the third Vietnam-Japan Cooperation Committee (VJCC) meeting, which concluded in Tokyo on January 18, the two sides discussed issues related to their bilateral ties in areas such as economics, trade, culture, tourism and labour as well as international issues of common concern.

They said they were pleased with the development of in their cooperation over the past year and put forth measures to concretise their strategic partnership in the time to come.

At the two-day meeting, co-chaired by Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Gia Khiem and Japanese Foreign Minister Okada Katsuya, the two sides discussed measures to speed up deals under the Vietnam-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (VJEPA), helping strengthen economic, trade and investment cooperation between the two countries as they are suffering deep impacts from the global economic-financial crisis.

Speaking at the event, Deputy PM Khiem thanked the Japanese government for its increased ODA support for Vietnam with a record of 1.6 billion USD in the 2009 fiscal year.

He suggested the Japanese government strengthen cooperation and actively participate in the implementation of large-scale infrastructure projects in Vietnam , including the North-South Expressway and Express Railway and the Hoa Lac Hi-tech Park.

After the meeting, in an interview with the Vietnam News Agency, Khiem said the “third VJCC meeting wrapped up successfully”.

He said that the Japanese side reaffirmed that it would actively cooperate with Vietnam in implementing the three above-mentioned strategic projects.

The two sides agreed to hold negotiations on cooperation in training Vietnamese nurses in Japan as well as developing supporting industries and quarantine work so as to enable Vietnam ’s agricultural products to get more access to the Japanese market.

They also affirmed to continue their close cooperation at international and regional forums, especially during 2010 when Vietnam holds the ASEAN Chairmanship and Japan hosts the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit , he added.

According to the Vietnamese Deputy PM, cooperation between Vietnam and Japan have been developing fruitfully, with two-way trade and Japan ’s investment in Vietnam remaining high last year despite the global crisis.

The VJEPA, which officially took effect on October 1, 2009, has helped create an important legal foundation for fostering the investment and trade cooperation between the two countries, he said.

Over the past year, people-to-people exchange and tourism cooperation between Vietnam and Japan have been remarkably strengthened with a series of cultural events held in both countries, including the Vietnam Festival in Japan and the Vietnam-Japan Cultural Exchange Days and the Mekong-Japan Tourism and Culture Days in Vietnam .

These activities have helped enhance mutual understanding and solidarity between the two countries, Khiem said.

The two countries’ cooperation at international and regional forums has seen various progresses and deserved their strategic partnership, he concluded.

On January 18, Deputy PM Khiem left Tokyo for Osaka and Wakayama, where he will meet with local authorities and have working sessions with the Japan Buddhism Summit Organisation and the Kansai Economic Federation (Kankeiren)./.