Dioxin-contaminated area in Bien Hoa airport (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Deputy Defence Minister Nguyen Chi Vinh has called for Japan’s support in dealing with war aftermaths, especially toxic chemical and dioxin consequences in Vietnam.

He made the proposal during a working session with a delegation from Japan’s Foreign Ministry led by Yukiko Okano from the International Cooperation Bureau in Hanoi on April 3.

Sen. Lieut. Gen. Vinh, who is head of the standing agency of the National Steering Committee on the Settlement of Post-war Unexploded Ordnance and Toxic Chemical Consequences (Committee 701), said that Vietnam hopes for having support from the international community, including Japan in dioxin remediation projects.

He held that the Japanese delegation’s visit will lead to new cooperation activities between Vietnam and Japan in dealing with war aftermaths in general and dioxin consequences in Vietnam in particular, contributing to enhancing the partnership between the two countries.

For her part, Yukiko Okano said that basing on information gathered during the visit, the delegation will discuss with experts and relevant agencies of Japan on the possibilities of cooperation with Vietnam in overcoming toxic chemical and dioxin remnants of war in Vietnam.

The US army sprayed some 80 million litres of toxic chemicals from 1961 to 1971, 61 percent of which was Agent Orange containing 366 kilograms of dioxin, over nearly one quarter of the total area of South Vietnam.

Preliminary statistics showed that 4.8 million Vietnamese people were exposed to Agent Orange/dioxin, and about 3 million people became victims. Tens of thousands of people have died while millions of others have suffered from cancer and other incurable diseases as a result. Many of their offspring have also suffered from birth deformities.-VNA