Defence Minister General Phung Quang Thanh and Japanese Minister Yasuo Ichikawa agreed to promote bilateral defence exchange and cooperation at their talks in Tokyo on Oct. 24.

Minister Ichikawa affirmed that Vietnam is a strategic partner for peace and stability of Japan in Asia, adding Minister Thanh’s visit is of great significance, not only contributing to the development of the Japan-Vietnam strategic partnership but also enhancing the two countries’ defence exchange and cooperation.

He took the occasion to thank the Vietnamese Defence Ministry for its assistance to Japanese people after the earthquake and tsunami on March 11.

For his part, Minister Thanh affirmed Japan is an important strategic partner of Vietnam.

The two ministers discussed ways to bolster defence cooperation between the two countries as well as international and regional issues of mutual concern.

The two ministers signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on defence exchange and cooperation.

With the MoU, Japan hopes the bilateral defence exchange and cooperation to enter a new period of development, said Minister Ichikawa.

The same day, Minister Thanh and his entourage paid a courtesy visit to Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda./.