16.10.2020, 02:40

Japan PM Suga’s Vietnam visit to deepen Extensive Strategic Partnership: Spox

The Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs has confirmed that Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide will visit Vietnam in “the coming days” to beef up the bilateral Extensive Strategic Partnership.

Japan PM Suga’s Vietnam visit to deepen Extensive Strategic Partnership: Spox
 Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide. Photo: AP

This will be the first overseas trip of Mr. Suga as Japanese PM, one month after his inauguration, and the second successive time Vietnam has been chosen to be the first destination for a foreign visit by a newly-installed Japanese PM.

Mr. Suga’s predecessor, Mr. Abe Shinzo, also picked Vietnam as the first leg for the very first overseas tour in his second premiership in 2012.

“The fact that a Japanese PM has chosen Vietnam for his first overseas trip after taking office is a vivid example of the strong and substantive development across many fields of the Extensive Strategic Partnership between the two countries,” said Spokesperson of the Vietnamese foreign ministry Le Thi Thu Hang at a regular press briefing on Thursday.

The spokesperson, however, declined to unveil the detailed agenda of Mr. Suga during his stay in Vietnam due to a confidentiality agreement with the Japanese side.

Mr. Suga on Tuesday confirmed a plan to make his first foreign trip as chief of cabinet to Vietnam and Indonesia on October 18-21 with a view to increasing Japanese engagement in and contributing to peace and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific region, Vietnam News Agency reported.

Ms. Hang stressed the context of the thriving Extensive Strategic Partnership between Vietnam and Japan, which is one of the leading economic partners of Vietnam. The Northeast Asian country is Vietnam’s largest ODA donor, second-largest investor and fourth-biggest trade partner.

Mr. Suga is expected to hold talks with his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Xuan Phuc on a wide range of issues, from trade, investment to cooperation in education and training, and culture. Regional and international matters of mutual concern will also be touched on, the Vietnamese spokesperson tipped.

The two PMs are also set to discuss measures to strengthen the substantial defense ties, particularly in peacekeeping missions and multilateral platforms, Ms. Hang said when asked to comment on the prospect of defense cooperation.

Ms. Hang, however, refused to elaborate on a bilateral agreement on military equipment export rumored to be signed during the visit. But she affirmed that Vietnam pursues a national defense policy of peace and self-defense.

“We believe that the visit will be a great success, contributing to boosting the Vietnam-Japan Extensive Strategic Partnership and the socio-economic recovery in the two countries post-Covid-19” she added.