Japan, Vietnam reach agreement to boost trade, security
HANOI (VIETNAM) – Japan and Vietnam reached an agreement on Monday to bolster security and economic ties and this will pave the way for Tokyo to export military equipment and technology to Hanoi. This comes amid concerns about China’s rising clout in the region.
“It is a big step in the field of security for both countries that we reached an agreement in principle on the transfers of defence equipment and technology,” said Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga while speaking to the media after meeting his Vietnamese counterpart, Nguyen Xuan Phuc, in Hanoi.
“Vietnam, which is serving as ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian nations) chair this year, is key to realise a free and open Indo-Pacific,” Suga added.
Both leaders agreed that it was important to maintain peace, security, and freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea, and to settle disputes peacefully, Phuc said.
“Vietnam welcomes Japan, a global power, to continue to actively contribute to regional and global peace, stability and prosperity,” he said.
It is Suga’s first overseas trip after assuming office and he is also slated to visit Indonesia.
ASEAN member nations, including Vietnam, which have territorial disputes with China in the South China Sea, are wary of alienating a big trading partner and are reluctant to become part of an intense confrontation between Washington and Beijing.