Viet Nam-Japan: From 'predestined relationship' to extensive, limitless strategic partnership

On the occasion of the successful visit to Viet Nam by Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio (April 30- May 1), former Ambassador of Viet Nam to Japan Nguyen Quoc Cuong has an article summed up the most fruitful outcomes of the visit and its effect on the development of Viet Nam-Japan relationship.
Viet Nam-Japan: From 'predestined relationship' to extensive, limitless strategic partnership
Viet Nam-Japan: From a 'predestined relationship' to an extensive, limitless strategic partnership. (Photo: Nguyen Hong)

According to Ambassador Nguyen Quoc Cuong, the most outstanding result of the visit was the fact that the two countries' leaders reached the consensus and joint determination to open a "new stage" for the extensive strategic partnership.

Kishida Fumio made his first visit to Viet Nam as Japanese Prime Minister on the occasion of the 47th celebration of Viet Nam’s National Reunification Day (April 30, 1975-2022). As stated by Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, the visit was a "spring breeze" for the unceasingly developing and good relationship between Viet Nam and Japan.

In particular, the visit took place after only 5 months of Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh's official visit to Japan (November 2021). The high frequency of meetings and exchanges between the two countries’ leaders themselves are both a symbol and a driving force for the continuous development of multifaceted cooperation between the two countries.

Mr. Kishida has always been proud of being a member of the Japan-Viet Nam Friendship Parliamentary Alliance for over 25 years. He said he has many times visited Viet Nam, a "special country” which is a "predestined relationship" for him personally. And every time he visits, he feels "overwhelmed" by the development and dynamic life of the country and people of Viet Nam.

Viet Nam-Japan: From 'predestined relationship' to extensive, limitless strategic partnership
General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong received Prime Minister Kishida. (Photo: Nguyen Hong)

For that reason, Vietnamese leaders and people have warmly welcomed and discussed frankly with Prime Minister Kishida like a longtime friend. Those were the receptions of General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, President Nguyen Xuan Phuc, talks and receptions by Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and a meeting with National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue. The leaders of the two countries have had special sentiments and positive evaluations of the bilateral relationship.

Determination to develop "limitless" ties

The leaders of the two countries agreed that the bilateral relations are at the best stage of development, but the potential for further development of this relationship is "limitless", in the words of Prime Minister Kishida Fumio. He also affirmed that he would do his best to work with Vietnamese leaders to open a new stage in the two countries' relations.

Not only political determination, the content of the talks between the two Prime Ministers as well as the 22 cooperation documents signed between the two sides during the visit reflect the orientations and specific measures for the next new period in the bilateral relationship.

Viet Nam-Japan: From a “predestined relationship” to an extensive, limitless strategic partnership
President Nguyen Xuan Phuc welcomed Prime Minister Kishida. (Photo: Nguyen Hong)

It is a mutually beneficial, supportive and complementary partnership in all fields, from political diplomacy, security and defense, to the economy, trade and investment, healthcare, energy, environment and climate change response. It is also a widely-acknowledged relationship in every channel from the Party, State, National Assembly, Government to localities and people of the two countries.

Economic cooperation was a special highlight of the visit, with the two leaders agreeing to promote cooperation in economic recovery in the post-COVID 19 period. Japan affirmed its active consideration of the proposal from the Vietnamese side for the new-generation official development assistance (ODA) with preferential, flexible conditions and large enough to support Viet Nam in building strategic infrastructure and transport.

At the same time, the two Prime Ministers attended and delivered speeches at the Viet Nam-Japan Cooperation Workshop in three cooperation areas, such as digital transformation, technology renovation and supply chain diversification. These are three new initiatives and also the three contents of focused cooperation between the two countries in the coming years.

An area of ​​effective cooperation that cannot be ignored is the cooperation of human resources. Currently, Vietnamese community has become the second largest expat community in Japan with nearly half a million people. The number of Vietnamese trainees, workers and international students in Japan will increase rapidly in the post-COVID-19 period, thus meeting the needs of human resources training as well as making a significant contribution to economic and social development in Japan. The strong Vietnamese community in Japan is also an increasingly sustainable bridge to the friendly relationship between the two countries.

Far-reaching vision and wide-spreading effect

The results of the visit are not only limited to the scope of bilateral relations but also bring effect at the regional and international level. The fact that Viet Nam considers Japan an important long-term strategic partner and hopes that Japan plays an active and constructive role for peace, security and development in the region also contributes to enhancing Japan’s position and influence in the region and international arena. At the same time, Japan's affirmation of Viet Nam's international role and position also contributes to assuring that Viet Nam is a responsible and reliable partner of the international community.

Viet Nam-Japan: From a “predestined relationship” to an extensive, limitless strategic partnership
The calligraphy with three words "Sincerity, Affection and Trust", in both Vietnamese and Japanese, is the most concise, adequate and accurate reflection of the increasingly close friendship between Viet Nam and Japan. (Photo: Nguyen Hong)

In 2023, Viet Nam and Japan will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. With the comprehensive results achieved in all fields, both on the bilateral and multilateral levels mentioned above, we have every reason to believe that the two countries are step by step walking side by side into "phase one" of the "new development stage" of the relationship which is increasingly substantive and effective, with a regard not only of the past 50 years but also the vision of the next 50 years, as President Nguyen Xuan Phuc affirmed with Mr. Kishida.

One of the activities that made a good impression on all Japanese and Vietnamese friends was the calligraphy that Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh presented to Prime Minister Kishida Fumio at the meeting right after the arrival of the Japanese delegation to Ha Noi. The calligraphy with three words "Sincerity, Affection and Trust", in both Vietnamese and Japanese, is the most concise, adequate and accurate reflection of the increasingly close friendship between the peoples of Viet Nam and Japan.

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