Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi Pays a Courtesy Call on President of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam Tran Duc Luong

April 28, 2002

On 28 April, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi paid a courtesy call on President of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam Tran Duc Luong from 11:30 Japan Time, for about forty minutes. The following is an outline of the meeting.

1. Introduction

President Luong welcomed the visit by Prime Minister Koizumi. In response, Prime Minister Koizumi stated that on his visit he had engaged in a significant exchange of opinions with Prime Minister Phan Van Khai. He added that in visiting the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum that morning, he had seen the inscription in front of the mausoleum that read, "Nothing is more precious than independence and freedom," and thought it was a statement applicable to the whole world. In addition, Prime Minister Koizumi stated that upon directly seeing and experiencing the lively street scenes on his visit to Viet Nam, he had felt that "Seeing is believing."

2. Japan-Viet Nam Bilateral Relations, etc.

Prime Minister Koizumi stated that Viet Nam had developed to such an extent that the country was considered to be a "rising dragon" in the region, and that he was convinced Viet Nam would play an important leadership role in the development of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region. In response, President Luong noted that Japan is Viet Nam's principal trading and investment partner and principal provider of Official Development Assistance (ODA), and expressed his gratitude on behalf of the Government and people of Viet Nam. President Luong noted that Viet Nam's national objective was to create friendly relations with all countries in a peaceful environment.

3. Bilateral Human Exchange

(1) President Luong stated that to create a foundation of friendship for both mutual trust and long-term stability, he would in particular like to promote youth exchange further. He also noted that many Japanese tourists were visiting Viet Nam and that he believed this was linked to cultural exchanges between Japan and Viet Nam. President Luong stated that he was placing importance on the exchange programs in 2003 for the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Viet Nam, and that he would further like to develop Japan-Viet Nam exchanges.

(2) President Luong again extended a formal invitation for Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress of Japan to pay a visit to Viet Nam, to which Prime Minister Koizumi said he would convey the invitation to the Imperial Palace upon his return to Japan.

4. Doi moi Policy of Viet Nam

Prime Minister Koizumi drew parallels between the efforts of Viet Nam and Japan to tackle market liberalization and reform, noting that Viet Nam's efforts were similar to his own concept of reform under the banner of "without structural reform there can be no economic recovery." Prime Minister Koizumi stated that he would make efforts to be deemed worthy of the moniker "Mr. Doi Moi (reform)" in Japan.

5. Conclusion

Finally, Prime Minister Koizumi stated that although Viet Nam had a history of war against France, the United States and China, Viet Nam's efforts to create friendly relations with each of those countries now was most important. Prime Minister Koizumi noted that Japan too, having fought the United States, subsequently formed a close relationship with it and the relationship spurred development. The Prime Minister stated that if a country like Viet Nam could withstand wars against such countries as France, the United States and China, it would also surely develop.

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