Agenda Toward a Strategic Partnership between Japan and Vietnam

Exchanges, Cooperation in Policy Dialogue, Security and Defense

1. Exchanges at High Levels

Leaders of both countries make annual visits in recent years, including this State Visit of President Nguyen Minh Triet to Japan. President Nguyen Minh Triet reiterated the invitation to Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress of Japan and other members of the Imperial Family to visit Vietnam. President Nguyen Minh Triet officially extended an invitation to Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda to pay an early visit to Vietnam. The two sides express their wishes for the Secretary General of the Communist Party Nong Duc Manh's visit to Japan at an early and mutually convenient date. The two sides strongly hope that a visit by Chairman of National Assembly Nguyen Phu Trong to Japan will be realized early next year at the invitation of the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

2. Japan-Vietnam Cooperation Committee

Policy dialogue is important in deepening bilateral relations toward a strategic partnership. Both countries successfully held the Japan-Vietnam Cooperation Committee in May this year, which is a comprehensive policy dialogue framework headed by Foreign Ministers of both countries, and will hold the 2nd meeting of the Japan-Vietnam Cooperation Committee in Vietnam in 2008.

3. Government-to-Government Exchanges

Government-to-government dialogues are implemented in various fields, including the Vice Foreign Ministerial Political Consultation. The Vietnamese side appreciates Japan's various invitation programs for many Vietnamese government officials. In this connection, the Japanese side welcomes Vietnam's initiative to commence an invitation program of mid-career Japanese diplomats next year.

4. Defense Exchanges

Defense exchanges have been making a steadfast progress between the two countries such as the Politico-Military (PM)/Military-Military (MM) Dialogues, Staff Talks and education. Chief of Staff, Japan Ground Self-Defense Force visited Vietnam in March. The two sides express their willingness to further promote the defense relations by continued exchanges of military delegation, including high-level defense officials' visits and ship visits by the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force.

5. Public Security, Police

Minister of Public Security Le Hong Anh visited Japan in April this year. Reaffirming the importance of exchanges between police authorities, the two sides hope to develop further specific cooperation in this field. In this connection, the Japanese side will consider sending a mission of high-ranking police officers to Vietnam.

6. Parliamentary Friendship Associations

Parliamentary Friendship Associations of Japan and Vietnam highly contribute to solidifying bilateral relations. Members of parliaments of both countries frequently visit the other country. The chairman of Japan's Parliamentary Friendship Association to Vietnam, Mr. Tsutomu Takebe, and other members visited Vietnam in August while the chairman of Vietnam's Friendship Association to Japan, Mr. Ho Duc Viet visited Japan in October by Japan's invitation program. The two sides express their expectation that a mechanism for regular dialogue between members of parliaments of both countries is established.

Comprehensive Economic Partnership

7. Investment Environment

"The Japan-Vietnam Joint Initiative to Improve Business Environment with a view to strengthening Vietnam's Competitiveness" was productive and contributed to a large increase in Japan's investment in Vietnam. Japan's investment in Vietnam increased tenfold in the past three years. The two sides will sincerely cooperate in the follow-up of the report of the Vietnam-Japan Joint Initiative Phase II in November. The two sides will commence the Vietnam-Japan Joint Initiative Phase III. The two sides also emphasize the importance of reinforcing the intellectual property protection to attract investment. They affirm the implementation of the Vietnam Project Phase II of Policy Framework for Investment (PFI) under the OECD initiative, for which Japan is committing experts' and financial contributions in order to improve the investment environment in Vietnam.

8. Japan-Vietnam Economic Partnership Agreement (JVEPA)

The two sides attach great importance to the Japan-Vietnam Economic Partnership Agreement and acknowledge the positive outcomes of the intensive negotiating rounds since January 2007. They express their determination to further advance the negotiation to conclude a mutually beneficial and high-level agreement at the earliest possible date.

9. Official Development Assistance (ODA)

The Vietnamese side expresses its deep gratitude for Japan's contribution to Vietnam's economic and social modernization as the largest donor country in Official Development Assistance (ODA), the accumulated volume of which amounts to 478.8 billion yen in the past five years from 2002 to 2006 of the Japanese fiscal year. The annual volume of Japan's ODA to Vietnam has surpassed one hundred billion yen since the Japanese fiscal year 2005. The Japanese side will continue cooperation especially in the fields of improvement of infrastructure, investment climate and environmental protection through Japan's ODA in the upcoming years.

10. The South-North Highway, the South-North High-Speed Railway, the Hoa Lac Hi Tech Park

The Vietnamese side highly appreciates the sincere cooperation that Japan has rendered to Vietnam on the South-North Highway, the South-North High-Speed Railway and the Hoa Lac Hi Tech Park which Vietnam proposed in the Joint Statement last year. The cooperation includes Japan's mission to Vietnam in February, the preliminary study on transportation strategy in June, the business mission and the completion of the study for up-grading the master plan on Hoa Lac High Tech Park in November. The two sides welcome the cooperation in preparing for projects to develop Hoa Lac Hi Tech Park, including the study on possible cooperation for related infrastructure in the Park. The Vietnamese side expresses its hope for the establishment of the Advanced Technology and Science Institute within Hoa Lac Hi Tech Park. The two sides will maintain their mutually beneficial partnership and continue their effective cooperation in these three major projects.

11. Major Infrastructure

The Vietnamese side expresses its deep gratitude for Japan's assistance to infrastructure development in Vietnam, including major bridges, ports, roads and others, and welcomes the opening of the terminal of Tan Son Nhat International Airport this year, as well as the progress of cooperation on Ho Chi Minh City urban railways. The Vietnamese side asks Japan to participate in Urban Transportation Improvement Projects in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. The Japanese side reaffirms its firm support for Vietnam's socio-economic development by providing assistance in priority areas such as promotion of growth, improvement in living standard and resolution of social problems, and institutional building while utilizing advanced Japanese technology and expertise. The two sides express their regrets over Can Tho Bridge accident, stress the importance of safety in infrastructure construction, and reaffirm their continued cooperation in this area.

12. Stock Exchange

The two sides welcome cooperation between Tokyo Stock Exchange Group and Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange, and hope that Financial Services Agency of Japan and the Ministry of Finance of Vietnam will establish a mechanism for mutual cooperation in the future.

13. Business Exchanges

The two sides reaffirm the importance of exchanges in business between the two countries, and appreciate JETRO organized business mission and exhibition on supporting industries as the efforts to develop supporting industries in Vietnam. The two sides also appreciate the economic forums organized in Tokyo and Osaka on this occasion of President Nguyen Minh Triet's visit to Japan.

14. Regional Economic Cooperation

To consolidate the prosperity in the region, the two sides welcome the conclusion of the negotiation of the ASEAN-JAPAN Comprehensive Economic Partnership (AJCEP) Agreement and concur on the importance of an early entry into force of the AJCEP Agreement and the promotion of regional economic cooperation such as the study on Comprehensive Economic Partnership in East Asia (CEPEA), and the timely establishment of the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA).

15. World Trade Organization (WTO)

The Japanese side welcomes the accession of Vietnam to the WTO in 2007. The Japanese side welcomes Vietnam's strong efforts toward becoming a market economy. The two sides will cooperate toward an early and successful conclusion of the Doha Round negotiations with a comprehensive and balanced outcome. In this regard, the Japanese side will continue to support Vietnam in its implementation of WTO commitments as well as further integration into the multilateral trade system.

Improvement of the Legal System and Administrative Reforms

16. Enhancement of the Legal System

Acknowledging the importance of the rule of law in the social and economic development of Vietnam, the Vietnamese side expresses its gratitude for Japan's assistance in this field, and welcomes new projects concerning the enhancement of the legal system, including assistance to the drafting of revised laws of Criminal Procedures Code and Civil Procedures Code and the new State Compensation Law.

17. Administrative and Fiscal Reform

The Vietnamese side is committed to improving the governance under the Doi Moi Policy and appreciates Japan's assistance to Vietnam's institutional reform, including financial support such as Poverty Reduction Support Credit (PRSC) and assistance on tax system reform.

Science and Technology

18. Agreement between Japan and Vietnam on Cooperation in Science and Technology

The first meeting of the Joint Committee on Science and Technology was successfully held in March 2007, in which Ministers of both countries in charge of science and technology participated. The two sides will promote cooperative projects listed in the first meeting and hold the second meeting in Vietnam in 2008.

19. Cooperation between Related Institutions

Cooperation on science and technology such as biomass progresses between the Vietnam Agency on Science and Technology (VAST) and respective Japanese counterpart bodies such as Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), and the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST). The two sides will promote cooperation between related institutions.

20. Outer Space

The two sides appreciate the cooperation in such fields as remote sensing with its applications, small satellite development with its applications between the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and the Vietnamese Academy of Science and Technology (VAST) based on their Agreement. The two sides will cooperate for the success of the fifteenth session of the Asia-Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum (APRSAF-15) co-hosted by Japan and Vietnam in Vietnam in 2008.

21. Infectious Diseases

The Vietnamese side is gratified with Japan's assistance to the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology of Vietnam, which plays a role as the center of excellence in infectious diseases. Both countries will utilize it as the center of the Mekong region in the future.

22. Information Communication Technology (ICT)

The Vietnamese side highly appreciates ongoing cooperation on information and communication technology under the framework of "Asia Broadband Program" and "Asia IT Initiative," and welcomes the progress of cooperation on the next generation IP based network and mobile technology this year. The two sides stress the importance of Japan's ODA cooperation in the Project on Higher Education Development Support Project on ICT and Project on Rural Community Internet Use Development.

Climate Change, Environment, Natural Resources and Energy

23. Climate Change

Climate change has become an imminent challenge for the world as a whole. In this regard, the Vietnamese side appreciates the Japanese proposal "Cool Earth 50" to achieve the ultimate objective of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the two sides share the need to cut global emissions by half from the current level by 2050. The two sides will take part in the establishment of an effective framework for addressing climate change beyond 2012 in which all major emitting countries participate. The two sides will further promote mutual cooperation to address climate change and to promote the improvement of energy efficiency and the use of clean energy, including nuclear energy and to promote the measures for natural disaster risks raised by climate change. The two sides concur to promote co-benefits approach, which address domestic environmental pollution and climate change simultaneously. The two sides will continue the cooperation in promoting the use of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).

24. Environment

The two sides highly appreciate bilateral and multilateral cooperation in the field of environment, such as water, 3R (Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle) planning, hazardous waste management, pollution control, forest and wetland conservation. In order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and conserve biodiversity, they concur on the importance of sustainable forest management, and will work together in this area through bilateral and multilateral cooperation such as the Asia Forest Partnership (AFP), and UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The two sides recognize the significant contribution of wide use of the environmentally friendly regional passenger aircraft developed in Japan to the solution of the environmental problem in Asia and the rest of the world. The Japanese side emphasizes the significant contribution of wide use of the environmentally friendly regional passenger aircraft developed in Japan to the solution of the environmental problem.

25. Natural Resources and Energy

The two sides reaffirm the importance to set goals and formulate action plans for improving energy efficiency by 2009 under the CEBU Declaration on East Asian Energy Security and Singapore Declaration on Climate Change, Energy and the Environment. The Vietnamese side highly appreciates Japan's cooperation in the area of mineral resources, coal, oil and natural gas, oil stockpiling, electricity, energy efficiency and conservation, and clean energy. The two sides welcome the progress of cooperation this year, such as the Japan-Vietnam energy forum in March, the joint geological investigation project for rare-earth elements in the northern area of Vietnam commenced in October. The two sides will promote cooperation in the near future, including policy dialogue on coal and mineral resources.

26. Nuclear Energy

Cooperation on peaceful uses of nuclear energy is important from the standpoints of energy security and protection of the global environment. The two sides express their intention to continue bilateral cooperation including development of necessary infrastructure for the peaceful uses of nuclear energy in Vietnam. The two sides will promote multilateral cooperation in the framework of the Forum for Nuclear Cooperation in Asia (FNCA) and welcome the 8th FNCA Ministerial Meeting to be held in Tokyo in December this year. With respect to the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, it is necessary to ensure non-proliferation, safety and security, for which the IAEA Additional Protocol, the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material, and the Convention on Nuclear Safety play vital roles. These efforts could lead to discussions on a bilateral agreement for nuclear cooperation in the future.

27. Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energies

Especially in the field of energy efficiency and renewable energies, the two sides welcome the progress of model projects such as promotion of introduction of high performance industrial furnace, and introduction of technology for power generation by industrial solid waste. The Vietnamese side highly appreciates that Japan dispatches an expert to the Ministry of Industry and Trade on the long term basis in the field of energy efficiency.

Mutual Understanding between the Peoples of the Two Countries

28. The 35th Anniversary of the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations

Next year is the 35th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Vietnam. The two sides hope for the deepening of mutual understanding between their peoples through various exchanges, particularly the filmmaking activities by students now underway in Vietnam, as well as music festivals in Ha Noi and Ho Chi Minh and a Vietnam Festival to be held next year in Japan.

29. Youth Exchanges

It is important to promote people-to-people exchanges, especially youth exchanges for deepening mutual understanding between the peoples of both countries. The Japanese side will receive as overseas students or invite more than 2,000 Vietnamese youths to Japan in the coming five years under various programs including the Japan-East Asia Network of Exchange for Students and Youths (JENESYS) Programme and programs based on ODA schemes. The Vietnamese side welcomes this initiative.

30. Cultural Exchanges

The Vietnamese side welcomes the establishment of "The Japan Foundation Center for Cultural Exchange in Vietnam." The two sides will further promote cultural exchanges, and hope that the Japan-Vietnam Cultural Exchange Forum would make a valuable contribution to the promotion of friendship and cooperation between Japan and Vietnam. The on-going project of hybridizing lotus of both countries will symbolize cultural similarities and contribute to the promotion of friendship.

31. Education, Academic Exchanges, Human Resource Development

The two sides recognize the importance of educational cooperation, especially between universities, research institutes and human resource development centers. The Vietnamese side expresses its satisfaction over increase in the number of Vietnamese students in Japan. The two sides welcome the progress of Japanese language education in Vietnam at all the levels including compulsory education. The two sides will promote cooperation to foster Vietnam's opinion leaders in the field of Japan study.

32. Cultural Heritage

Progress has been made under the framework of the Japan-Vietnam Cooperation Committee on the preservation of Thang Long cultural heritage. The two sides will commence full-dress cooperation by utilizing UNESCO Japanese Funds-in-Trust. The two sides welcome the progress of cooperation on the preservation of Sea Port Hoi An as well as the ancient village in Duong Lam Commune of Ha Tay Province.

33. Tourism

Tourism is an area of great potential. The two sides will move forward with the implementation of the Action Plan approved by the two sides in the 1st Meeting of the Japan-Vietnam Tourism Cooperation Committee in 2005 and will hold the 2nd Meeting in Japan next year.

34. Exchanges between Local Governments

The two sides emphasize the significance of exchanges between local governments, including sister cities with a view to enhancing the mutual understanding and beneficial cooperation in economic, cultural, education and exchange-of-personnel areas.

Cooperation in the International Arena

35. United Nations (UN)

The Japanese side congratulates Vietnam's first non-permanent membership in the UN Security Council for the period 2008-2009 and appreciates Vietnam's support for Japan's candidacy for the non-permanent membership of the Security Council for the period 2009-2010. The two sides reaffirm their determination to strengthen cooperation in the UN, especially at the Security Council. The two sides stress the need for early reform of the UN Security Council. The Vietnamese side reaffirms its support for Japan's permanent membership of the Security Council.

36. Peacekeeping and Peacebuilding

The two sides can collaborate more closely to promote dialogue and information exchange on the United Nations Peacekeeping Operations (PKO) as well as other peacebuilding efforts. The two sides will promote cooperation in human resource development for peacebuilding.

37. Counter Terrorism

The two sides reaffirm the importance of regional cooperation in counter-terrorism and recommend that ASEAN Member countries strengthen cooperation in this area.

38. Human Security

Human security should be jointly addressed by the international community. The two sides will strengthen cooperation from this perspective in addressing various global challenges in the international arena.

39. East Asia Cooperation

The two sides will work towards enhancing regional integration based on internationally shared interests, peace, security, stability and prosperity, through closer cooperation in existing frameworks such as the Japan-ASEAN cooperation, EAS and ASEAN+3. The Vietnamese side welcomes Japan's continuous commitment in supporting ASEAN's effort at narrowing the development gaps and closer regional integration towards building an ASEAN Community by 2015.

40. Mekong Region Development

The Vietnamese side highly values Japan's commitment to the Mekong Region Development, including the Japan-Mekong Region Partnership Program which Japan announced in January this year. The two sides recognize great potentials of the East West Economic Corridor to the regional development. They reaffirm closer cooperation to make sure that the corridor be best used and improve infrastructures and efficiency of logistic services, thus creating favorable conditions for businesses from both countries to increase their investment in the corridor. In this regard, the two sides will cooperate for the success of an actual run test along the East-West Corridor. The two sides will adopt a package of cooperation projects on Development Triangle in Japan-Mekong Foreign Ministers' Meeting next January by utilizing 20 million USD of the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF).

41. Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK)

The two sides state the importance of resolving the outstanding issues concerning the DPRK for maintaining peace and stability in North East Asia and the Asia Pacific and welcome the implementation of the "Initial Actions" agreed in the Six-Party Talks and the adoption of the "Second-Phase Actions for the Implementation of the Joint Statement." It is Japan's strong intent to normalize relations with the DPRK through comprehensively resolving all the outstanding issues between Japan and the DPRK, and the Vietnamese side supports all efforts to this end. The two sides call for the full implementation of the denuclearization process agreed in the October 3 agreement, and that all parties continue to take concrete and effective steps toward the full implementation of the Joint Statement of 19 September 2005. The two sides stress the need for the DPRK to address the humanitarian concerns of the international community, including the abduction issue.

42. Myanmar

The two sides express their profound concerns over the current situation in Myanmar. They emphasize the urgent need for an expedited national reconciliation process that includes genuine dialogues between all parties concerned. They call on the government of Myanmar to render their full cooperation with the UN, in particular with Secretary-General's Special Advisor Ibrahim Gambari.

43. Africa

The two sides concur on the importance of sharing Asia's successful experience in economic development with Africa, and will continue to consider joint projects between Japan, Vietnam and an African country in the spirit of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD). In this connection, the two sides share a willingness to consider conducting trilateral cooperation in Mozambique. The Japanese side invited the Vietnamese leader to attend the fourth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD IV) on 28-30 May 2008 in Yokohama. The Vietnamese side commends the significant contribution the TICAD IV process is making for African development and reaffirms its readiness to cooperate for the success of TICAD IV. The Vietnamese side will send a high-level Governmental delegation to the Conference.

44. Disarmament and Non-Proliferation

The two sides reiterate their commitment to disarmament and non-proliferation, expressing their strong concerns over proliferation of weapons of mass-destruction including nuclear weapons and their means of delivery, and will continue cooperation and work as partners in this area. The Vietnamese side reaffirms its commitment to an early approval of the IAEA's Additional Protocol.

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