(provisional translation)

Japan-Viet Nam Joint Statement on the Strategic Partnership for Peace and Prosperity in Asia



At the invitation of Mr. Taro Aso, Prime Minister of Japan, H. E. Nong Duc Manh, General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Viet Nam, paid an Official Visit to Japan from April 19 through 22, 2009. During his stay in Japan, General Secretary Nong Duc Manh was received in audience by His Majesty the Emperor of Japan, held talks with Prime Minister Taro Aso and met other distinguished figures including political and business leaders. During the talks with Prime Minister Taro Aso, General Secretary Nong Duc Manh reiterated respectfully the invitation to Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress of Japan and other members of the Imperial Family of Japan to visit Viet Nam at a convenient time. General Secretary Nong Duc Manh also extended respectfully to Prime Minister Taro Aso the invitation to visit Viet Nam at a convenient time, and Prime Minister Taro Aso gratefully accepted the invitation.

At their meeting April 20 between General Secretary Nong Duc Manh and Prime Minister Taro Aso, both sides expressed their delight with the favorable development of their bilateral relationship in recent years, and shared their intention to further develop the strategic partnership for peace and prosperity in Asia, which has been built between Japan and Viet Nam.

Both sides also shared their intention to collaborate closely, based on common interest and trust, for the peace and stability as well as cooperation and prosperity in Asia, not only in bilateral relations but also on the challenges facing Asia and the international community.

Recent Developments in Japan-Viet Nam Relations

Both sides reaffirmed the Japan-Viet Nam Joint Statement "Toward a Strategic Partnership for Peace and Prosperity in Asia" issued on October 19, 2006, and welcomed that "Agenda Toward a Strategic Partnership between Japan and Viet Nam", issued on November 27, 2007, has been steadily implemented thereafter.

Since the issuance of these joint documents, the multifaceted cooperative relationship between the two nations has developed dramatically in a wide range of fields, including politics, economy, culture, and people-to-people exchanges at every level.

Japan and Viet Nam have enjoyed an active exchange of visits by national leaders: the visit to Japan by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung in October 2006, the visit to Viet Nam by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in November 2006, the visit to Japan by President Nguyen Minh Triet in November 2007, the visit to Japan by Nguyen Phu Trong, Chairman of the National Assembly of Viet Nam in March 2008, and the visit to Viet Nam by His Imperial Highness the Crown Prince of Japan in February 2009. The year 2008 marked the 35th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Viet Nam, and various events were held to mark the occasion. The Consulate-General of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam in Fukuoka was established in April 2009. In the area of economic relations, expansion of the volume of the bilateral trade up to US$15 billion, stated in the Joint Statement of 2006 as a goal to be achieved by the year 2010, was realized two years earlier, in 2008, and Japan and Viet Nam signed the Agreement between Japan and the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam for an Economic Partnership (JVEPA) (hereinafter, "Japan-Viet Nam Economic Partnership Agreement") in December 2008. Moreover, cultural and people-to-people exchanges have expanded and cooperation in such fields as science and technology, education and training, tourism, and labor has been strengthened.

The Vietnamese side highly appreciated and offered its deep gratitude for the effective support from Japan through official development assistance (ODA) for socioeconomic development and poverty eradication in Viet Nam. Viet Nam also expressed its great pleasure that Japanese private direct investment in Viet Nam is expanding. The Japanese side stated its high regard for Viet Nam's various efforts to realize socioeconomic development, inflation control, sustained economic growth, and others, and expressed its confidence that Viet Nam would continue to enjoy development, achieve additional positive outcomes in the fields of the Doi Moi (reform) projects as well as the industrialization of the country and the projects for modernization, and play an active role in the region and in the world.

Both sides highly appreciated that Japan's cooperation in the Mekong region countries, including each cooperation project and the Mekong-Japan Exchange Year 2009, contributes greatly to the development of the region, helps rectify development gaps within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and contributes to the peace, cooperation and development in the region.

Both sides confirmed that cooperation between Japan and Viet Nam is expanding not only in bilateral relations but on the issues in the regional and international arenas as well.

Future Outlook for Japan-Viet Nam Relations

Both sides confirmed that they share the resolve to deepen and expand cooperation in various areas, including those stated below, as strategic partners for the peace and prosperity in Asia, and to further develop their bilateral ties.

Both sides will conduct annual summit-level visits and further strengthen consultations and cooperation among ministers and senior officials of relevant government ministries and agencies in the future. Moreover, they will promote even more active exchanges on various levels, including Diet / National Assembly, political parties, local governments and citizens.

Both sides will hold an annual meeting of the Japan-Viet Nam Cooperation Committee and strengthen the Deputy Foreign Ministerial Political Consultation. Regarding security and defense, they will promote furthermore the exchange at high level and strengthen consultations at Director-General level. With the deepening of the bilateral relationship, they will promote cooperation in the areas of legal affairs.

Convinced that the Japan-Viet Nam Economic Partnership Agreement will play a major role in the future development of their bilateral economic relationship, both sides will cooperate toward the early entry into force and smooth implementation of the Agreement. Moreover, they will further promote investment in Viet Nam by Japanese corporations and improve Viet Nam's investment environment through such framework as the "Japan-Viet Nam Joint Initiative to Improve the Business Environment with a View to Strengthening Viet Nam's Competitiveness". In addition to existing cooperation in such areas as infrastructure development, energy, the manufacturing industry, supporting industries, logistics and distribution, information and communication technology (IT), disaster prevention and environmental preservation, they will promote cooperation in new fields, such as peaceful uses of nuclear energy, outer space development, and environmentally friendly aircraft.

The Japanese side appreciated Viet Nam's determination to prevent corruption regarding Japanese ODA. Both sides will cooperate closely and strictly implement the anti-corruption measures developed by the Japan-Viet Nam Joint Committee for Preventing Japanese ODA-related Corruption, so as to effectively implement Japanese ODA to Viet Nam. Moreover, they will continue to cooperate towards the realization of the projects such as the North-South Expressway, the North-South High-Speed Railway and the Hoa Lac High Tech Park.

Both sides will place priority on the promotion of cooperation in the areas of culture, science and technology, education and training, and youth exchanges, as well as promote cooperation in the protection of cultural heritage, mutually respecting the traditions and cultures of the two countries.

The Vietnamese side welcomes Japan's contribution in addressing the world financial crisis and expresses its confidence that Japan will make an even more active contribution to help the Asian and world economies overcome the economic slump.

Regarding various challenges of the international community, both sides will cooperate even more closely in the work of the international organizations and fora of which they both are members, including the United Nations, the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), and the East Asia Summit (EAS). Moreover, they will work even more closely in cooperation between Japan and ASEAN and between Japan and the Mekong region countries. They will cooperate in strengthening the free, fair and non-discriminatory multilateral trading system, stand firmly against protectionism, and promote the Doha Development Agenda negotiation, while keeping the current framework of negotiation, with a view to reaching an early conclusion with an ambitious and balanced outcome. From the perspective of promoting human security, they will promote cooperation on global issues such as environment and climate change, disaster risk reduction, and infectious diseases. They will cooperate to ensure that agreement is reached on a fair and effective international framework beyond 2012 for addressing climate change in which all major economies participate in a responsible manner. They will promote cooperation in the areas of disarmament and non-proliferation, including in the fields related to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT).

Tokyo, 20 April 2009

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