HANOI, Japan: During a Southeast Asia tour, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Japan and Vietnam have to expand their economic and security relations, and called for an end to the war in Ukraine.
After meeting with his counterpart in Hanoi, Pham Minh Chinh, Kishida told reporters, “We will strengthen bilateral ties in order to put the economies of both nations back on a clear recovery path, in the wake of the coronavirus.”
The two countries “agreed to boost cooperation in post-pandemic trade, strengthen supply chains and energy transition, in accordance with mutual interests,” Chinh said.
According to customs data from Vietnam, Japan is its largest provider of official development aid and third-largest source of foreign direct investment, with their bilateral trade rising 8.4 percent last year to $42.9 billion.
The two leaders also said they discussed regional responses to disputes in the South China Sea, where China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei have competing territorial claims.
Referring to the Ukraine crisis, Kishida said, “We agreed that any change in the status quo by force cannot be recognized. We agreed on the need for the war to end immediately.”
He and Chinh “also agreed to strongly oppose any attempts to change the status quo by force in the South China Sea,” Kishida added.
Chinh also announced a humanitarian donation of $500,000 to Ukraine via international organizations.
Vietnam expects to begin exporting the longan fruit to Japan starting in September, followed by other produce, such as grapefruit, avocado and rambutan, while opening its market for Japanese grapes, he added.
Japan will support an energy transition for Vietnam toward sources, such as biomass, hydrogen and ammonia. Meanwhile, Vietnam has committed to becoming carbon neutral.