Vietnamese, Japanese PMs agree on orientations for future ties

Prime Ministers Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Shinzo Abe reached high consensus on major orientations and specific measures to push forward the extensive strategic partnership between Vietnam and Japan in a more comprehensive, practical and effective manner during their talks in Tokyo on June 6. 

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Prime Ministers Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Shinzo Abe at the press conference

PM Phuc affirmed that Vietnam consistently considers Japan a top and long-term economic partner and attaches extreme importance to the strategic cooperation in economy with Japan.  

PM Abe highly valued Vietnam’s increasingly important role in the region and the world and vowed to provide strong support for Vietnam’s development with the involvement of Japanese small and medium-sized enterprises, corporations and research institutes.  

The two PMs gave high estimations to the first State visit to Vietnam by the Emperor and Empress, and agreed to strengthen political trust, regularly maintain high-level visits and meetings, and improve the efficiency of the existing dialogue mechanisms. 

Abe promised full support for Vietnam to successfully hold the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in the central city of Da Nang in November 2017. 

Both sides were committed to collaboration in national defence-security, the United Nations peacekeeping mission as well as post-war recovery. 

They vowed to promote economic connectivity via extending links across investment, trade, official development assistance (ODA), high-tech agriculture and labour. 

Host and guest were unanimous in promoting Japanese investments in Vietnam via effectively launching the sixth stage of the Vietnam-Japan Joint Initiative and strengthening public-private partnership. 

They asserted close cooperation to launch action plans of six sectors named in Vietnam’s industrialisation strategy within the Vietnam-Japan cooperation framework until 2020 with a vision to 2030 and speed up the progress of major infrastructure projects such as the North-South Highway, Hoa Lac High-tech Park and urban railway. 

The fourth high-level dialogue on agriculture will be held soon this year while procedures to facilitate Vietnam-grown litchi and longan’s access to Japan and Japanese orange and tangerine’s entry into Vietnam will be accelerated. 

The leaders agreed to step up cooperation across education, human resources training and locality-to-locality affiliations.

The host leader affirmed support for Vietnam to carry out a project on improving political system operation and training managerial officials at all levels, particularly those in strategic positions. Japan will initially train 800 Vietnamese master and doctorate degree holders in the next five years. 

The leaders agreed to promote cultural, sports and people-to-people exchanges while working closely together to celebrate the 45th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties in 2018. 

On regional and global issues of shared concern, they vowed close coordination at multilateral forums such as ASEAN, APEC, Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), and the United Nations. 

Regarding the East Sea issue, they underscored the importance of ensuring peace, security, maritime and aviation safety and freedom, and called on parties concerned to refrain from unilateral actions, including militarising, changing the status quo, complicating and extending the disputes in the East Sea; promote the settlement of disputes by peaceful means, fully respect diplomatic and legal processes in line with international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea; fully and effectively implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and promptly reach a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC). 

After their talks, the two PMs witnessed the exchange of 14 signed documents between Vietnamese and Japanese ministries and agencies. 

The documents include the diplomatic notes for the exchange of four official development assistance (ODA) projects worth 100.3 billion JPY (roughly 912 million USD).

Others are diplomatic notes for the exchange of three nonrefundable aid projects valued at 2.93 billion JPY (26.6 million USD), covering the operation of reservoirs in case of emergencies and effective flood management through the inclusive natural disaster management information system; and the Human Resources Development Scholarship Programme in 2017 and 2018. 

The two leaders then met with the press to inform major outcomes of their talks, during which they stressed that the two sides reached many important common perceptions in order to deepen the Vietnam-Japan extensive strategic partnership across fields in the time ahead, especially by enhancing mutual political trust, promoting economic ties and closely cooperating with each other in regional and international issues of shared concern. 

PM Shinzo Abe said Japan, with its outstanding technologies and experience, is resolved to contribute to building high-quality infrastructure, improving the investment environment and developing human resources in Vietnam, thus creating business opportunities that bring benefits to both sides.

Regarding the wave of protectionism and anti-globalisation, the Japanese PM pledged that he will work together with his Vietnamese counterpart to push up free trade and investment. 

Japan will comprehensively support Vietnam’s hosting of the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting slated for November in the central city of Da Nang, he committed. 

The two countries will also join hands with each other to soon materialise the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). 

PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc affirmed the Vietnamese Government’s resolve to effectively use Japan’s ODA, build a transparent investment environment, create optimal conditions for Japanese investors and seriously implement commitments made at the investment promotion conference on June 5. 

During the PM’s visit, the two countries’ ministries, agencies and localities signed 43 foreign direct investment (FDI) documents valued at over 22 billion USD, he said. 

Vietnam welcomes and backs Japan’s initiatives to ensure the economic prosperity, freedom of trade and maritime safety on the basis of respecting the UN Charter and international law, as well as independence and sovereignty of countries, for peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region and the world at large, the PM said.

Prime Minister meets Japanese party, local leaders

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc hosted receptions for Chairman of the Japanese Communist Party Kazuo Ishii, President of the New Komeito Party Natsuo Yamaguchi, and President of the Democratic Party Murata Renho in Tokyo on June 6. 

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (R) and Chairman of the Japanese Communist Party Kazuo Ishii 

The PM informed them about the recent developments of extensive strategic partnership between the two nations and hoped that the parties would continue supporting the Japanese government in promoting ties with Vietnam. 

The host party leaders congratulated Vietnam on its achievements under the leadership of the Communist Party of Vietnam over the past years and wished to continue developing all-around cooperation with Vietnam for the benefit of the two peoples, and for peace, stability and development in the region and the world. 

Meeting President of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Shinichi Kitakao in the afternoon the same day, Phuc thanked JICA for its support over the past 25 years, and suggested JICA continue its provision of official development assistance (ODA) for Vietnam to develop large-scale infrastructure projects, launch six industries’ action plans under the country’s industrialisation strategy, and train human resources for the industrial sector. 

The Vietnamese leader also met President of the Japan-Mekong Parliamentary Friendship Association Ryu Shionoya and Chairman of Canon Inc. Mitarai Fijio. 

In a conversation with Governor of Aichi prefecture Hideaki Omura, the PM expressed his satisfaction with the amity between Vietnamese localities and Aichi prefecture, with nearly 150 Aichi firms investing in Vietnam, accounting for 20 percent of the total number of Japanese enterprises in the country, and over 13,000 Vietnamese living and working in Aichi. 

He asked the governor to boost Aichi businesses’ investment in Vietnam in automobiles, support industry, agriculture, reception of Vietnamese apprentices, people-to-people and cultural exchanges, especially on the occasion of the 45th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties in 2018. 

Talking with Governor of Kanagawa prefecture Kuroiwa Yuji, Phuc hailed the governor’s initiative to hold the Vietnam festival in the locality and establish the Kanagawa industrial park in the northern province of Hung Yen. 

The leader proposed Kanagawa continue bolstering locality-to-locality cooperation and offering support in wastewater treatment and environment protection. 

The two governors said Aichi and Kanagawa businesses are keen on doing business in Vietnam, ready to assist the country in fields of strengths. The prefectures wish to welcome high-quality Vietnamese workers, they said. 

Vietnam, Japan issue joint statement on deepening partnership

Prime Ministers of Vietnam and Japan Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Shinzo Abe have reaffirmed their determination to foster the Vietnam-Japan relationship in a comprehensive and extensive manner in a joint statement on deepening the two countries’ extensive strategic partnership. 

The following is the full text of the joint statement which was issued during Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s official visit to Japan from June 4-8.

“At the invitation of Prime Minister of Japan H.E. Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam H.E. Mr. Nguyen Xuan Phuc paid an official visit to Japan. During the visit from 4 to 8 June 2017, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc was received in audience by Their Majesties the Emperor and the Empress of Japan, held a summit meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and had meetings with other Japanese political and economic figures, attended and addressed at the Vietnam Investment Conference with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc also visited some prefectures of the Kansai region of Japan.

 The development of Vietnam – Japan relations

 1. Both sides noted with satisfaction the robust, comprehensive and substantive growth of the Vietnam-Japan relationship in all areas since its upgrade to the “Extensive Strategic Partnership for Peace and Prosperity in Asia” in 2014. Mutual visits and contacts by high-level leaders of both countries have taken place on a regular basis, contributing to strengthening mutual political trust. Bilateral economic, trade and investment ties have expanded significantly, helping to promote the connectivity between the two economies. Cooperation in the areas of defense and security, agriculture, science and technology, education and training, environment, climate change response, labor, construction, information, health, culture, tourism, sports and province-to-province and people-to-people exchanges have seen substantive progress.

 2. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe highly valued the achievements in socio-economic development of Vietnam thanks to the implementation of the reform (Doi Moi) policy during the past 30 years as well as Vietnam’s efforts for promoting economic restructuring and growth model transformation to step up national industrialization and modernization at present. Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc highly valued achievements in the implementation of the Abenomics for Japan’s economy, and expressed his belief that the Japanese economic growth will firmly contribute to the regional and global economic development.

 3. Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc expressed his gratitude to Japan, the largest donor providing Official Development Assistance (ODA), for the effective assistance to Vietnam's sustainable social and economic development, and poverty reduction. He also highly valued the active role and contribution by Japanese companies to the economic development and national construction in Vietnam. Both leaders shared the intention to cooperate in resolving the bottlenecks which hinder smooth implementation of Japan’s ODA projects. 

4. Both leaders emphasized that Vietnam and Japan are important partners to each other with shared strategic interests. They confirmed that the two countries are presented with favorable conditions to further deepen the Vietnam-Japan extensive strategic partnership. Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc reiterated that Japan continued to be a top and long-term partner of Vietnam, and hoped that Japan would continue to play an active and constructive role in international and regional issues. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe highly appreciated Vietnam's increasingly important and active role in international and regional issues, and reaffirmed the importance Japan attaches to Vietnam in its foreign policy in the Asia-Pacific.

5. Both leaders reaffirmed their determination to foster the Vietnam-Japan relationship in a comprehensive and extensive manner by further enhancing political trust, improving the cooperation mechanisms, promoting economic connectivity, strengthening human resources development cooperation, and cooperating closely on regional and international issues. Both leaders shared the intention to maintain regular exchange of visits and contacts between high-level leaders, political parties and parliaments, including at multilateral forums.

 During the visit, both sides signed many cooperation frameworks between their ministries, agencies, local authorities and businesses.

 Political, Defense and Security Relations

 6. Both leaders shared the desire to strengthen cooperation in defense and security areas, to maintain and enhance the effectiveness of dialogue mechanisms, and to promote the exchange of delegations at various levels. They shared the intention to enhance cooperation in building capacity in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, as well as in participating in the United Nations Peacekeeping operations, and to promote cooperation in defense equipment and technology, in information technology and in human resources development, as appropriate. Both leaders will continue to consider the possibilities of cooperation in the Vietnamese efforts in overcoming the damage caused by the war through removing landmines and unexploded ordinances and dioxin upon concrete requests by the Vietnamese side.

 7. Both leaders confirmed the intention to enhance cooperation in responding to non-traditional security issues, including cyber-security, and in countering cyber-crimes, international terrorism and transnational crimes.

 8. Both leaders highlighted the commitment to strengthen maritime security and safety cooperation such as search and rescue and anti-piracy measures, including through information exchange between coast guard agencies of both countries and cooperation under the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP) framework. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged to assist Vietnam in strengthening maritime law enforcement capability, including human resource development. Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc highly appreciated Japan’s assistance to enhance maritime law enforcement capability, including the provisions by Japan of used vessels and new patrol vessels and defense capacity building assistance, and welcomed vessels of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force and the patrol ships of the Japan Coast Guard to visit Vietnam in accordance with the Vietnamese law.

9. Both sides shared the view on the importance of arms export control to counter the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

Economic, trade, investment and energy cooperation

10. Both leaders shared the intention to closely collaborate in strengthening connectivity between the two economies as stated in the 2015 “Joint Vision Statement on Vietnam-Japan Relations" with focus on linking their economic development strategies, production capacity and human resources on the mutually complimentary, mutually reinforcing and mutually beneficial basis. 

11. Both leaders shared the intention to maintain their close collaboration to make maximum use of the existing dialogue mechanisms such as the Vietnam-Japan Cooperation Committee, the Vietnam-Japan Joint Committee on Industrial, Trade and Energy Cooperation and the Japan-Vietnam Agricultural Cooperation Dialogue, as well as other ongoing dialogue mechanisms in ODA, investment, labor, science and technology, justice, environment, construction, among others. They highly valued the outcomes of the Vietnam Investment Conference on 5th June 2017.

12. Both leaders shared the intention to promote their bilateral trade cooperation, striving to realize the goal of doubling two-way trade and investment from 2014 till 2020. 

13. Noting that Vietnam’s economic development is very important for the region, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe expressed his continued and strong support to Vietnam's sustainable economic growth through cooperation in quality infrastructure development, energy, climate change response and human resources development. Both sides witnessed with delight the signing of the exchange of Notes of yen loan projects worth ¥100.3 billion pledged by Japan in fiscal year 2016 for four projects in Vietnam, namely the Maritime Security and Safety Capacity Improvement Project, the Ben Tre Water Management Project, the Bien Hoa City Drainage and Wastewater Treatment Systems Project (Stage 1), the Hoa Lac Science and Technology City Development Project (phase II), and three grant assistance projects in the fields of disaster prevention and human resources development, as well as and the loan Agreement for the Hoa Lac Science and Technology City Development Project.

14. Both leaders shared the view that Japan would provide support to expediting high quality, large scale and critical national infrastructure projects, including the North-South expressway and the metro railway. They confirmed that both sides continue to cooperate in implementing the Hoa Lac Science and Technology City Development project. Both sides would continue the discussion on the expressway project connecting Hanoi (Vietnam) and Vientiane (Laos). The Vietnamese side welcomed Japanese companies’ wish to participate in the Long Thanh airport project, the underground arcade in Ben Thanh and the BRT bus system in Binh Duong province.

15. Both leaders confirmed their willingness to make efforts to facilitate procedures to allow exportations of Japanese citrus fruit into Vietnam and Vietnamese lychee, longan fruit into Japan and to proceed cooperation in protection of geographical indications.

16. The Japanese side confirmed its support for Vietnam in implementing plans of the six selected industries in Vietnam's Industrialization Strategy as outlined in the Vietnam-Japan Cooperation Framework until 2020 with vision to 2030, in a mutually beneficial manner, as well as organizing a working group for the effective implementation of the Strategy and that Japan would consider training advanced engineers for the six industries in the Industrialization Strategy. They confirmed to strengthen cooperation in the energy sector, including the construction of high-efficient and environmentally compliant coal-fired power plants as well as the application of new liquefied natural gas technology. Both leaders will also make efforts to promote negotiations towards prompt commencement of commercial operation of three BOT projects of coal-fired power plants. Both leaders will intensify cooperation on energy saving and power grid development. 

17. The Vietnamese side will consider and realize concrete and strong measures consistent with the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreements for the purpose of sustaining and expanding domestic production of Complete Build Units (CBUs) as first priority. Both sides will establish a working group and develop concrete measures incorporated in an action plan by the end of this year. The Japanese side confirmed its support for Vietnam’s automobile and supporting industries.

18. Both leaders shared the intention to coordinate closely to improve the investment environment in Vietnam through the implementation of the 6th phase of the Vietnam-Japan Joint Initiative on improving the investment climate and legal system, strengthening the governance and restructuring of Vietnamese State-Owned Enterprises with ensuring the information disclosure by companies. Both leaders expressed their wish to promote more investment from Japanese companies into Vietnam and to promote public-private partnership (PPP) projects. 

19. The Vietnamese side confirmed that Japan is one of the cooperation partners in the field of peaceful use of atomic energy.

Agriculture, environment, climate change response, science and technology, education and training, justice, information and communications technology and construction

20. Both leaders decided to promote cooperation for comprehensive development of the agriculture, forestry and fisheries sectors in Vietnam, to continue working closely to implement the "Japan-Vietnam Medium-Long Term Vision on Agricultural Cooperation", and organize the 4th Japan-Vietnam Agricultural Cooperation Dialogue as a high-level meeting in 2017, and to consider mutually beneficial cooperation such as Japanese investment into clean and high-tech agriculture in Vietnam. 

21. Both leaders welcomed the renewal of the Memorandum of Cooperation on Low Carbon Growth for the Joint Crediting Mechanism for the period from 2016 to 2020. They shared the intention to maintain close collaboration in the environment, climate change responses, hydro-meteorology and natural resources, the environment and marine biodiversity research and surveillance. They also shared the intention to facilitate cooperation in waste management, including waste-to-energy, building on the achievement of cooperation in developing waste management laws and regulations. The Japanese side is committed to supporting Vietnam in dealing with climate change, drought and saline intrusion, working with Vietnam to find long-term and fundamental solutions and considering utilizing ODA in this regard. 

22. Both leaders shared the view to further promote collaborative activities in such research fields as space and healthcare, including infectious diseases. 

  23. Both leaders shared the intention to promote cooperation in the field of information and communications technology, especially cooperation in telecommunication and its cyber-security, frequency and postal services by utilizing such schemes as Joint Working Groups. Acknowledging the importance of the wireless information transmission system for aeronautical and maritime transport safety, both leaders will promote the study of possibility of cooperation in establishing the High Frequency Radio Monitoring System.

24. Both leaders shared the intention to promote cooperation on human resources development under the Industrial Human Resources Development Initiative as well as by utilizing the Japan-Vietnam University and “Innovative Asia.” As for Vietnam’s efforts for administrative structure reform and training of future leaders, the Japanese side stands ready to provide training opportunities for more than 800 officials for the next five years through master’s and doctoral courses at Japanese universities and short- and medium-term courses in Japan and Vietnam.

 25. Both leaders shared the intention to cooperate to enhance Japanese-language education and expand the Japanese education model, and to promote inter-university exchanges between the two countries. 

26. Both leaders welcomed the newly-opened Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO) office in Hanoi and will promote cooperation on student exchanges and distribution of information on studying in Japan. Both leaders will also cooperate in setting up KOSEN (NIT) office in Hanoi which will contribute to the improvement of quality of vocational education in Vietnam.

27. Both leaders welcomed the active participation of Vietnamese Technical Intern Trainees in Japan and the signing of the Memorandum of Cooperation on the Technical Intern Training Program, and confirmed the intention to properly implement the Technical Intern Training Program to transfer technical skills from Japan to Vietnam, in accordance with the new Act on Proper Technical Intern Training and Protection of Technical Trainees that will come into force in November 2017. Both leaders will also work closely to promote cooperation for the appropriate implementation of technical intern training and to hold periodical working level meetings to address various issues surrounding the Technical Intern Training Program. 

28. Both leaders welcomed a steady progress of dispatching and accepting Vietnamese candidates for nurses and certified care workers to Japan based on the Economic Partnership Agreement between the two countries, and will cooperate for its smooth and appropriate implementation.

29. Both leaders shared the intention to continue legal and judicial cooperation by effective implementation of the existing programs and projects, and to proactively study the possibility of bilateral agreements on mutual legal assistance on criminal matters and on transfer of sentenced persons.

30. Both sides shared the intention to strengthen comprehensive cooperation in urban development, especially effective implementation of eco-cities, smart cities, and Transit-oriented Development (TOD) integrated cities in line with Japan’s models, to promote investment cooperation in urban renovation and development and to transfer technologies in water, sewage and solid waste treatment.

Cooperation in culture, sports, tourism, people-to-people exchange and exchange between localities

31. Both sides shared the intention to work closely to step up their cultural cooperation and people-to-people exchange, to further cultural exchanges through the co-organization of exchange activities to promote each country's people, culture, and arts, and to promote mutual understanding of each other’s culture, tradition and history. Both sides also shared their desire to continue cooperation and exchanges between them according to WA Project as well as Japanese language education.

32. Both leaders welcomed the signing of a Memorandum of Cooperation on sports cooperation to strengthen the cooperation towards the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games within the framework of the “Sport for Tomorrow” program.

33. Both leaders shared the view that tourism cooperation in such areas as in enhancing destination marketing initiatives of each country, providing technical assistance and developing workforce skills should be promoted with a view to further encouraging two-way tourist exchanges, in a consistent manner with the Memorandum signed among the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, the Japan Tourism Agency and the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO). 

34. Both leaders highly valued the recent developments in the cooperation among their localities as an effective channel for substantive cooperation that further deepened bilateral cooperation. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reaffirmed that he would encourage Japanese localities to establish and enhance comprehensive cooperation with Vietnamese localities, thereby promoting investment and technological transfer from Japanese localities to Vietnam.  

Towards the 45th anniversary of the Vietnam–Japan diplomatic relations

35. Both leaders confirmed that they would coordinate closely to successfully organize activities commemorating the 45th anniversary of the Vietnam-Japan diplomatic relations, and further strengthen people-to-people exchanges such as JENESYS (Japan-East Asia Network of Exchange for Students and Youths) and “SAKURA Science Plan (Japan- Asia Youth Exchange Program in Science)” in order to promote mutual trust and understanding between the people of the two countries and lay a solid foundation to further promote future friendship and cooperation.

Strengthen cooperation at international and regional forums

36. Both leaders reaffirmed their commitment to stepping up their extensive collaboration and cooperation at regional and international forums such as the UN, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) and other regional mechanisms such as the East Asia Summit (EAS), ASEAN 3 (APT), ASEAN-JAPAN, ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM ), the Expanded ASEAN Maritime Forum (EAMF), among others, in order to make active and constructive contribution to the maintenance of peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region and the world.

37. With the establishment of the ASEAN Community, both leaders expressed their determination to strengthen cooperation to enhance the connectivity of ASEAN, a massive market of 600 million consumers, and reduce the development gap within ASEAN through Japan's continuing support of the implementation of the 3rd Phase of the Work Plan of the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI) and the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC) 2025 and through relevant initiatives including Quality Infrastructure Investment.

38. Both leaders sent their congratulations on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of ASEAN. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reaffirmed Japan's strong assistance to enhance ASEAN’s centrality, unity and solidarity. Both leaders shared the view that Japan and ASEAN will work together to reinforce ASEAN's integrity as partners sharing fundamental values, expressed through the rule of law, and to maintain peace, stability and prosperity in the region.

39. Both leaders noted with satisfaction the positive outcomes in the relations and cooperation between Japan and the Mekong countries across multiple fields such as politics, economy, development cooperation, contributing to the maintenance of peace, stability and prosperity of the region. They reaffirmed the intention to further advance the Mekong-Japan cooperation in areas such as development of quality infrastructure, human resources, climate change response, and water resource management. They shared the view to further promote the Japan-Mekong Connectivity Initiative and the Mekong Industrial Development Vision to promote robust and effective connectivity in the region. They also reconfirmed the utmost importance of sustainably developing and managing the Mekong River, and of close cooperation between the Mekong-Japan cooperation mechanism and regional and international organizations, particularly, the Mekong River Commission (MRC).

40. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe confirmed his commitment to supporting Vietnam comprehensively for the successful hosting of the 2017 APEC Year. Both leaders will collaborate in creating new dynamism in such areas as deepening regional economic integration, fostering sustainable, innovative and inclusive growth, enhancing food security and sustainable agriculture, and strengthening Micro, Small & Medium Enterprise’s (MSME) competitiveness and innovation, human resources development in the digital age, supporting industries.  

41. Against the backdrop of mounting anti-globalization and protectionism in the world, both leaders reiterated the matters relating to free trade and protectionism as stated in the G7 Leaders’ Communiqué in May 2017 and the 2016 APEC Leaders’ Declaration and reaffirmed that free and fair trade and investment are an important driver for the global economy and decided to work together in promoting open and free trade and investment. They are determined to promote discussion on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) with the aim to promptly reach a modern, comprehensive, high-quality and mutually beneficial agreement under ASEAN leadership. They recognized that RCEP’s market access commitments, rules, and cooperation will deepen regional economic integration and promote supply chain growth. They reaffirmed the balanced outcome and the strategic and economic importance of Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), not only to its members but also to the Asia-Pacific. On that basis, both leaders shared the view to cooperate in the discussion among TPP members to bring the comprehensive, high-quality Agreement into force expeditiously.

42. Both leaders shared the view that maintaining peace, stability and cooperation in the South China Sea plays an important role to regional and global peace, stability and prosperity. Both leaders expressed deep concern over the complex developments that have been taking place in the South China Sea. Both leaders urged the parties concerned to refrain from taking unilateral actions, including militarization, that change the status quo and further complicate or expand disputes in the South China Sea, stressed the importance of maintaining peace, maritime security and safety, freedom of navigation and overflight, self-restraint, and full respect for legal and diplomatic processes, settling all disputes through peaceful means on the basis of international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and full and effective implementation of the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) in its entirety, and promptly concluding an effective Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC).

43. As the maritime countries facing vast oceans, both leaders stressed their commitment to promoting the freedom of navigation and overflight and unimpeded commerce, emphasizing that maintaining and strengthening a free and open maritime order based on the rule of law is a cornerstone of the strategic interests for the stability and prosperity of both countries and the international community as a whole. They underlined the importance of ensuring a stable, free and open, rules-based order across the Indo-Pacific region and beyond.  In this regard, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe expressed Japan’s intention to further promote bilateral cooperation to enhance connectivity of ASEAN and the region through relevant initiatives including the Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy and Quality Infrastructure Investment. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe also expressed his intention to contribute even more proactively in securing peace, stability and prosperity of the region and the international community under its policy of “Proactive Contribution to Peace” based on the principle of international cooperation, including “Legislation for Peace and Security”. In this context, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc welcomed Japan’s active contribution to peace and development in the region and the world as well as constructive initiatives, legislations and policies that aim at securing economic prosperity, maritime freedom and safety in compliance with the UN Charter and international law, and on the basis of respect for national independence and sovereignty, for peace, stability, cooperation and development of the region and the world.  

44. Both leaders expressed serious concern about the recent complex developments on the Korean Peninsula, including the nuclear tests and missile launches by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). Both leaders reiterated the positions expressed in the relevant UNSC resolutions and ASEAN Statements, and underlined the need to refrain from actions which might escalate tension, and to fully and seriously comply with the obligations under relevant UNSC resolutions, including Resolution 2356, and the commitments in the 2005 Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks towards denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. They supported peace and stability in and denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. They opposed the acts of abductions, and shared the intention to enhance cooperation in order to immediately resolve the abductions issue - an issue of humanitarian concern for the international community.

45. Both leaders shared the intention to promote cooperation for international peace and security, and reaffirmed the importance of UNSC reform to make the organization more in line with the reality of the international community in the 21st century and to strengthen its legitimacy, effectiveness, representativeness and transparency. Accordingly, they shared the intention to actively cooperate towards early reform through efforts to reach concrete progress in the Intergovernmental Negotiations. They also reached a decision to promote cooperation at international forums and organizations and to positively consider supporting each other at elections of international organizations. Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc once again expressed his commitment to continue supporting Japan to become an UNSC permanent member. 

46. Both leaders underlined the importance of the sustainable use of marine living resources including cetaceans. The Vietnamese side informed that it was actively considering and proceeding with necessary procedures towards early joining the International Whaling Commission (IWC).”


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