Vietnam considers Japan top economic partner: vice president

by Aug 4, 2023Featured Article, News

Vietnam considers Japan its top economic partner and appreciates its official development assistance, the biggest among those provided to the Southeast Asian nation by developed countries, Vietnamese Vice President Vo Thi Anh Xuan said Thursday.

Xuan, in an exclusive interview with Kyodo News, attributed the remarkable development of Vietnam-Japan ties to the frequent visits of their leaders. This year marks the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

“Vietnam has always considered Japan its top strategic partner, and in terms of bilateral economic cooperation, Vietnam also considers Japan its top economic partner,” she said.

“Even during hard times, the two sides have found ways to conduct regular exchanges, both officially or unofficially,” helping Vietnam and Japan strengthen relations, Xuan said, referring to the time of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida visited Hanoi in May last year and held talks with his Vietnamese counterpart Pham Minh Chinh. This year, Chinh met Kishida in Hiroshima, Japan’s western city, in May on the sidelines of the Group of Seven summit.

At their meeting in Hiroshima, Japan pledged to provide ODA worth around 60.98 billion yen ($440 million) to fund Vietnam’s infrastructure projects.

Xuan, who has held the post of vice president since 2021 and served as acting president early this year, also stressed the importance of enhancing people-to-people exchanges, adding that she expects more Japanese tourists to visit the country as their number dropped during the pandemic.

The interview was conducted by Toru Mizutani, president of Kyodo News.