Japan and Vietnam announced plans to boost trade and economic ties, while also calling for an end to the war in Ukraine, Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said during a tour of Southeast Asian nations.
“We’ll strengthen bilateral ties in order to put the economies of both nations back on a clear recovery path in the wake of the coronavirus,” Kishida told reporters in Hanoi after meeting with his counterpart, Vietnam Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh.
Chinh said the two “agreed to boost cooperation in post-pandemic trade, strengthen supply chains and energy transition, in accordance with mutual interests.”
Japan provides more development aid to Vietnam than any other country, and is Vietnam’s third-largest source of foreign direct investment. Bilateral trade rose 8.4% last year to $42.9 billion, according to Vietnam customs data.
Kishida and Chinh said they discussed regional responses to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and to disputes in the South China Sea, where China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei have competing territorial claims.
“We agreed that any change in the status quo by force cannot be recognized,” Kishida said, referring to the Ukraine crisis. “We agreed on the need for the war to end immediately.”
Kishida said he and Chinh “also agreed to strongly oppose any attempts to change the status quo by force in the South China Sea.”
Chinh announced Vietnam’s donation of $500,000 for humanitarian aid to Ukraine via international organizations.
He said Vietnam expects to begin exporting longan fruit to Japan in September, followed by other produce such as grapefruit, avocado and rambutan, while opening its market for Japanese grapes.
Kishida said Japan will support Vietnam’s transitioning energy towards sources such as biomass, hydrogen and ammonia. Vietnam has committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2050.
- Reuters, with editing by Neal McGrath