To further develop the Vietnam-Japan relationship

The relationship between Vietnam and Japan has had a solid foundation and has been continuously strengthened over the past 45 years. That relationship is not only the relationship between the two governments, between ministries and branches at the central level, but also spread to localities, businesses and people of the two countries.

Former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, former Ambassador of Vietnam to Japan Nguyen Quoc Cuong emphasized the above in an interview ahead of the new Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide's trip to Vietnam.

Political trust between the two countries is constantly being strengthened

Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide officially visited Vietnam on October 18. This is the first foreign visit by Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide since he took office, just as previous Prime Minister Abe Shinzo chose Vietnam as his first destination when he returned as Prime Minister in 2012. How do you rate this event?

Mr. Nguyen Quoc Cuong: I think this is an interesting coincidence when Mr. Suga Yoshihide decided to choose Vietnam as the first country he visited after a month after taking office as Prime Minister of Japan. Previously, Mr. Abe Shinzo also chose Vietnam as the first country to visit in January 2013, which is also within a month of coming to power. This interesting coincidence reflects that the relationship between Vietnam and Japan is getting closer than ever.

This closeness and similarity not only exists in the bilateral relationship between Vietnam and Japan, but is also reflected at the regional and international level when the two countries share their interests and stances. common on many important international issues such as issues of regional security, trade and investment liberalization, regional and international economic integration ...

Therefore, the new Prime Minister of Japan, Suga Yoshihide, chose Vietnam and then Indonesia on his first overseas trip, is not simply a coincidence, but in my opinion, there is a careful calculation. dual.

Firstly, the new Prime Minister of Japan wants to affirm his determination to further deepen the extensive strategic partnership between Vietnam and Japan in all fields, especially in economics, trade and investment. countries are both responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and are actively preparing for the post-COVID-19 period. We all know that the Japanese Government is making policies to diversify production supply sources, in which Vietnam and Southeast Asia are also the location that many Japanese enterprises are currently aiming for.

Second, the visit is also an opportunity for the new Government of Japan to affirm its continued importance of the role of Southeast Asia, of ASEAN and Vietnam in its foreign policy in general as well as in the policy of connecting Thailand. The Pacific-Indian Ocean that Japan has raised from 2007 up to now. Vietnam is currently the President of ASEAN and is also a non-permanent member of the Security Council of the United Nations. Therefore, Vietnam will be an ideal place for the new Prime Minister of Japan to assert its policy towards the region, affirm that Japan continues to attach importance to ASEAN's central role in regional security structures and also. Hopefully the new Prime Minister of Japan will introduce new policy measures to strengthen Japan-ASEAN relations and support connectivity initiatives within ASEAN in general, in the Mekong sub-region in particular, to prepare for the Japan's participation in the ASEAN Summit, East Asia Summit (EAS) and other related conferences next November.

Great opportunity for Vietnam to attract investment from Japan

When translating COVID-19 is still happening complicatedly around the world, according to him, how will the Japanese investment shift policy of "post-COVID-19" will be and how it will affect Vietnam. At the same time, what policies do ministries, branches and localities need to have to catch this opportunity, sir?

Mr. Nguyen Quoc Cuong: I am very attentive to the fact that Japan publicly announced its policy of diversifying production sources to support production and business enterprises. The recent COVID pandemic startled many countries to see that their global supply chains are increasingly dependent on one country and if there is a problem in that country or in international relations, the supply chain. will be delayed globally. This requires countries, including Japan, to review and come up with policies to diversify global supply chains. The Japanese Government has introduced specific policies to encourage Japanese enterprises to diversify their production sources, one is to return to Japan, the second is to expand production in other countries. different regions. According to the recent announcement by Jetro, out of 30 companies registering to diversify the supply chain, up to 15 companies choose Vietnam. I think the number of Japanese companies that want to choose Vietnam and other Southeast Asian countries will increase even more in the near future. This is a positive signal, also a great opportunity for us and requires the drastic participation of the Government, ministries and branches at the central level, as well as at all levels of local authorities and Vietnamese businesses themselves. Men also need to be active and proactive in taking advantage of this opportunity.

I remember, when I was Ambassador to Japan (term 2015-2018), Nidec - a large corporation specializing in manufacturing high-tech motor products of Japan invested more than 500 million USD to build 7 factory in HCMC. At that time, the Chairman wanted to further expand the production scale in the region and was wondering whether to choose Vietnam or Indonesia. Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc knew the story and during his official visit to Japan in June 2016, despite the very busy schedule, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc personally went to the group's headquarters in the Kansai region to discuss with the Group's Chairman and Board of Directors. Prime Minister has pledged to direct ministries, branches and Hanoi city to create all favorable conditions for Nidec Group. After the visit, the Prime Minister continued to drastically direct this issue. As a result, Nidec Group has agreed to expand the second phase investment with initial capital from 200 to 500 million USD in Lang-Hoa Lac High-Tech Park. The drastic and active participation in from the highest leader of the Government to the ministries, branches and localities is very important. Obviously, we need to stick to each business, each corporation to find out their needs and desires to have the right will.

Some experts believe that Japan's Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide's visit reflects a continuation of the foreign policy and legacy of former Prime Minister Abe Shinzo. Please analyze this more carefully!

Mr. Nguyen Quoc Cuong: New Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide, when he took office, announced he would continue the domestic and foreign policy of former Prime Minister Abe Shinzo. Mr. Suga Yoshihide emphasized maintaining, improving and developing relations with neighboring countries, including Southeast Asian countries. By itself, this trip to Southeast Asia when choosing Vietnam as the first country is also a very clear signal of Japan's foreign policy. The new Prime Minister also emphasized continuing the strategy of connecting the Pacific - the Indian Ocean freely and openly. Basically, I think, the foreign policy of Japan in the coming time will be a connection with the foreign policies of former Prime Minister Abe Shinzo that has implemented in the past time. I understand that each Prime Minister has different strengths, but the policy is not only the Prime Minister's but the policy of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party. This trip shows that the new Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide attaches great importance to the role of Vietnam and ASEAN.

A close and loyal relationship is growing

What do you expect from the new Prime Minister's visit to Vietnam on this occasion?

Mr. Nguyen Quoc Cuong: I have a lot of expectations on this trip of the new Prime Minister of Japan. I know that both sides are well prepared for the trip. Recently I read on the Government Portal about the meeting with the Japanese Ambassador to Vietnam, the Minister, Chairman of the Government Office Mai Tien Dung said that Vietnam will do its best to ensure the trip. The visit of the new Prime Minister of Japan to Vietnam was successful. To be sure, both Japan and Vietnam want and do their best to make Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide's first visit to have many positive results.

When he was Minister of the Interior and Communications, Mr. Suga Yoshihide visited Vietnam in 2013. Now that it has been more than 7 years, you will surely have a chance to see firsthand the rapid changes of Vietnam in those 7 years, with many new projects inaugurated thanks to the efficient use of Japan's ODA. such as the expanded Noi Bai airport, Nhat Tan bridge and recently inaugurated bridge leading over Linh Dam Lake and branch connecting ring road 3 overhead ...

This is also an opportunity for leaders of the two countries to get acquainted and strengthen their political trust, and is also an important foundation for the leaders of the two countries to make decisions to further strengthen the substantive and effective relationship. between two countries. We all know that the close relationship between Prime Minister Abe Shinzo and former Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc as well as with other senior leaders of Vietnam is an important catalyst for the strengthening of the bilateral relationship. over the years. I also hope that through this visit, the friendly and trustworthy relationship between the leaders of the two countries will continue and develop further.

I think economics, trade and investment will definitely be a focus of the visit. We look forward to important agreements between leaders of the two countries, relevant ministries and agencies and especially between businesses of the two countries in the coming time, be it during or after the visit.

Strengthening coordination and mutual support in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and preparatory steps for the post-rabies epidemic such as resuming trade, travel and exchange among people, international students, and interns and businesses of the two countries can also be a topic of discussion and it is hoped that specific agreements will be reached.

Another important outcome that I envision will be the agreement to strengthen coordination and mutual support in international and regional issues, and in the East Sea issue. Japan will likely affirm its strong support for Vietnam to successfully organize the ASEAN Summit, East Asia Summit (EAS) and other related conferences next month, supporting Vietnam. Nam continued to successfully assume the role of a non-permanent member of the Security Council of the United Nations.

With the above-mentioned contents, I firmly believe that the first visit to Vietnam of the new Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide will be very successful, so that the Prime Minister of Japan will have unforgettable impressions of hospitality and hospitality. the sincere feelings of Vietnamese leaders and people.

As the Ambassador who has been attached to the country, people and people of Japan, has been to and worked with many localities of the country "Sunrise", please tell us what makes the relationship between the two countries faithful. sticking and growing more and more, sir?

Mr. Nguyen Quoc Cuong: During my time as Vietnam Ambassador to Japan I had the opportunity to visit all 47 provinces and cities of Japan, perhaps the first Ambassador to Japan of Vietnam to do so to learn about the demand. development demand of Japanese localities, increasing investment promotion between the two sides. Through those trips, I found that local leaders and Japanese people have a very close connection with Vietnam.

That close-knit relationship is first shown in the development of a comprehensive and mutually beneficial cooperation relationship between Vietnam and Japan, which is a consistent policy of both sides. In Japan there are many different parties, the ruling party and the opposition parties often have conflicting opinions in many domestic and foreign policies, but they all support the policy of strengthening relations with Vietnam.

The bilateral relationship has a solid foundation and has been continuously strengthened. These are the achievements of strong and effective relationship development over the past 45 years as I have analyzed above. That relationship is not only the relationship between the two governments, between ministries and branches at the central level, but has spread to localities, people and businesses of the two countries.

Second, the cultural similarities as well as the increasingly close exchanges between the two peoples' people play an important role for the two countries to become closer and closer. With the increasing number of Vietnamese international students and trainees, larger than the number of international students and interns from 9 other ASEAN countries combined in Japan, Vietnam will be the only country in Southeast Asia with a large number of The number of people, especially the young generation, knows Japanese, understands Japanese culture, has many friends and loves the country and the people of Japan. This is an invaluable source of assets contributing to strengthening the relations between the two countries, not only in the present period but also for many decades to come.

Third and in my opinion is also the most important point that makes the relationship of the two countries increasingly close and deepened is the parallel of interests.

Japanese leaders repeatedly affirmed that a stable and prosperous Vietnam is in line with Japan's interests. Japan also attaches great importance to the role and position of Vietnam in the region and in the international arena. In the vision of connecting the Pacific with the free and open Indian Ocean, promoting regional economic links as well as ensuring maritime and aviation security and safety in the region, Vietnam in particular and Southeast Asia in general has a very important geopolitical position because two-thirds of Japan's raw material supplies pass through the Pacific.

With Vietnam, Japan has always been our top important partner. Japan has been and continues to provide effective support to Vietnam throughout the process of national reform, renewal and development. Japan is the first G7 country that has recognized a market economy for Vietnam, is the first G7 country to invite the Prime Minister of Vietnam to attend the G7 Open (May 2016), inviting the Prime Minister to attend. G20 Conference (2019). Japan is also the first G7 country to invite General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong to officially visit Japan ... Japan has always supported Vietnam's correct stance in many international and regional issues, including the Sea issue. Bronze.

For its part, Vietnam also supported Japan to continue to play a constructive role in maintaining regional and international stability, peace and development, including Japan's becoming a Permanent Member of the Council. Secure the United Nations when it comes to reform.

The two countries also complement each other very effectively. Japan is a developed industrial country with high technology capital that Vietnam needs for its development. In contrast, Vietnam has the advantage of human resources in cooperation with Japan. Hopefully, through this trip, there will be agreements for the two countries to restore trade, tourism, and cooperation in education and labor after the recent COVID-19 epidemic as well as further promote bilateral relations in the past. next.

Sincerely thank you!

According to Kieu Lien /

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