Tokyo says a new agreement raises the defense partnership between Japan and Vietnam to a ‘new level’.
Japan and Vietnam have agreed to strengthen cooperation amid concerns over China’s growing military influence, with a new agreement enabling the export of Japanese manufacturing equipment and technology to Hanoi.
Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi said the agreement, signed on Saturday, raised the two countries’ defense partnerships’ to a new level ‘and that Japan and Vietnam plan to deepen defense ties through multinational joint exercises. and other ways.
Details of the transfer of specific equipment, including naval vessels, will be worked out in subsequent talks, the Japanese Ministry of Defense said in a statement.
Kishi’s meeting with his Vietnamese counterpart, Phan Van Giang, in Hanoi coincided with a two-day visit to the Vietnamese capital by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
The Chinese diplomat concluded his visit by saying that Beijing intends to donate three million doses of its coronavirus vaccine to Vietnam. He also said that China and Vietnam should refrain from any unilateral action against the South China Sea that could complicate the situation and widen differences of opinion.
Vietnam has territorial disputes with China over the Spratly and Paracel archipelagos in the South China Sea.
In a veiled reference to China’s increasingly confident actions in the disputed waters, the Japanese Ministry of Defense said that Kishi and Giang agreed on the importance of maintaining freedom of navigation and flight in the Indo-Pacific region. , as well as cooperation in various defense areas, including cyber security.
The ministry said Kishi expressed Japan’s strong opposition to “any one-sided attempts to change the status quo through coercion or activities that increase tensions”.
Japan and China are also embroiled in a territorial dispute, while Tokyo regularly protests against the presence of the Chinese coastguard in the East China Sea near the Japanese Senkaku Islands, which Beijing also claims and calls Diaoyu. Japanese officials say Chinese vessels regularly violate Japanese territorial waters around the islands and sometimes threaten fishing boats.
Vietnam is the 11th country with which Japan has signed an agreement with defense equipment and technology transfer.
Tokyo wants to expand military cooperation to its longtime ally in the United States, and has signed similar agreements with the United Kingdom, Australia, the Philippines and Indonesia.