Japan, Vietnam to further strengthen defence cooperation

Hanoi [Vietnam]: Japan’s Defence Minister Takeshi Iwaya and Prime Minister of Vietnam Nguyen Xuan Phuc met here on Saturday and discussed ways to strengthen defence cooperation between the two countries.

Japanese officials told The Japan Times that the two nations would promote exchange programmes for their defence industries while Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force vessels will make port calls in Vietnam.

“Drawing on the results of this visit, Japan would like to strengthen ties with Vietnam and contribute to regional stability and peace,” Iwaya was quoted as saying while addressing the press after the meeting that took place on the last day of his three-day visit to Vietnam.

Last week, Iwaya and his Vietnamese counterpart Ngo Xuan Lich held talks and agreed to seek a peaceful resolution for territorial issues in the South China Sea.

China lays its claims on disputed waters of the Sea which is known for large stocks of fishes and possibly holds large oil and natural gas reserves.

Japan is promoting bilateral and multilateral defence cooperation with the Southeast Asian countries under its defence guidelines to counter China’s growing assertiveness in the region.