Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe' s visit to Vietnam marked a milestone in boosting the Vietnam- Japan Strategic Partnership amid complicated situation in the Asia- Pacific region, Vietnamese premier Nguyen Tan Dung said on Wednesday.
Japan has attached importance to the strategic partnership with Vietnam, and wants to further develop it for peace and prosperity in Asia, Abe said during talks with Nguyen Tan Dung in Hanoi on Wednesday afternoon.
Abe pledged support to Vietnam in realizing national industrialization by 2020, saying Japan will extend a new package of 500 million U.S. dollar loan from the Official Development Assistance (ODA) to three infrastructure projects in Vietnam.
Vietnam is one of the key partners of Japan as the two countries share the same challenges in the region and can support each other in economic development, Abe told a joint press conference with Nguyen.
Vietnam is grateful to the Japanese government for providing a huge amount of Official Development Assistance to Vietnam in the past 20 years, said Nguyen, hoping that Japan will increase the ODA commitment to Vietnam.
During their talks, the two leaders agreed to strengthen cooperation on regional and international issues of common concern and shared a view that all disputes among countries should be solved on the basis of international laws through peaceful means to maintain peace, stability, cooperation and prosperity throughout the region and world.
Abe also met with General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee Nguyen Phu Trong and President Truong Tan Sang respectively.
The ruling Vietnamese communist party and government consistently attach importance to, and constantly develop the relations and strategic partnership with Japan for the interest of the two peoples, and for peace, stability and prosperity in the region and the world, said the Vietnamese party leader.
Vietnam and Japan established diplomatic ties in 1973 and raised their relationship to the Strategic Partnership in 2006.
Japan remains Vietnam's leading economic partner and was the first G7 country to recognize Vietnam's market economy status in 2011.
Japan is also the largest foreign direct investor in Vietnam, the biggest Official Development Assistance donor to Vietnam, and the third biggest trade partner of the country.
As of November 2012, Japan has invested in 1,827 projects in Vietnam, with a total registered capital of 29.14 billion U.S. dollars.
In fiscal year 2012-2013, Japan pledged to grant ODA worth 2.6 billion U.S. dollars to Vietnam.
In 2012, the two-way trade reached nearly 25 billion U.S. dollars against 21 billion dollars in 2011, and is expected to increase to 30 billion dollars in 2013.
Vietnam and Japan made 2013 the Vietnam-Japan Friendship Year to mark the 40th anniversary of their diplomatic ties.
Vietnam is the first leg of Abe's official visit to three Southeast Asian countries, namely Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia.
"I want to strengthen relations with these countries as they have huge potentials for development," said Abe in an interview with Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK) before departure for his first overseas tour since he took office in late December last year.