This is the first important activity implemented under the initiative of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on oganising the ASEAN-Japan Day in Vietnam to enhance mutual understanding and deepen comprehensive relations between the two sides in all areas.
Japan has been the ASEAN's partner since 1973, and elevated its relation to strategic partnership with the ASEAN in 2003. It is currently the fourth largest trading partner, the second largest investor in the ASEAN, and the leading ODA development support provider for many countries in the region.
Addressing the conference, Minister and Chairman of the Government Office Mai Tien Dung said that as the co-ordinator of ASEAN-Japanese relations in 2018-2021, “Vietnam will strive to be an effective bridge between the ASEAN and Japan, expecting to receive active support from Japan and ASEAN countries to promote peace, stability, and prosperity for both the ASEAN and Japan," said Dung.
Dung also stressed that Vietnam highly appreciates Japan's contribution to the negotiations for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) over the past time and expressed hope that Japan would continue to work closely with the ASEAN to drive the negotiations into harbour in 2019, as proposed by senior ASEAN leaders. "Vietnam wants Japan to continue to support ASEAN countries to develop hi-tech industries and more effectively exploit the ASEAN-Japan Free Trade Agreement."
Meanwhile, Norikazu Suzuki, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, said co-operation between the ASEAN and Japan have been deepening every year. “This event is very timely, as it promotes a wide range of co-operation between the ASEAN and Japan toward the 50th Anniversary of Friendship and Co-operation in 2023.”
According to Suzuki, the sessions of the event will revolve around the themes of politics, security, and economic affairs; hi-tech agriculture; as well as smart cities and ageing society. “These themes go along with the four pillars and represent the priorities of our country co-ordinator Vietnam, last year’s ASEAN chair Singapore, and this year’s Chair Thailand.”
In the framework of the symposium, representatives also visited a photo exhibition on ASEAN-Japanese co-operation.
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