HomeDiplomacyJapan, Vietnam agree to deepen security cooperation amid China's rise

Japan, Vietnam agree to deepen security cooperation amid China’s rise

Japan, Vietnam agree to deepen security cooperation amid China’s rise

TOKYO (Kyodo News) – Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Vietnamese President Vo Van Thuong agreed Monday to deepen maritime security cooperation between the two nations in the face of China’s growing military assertiveness in the Asia-Pacific region.

During their talks at the prime minister’s office in Tokyo, Kishida and Thuong confirmed they will continue to prepare for the success of a special summit involving ASEAN leaders, which Japan will host next month to mark 50 years of their friendship and cooperation.

READ MORE : Taiwan envoy says he’s hopeful Biden-Xi meeting will reduce tensions in the Asia-Pacific region

Kishida and Thuong also reaffirmed their commitment to expanding bilateral collaboration on various issues, including the economy and cultural exchanges, as this year also commemorates half a century of the establishment of Japan-Vietnam diplomatic relations.

Japan has been seeking to capitalize on economic growth in Asia by bolstering ties with developing and emerging countries called the “Global South,” such as Vietnam and other ASEAN members while trying to counter China’s increasing influence in the region.

Vietnam, along with other member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, has overlapping territorial claims with Beijing in the strategically important South China Sea. China claims a significant portion of this region, home to some of the world’s busiest sea lanes.

Meanwhile, Japan has been at odds with China over the Tokyo-controlled, Beijing-claimed Senkaku Islands. Chinese coast guard vessels have repeatedly entered Japanese territorial waters around the uninhabited islets, which Beijing calls Diaoyu.

With China apparently in mind, Japan has launched a new program to offer defense equipment to like-minded countries, called official security assistance, or OSA, earmarking 2 billion yen ($13 million) for the fiscal year through March 2024.

On Monday, Kishida and Thuong agreed that Japan and Vietnam will start discussions about the application of the program.

Kishida is slated to host the Japan-ASEAN special summit for three days from Dec. 16. The 10-member ASEAN comprises Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Thuong is on a four-day trip to Japan through Thursday. It is his first visit to the nation since becoming the president in March.

Follow Us: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Youtube |