Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang on Friday praised Japan’s cooperation to maintain stability in the South China Sea, ahead of his official visit next week to Tokyo.
While speaking to a group of Japanese correspondents in Hanoi, Quang said Vietnam has “shared the perspective with Japan on solving” the South China Sea issue, pointing out that both countries regard “peace, stability and freedom of navigation” as highly important for the disputed waters.
As long-running territorial disputes in the sea have been exacerbated in recent years by China’s building of man-made islands with military installations in its some areas, Japan has increased support for Vietnam and other Southeast Asian countries in improving their maritime security capabilities, such as offering patrol boats to them.
Quang, who will make a five-day visit to Japan from next Tuesday, added that Hanoi and Tokyo have sought to “resolve disputes peacefully based on international law.”
On the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade accord, he said Vietnam will “welcome” other countries to join. Following the U.S. withdrawal, the 11-nation TPP framework was endorsed earlier this year.
Quang said the trade accord will be a major driving force for Vietnam to expand its exports and voiced hope for Japan, the largest economy among the 11 countries, to assist his country in “effectively” implementing the pact.
In 2017, Japan became the biggest foreign investor in Vietnam, with about $9 billion, accounting for 25 percent of the total inflow of foreign direct investment to the Southeast Asian country.
During the five-day visit, Quang is scheduled to meet with Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko, and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.