Highlights of Japan-Vietnam agreement.
Japanese Prime Minister (PM) Yoshihide Suga, agreed on October 19, 2020 with the Vietnamese counterpart to step up defence and security cooperation. This is first overseas summit of Japanese PM after taking his office. The agreement has been signed in the light of China’s increasing influence in the region.
- The agreement will allow Japan to export defence equipment and technology to Vietnam.
- Japan has been signing such agreement in recent years to boost ties with Southeast Asia to sustain its own defence industry.
- Through this agreement, both sides seeks to ensure “free and open Indo-Pacific” vision for multilateral economic and security cooperation.
- This will counter China’s growing influence in the region and protect sea lanes in disputed South China Sea region.
Japan – Vietnam Agreement
- Both sides signed more agreements to cooperate in economic fields and on anti-terrorism measures.
- They agreed to ease entry bans and allow short-term business visits.
- They would also be reopening flights between Vietnam and Japan.
- Japan promised to provide support for Vietnamese workers in Japan affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Japan-Vietnam Economic ties
Japan is Vietnam’s one of the top trading partners. They trade between both of them is of USD 28.6 billion. Japan is also Vietnam’s largest overseas aid donor. It has provided USD 23 billion as of 2019. Vietnamese accounts for more than half of the foreign workers as Japan has accepted them utilise them in place of its declining and aging population.
Other steps taken by Japan
Japan also has defence equipment transfer deals with the US, Britain and Malaysia. Vietnam is a 12th partner to have such a deal. Earlier, in August 2020, Japan exported a radar surveillance system to the Philippines. Japan had partially lifted ban on military equipment and technology transfer in 2014 to boost Japan’s defence capability.