Tokyo says new deal elevates Japan-Vietnam defence partnership to a ‘new level’.
Japan and Vietnam have agreed to step up cooperation amid worries about China’s growing military influence, inking a new deal that enables the export of Japanese-made defence equipment and technology to Hanoi.
Japan’s Defence Minister Nobuo Kishi said the deal, signed on Saturday, elevates the two countries’ defence partnership “to a new level” and that Japan and Vietnam plan to deepen defence ties through multinational joint exercises and other means.
Details about the transfer of specific equipment, including naval vessels, will be worked out in subsequent talks, the Japanese defence ministry said in a statement.
Kishi’s meeting with his Vietnamese counterpart, Phan Van Giang, in Hanoi coincided with a two-day visit to the Vietnamese capital by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
The Chinese diplomat wrapped up his visit by saying Beijing plans to donate three million doses of its coronavirus vaccine to Vietnam. He also said China and Vietnam should refrain from any unilateral actions regarding the South China Sea that could complicate the situation and magnify disagreements.
Vietnam has territorial disputes with China over the Spratly and Paracel island groups in the South China Sea.
In a veiled reference to China’s increasingly assertive actions in the disputed waters, Japan’s D