Fri 21 Mar, 2014 10:14 pm
VN leader in Japan on state visit
Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang and his wife is in Tokyo on state visit at the invitation of Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko.
Sang and his entourage were warmly welcomed by members of the Japanese House of Representatives, Deputy Foreign Minister Hirotaka Ishihara and Vietnamese Ambassador to Japan Doan Xuan Hung, among others.
Yesterday, the leader met with the governor of Ibaraki prefecture and visited several agricultural research, machinery manufacturing and flower processing facilities in the locality.
Sang's first state-level visit to Japan will last until tomorrow. He and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plan to discuss ways to expand co-operation in economics, politics, security, agriculture and culture, lifting bilateral ties to new heights.
Minister-Counsellor of the Japanese Embassy Hideo Suzuki described Sang's visit as an important political event as both the region and world change rapidly.
Vietnam and Japan have seen their relationship develop significantly in recent years. Japan was the first country in the Group of Seven to welcome the Vietnamese Party general-secretary to Japan in 1995, establish a strategic partnership with Vietnam in 2009 and recognise Vietnam's market economy in 2011.
Japan remains the leading ODA donor to Vietnam. The East Asian country provided ?2.1 trillion (Bt676.5 billion) in ODA from 1992 to 2012 and US$1.55 billion (Bt50 billion) in 2013 alone.
Last year, the country was Vietnam's fourth-largest trade partner, with two-way trade hitting $25.16 billion, of which Vietnam earned $13.5 billion from selling mainly seafood, crude oil, garments and coal.
Japan was Vietnam's leading investor, with capital totalling $5.7 billion in 2013. As of last December, it had 2,166 valid FDI projects in Vietnam with total registered capital of $34.7 billion. The two countries have also worked together in the fields of culture, sports, tourism, education and science and technology.