Vietnam and Japan: A Strong Bond Through Empathy and Cooperation

"Vietnam and Japan have a deep connection that is built on empathy and mutual understanding." This sentiment was echoed in the discussions and presentations during an international seminar titled "Vietnam - Japan Relations: 50 years of reflection and a new vision for future development".

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An international seminar was held in Hanoi on January 18, reviewing the 50-year relations between Vietnam and Japan and putting forth visions and new orientations to strengthen the bilateral ties, as reported by VNA.

The event was jointly organized by the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics (HCMA) and the Japanese Embassy in Vietnam. It is part of the activities to celebrate the 50th founding anniversary of the Vietnam – Japan diplomatic ties (1973 – 2023).

Nguyen Xuan Thang, HCMA President and Chairman of the Central Theory Council, speaking at the event. Photo: HCMA

In his speech, Nguyen Xuan Thang, HCMA President and Chairman of the Central Theory Council, highlighted the enduring relations between the two nations, which are built on cultural and historical similarities, as well as the affinity between the people of Vietnam and Japan.

He emphasized that the Vietnam – Japan relationship is a testament to the persistent efforts and determination to overcome difficulties and challenges. It has paved the way for a good model of a relationship with increasing shared interests, comprehensive cooperation, and deepened strategic trust.

Starting with the Investment Agreement signed in 2003, the two countries upgraded it to an economic partnership agreement just five years later. This move provided a solid legal foundation for promoting extensive cooperation across various fields.

In 2009, Japan became the first G7 country to establish a strategic partnership with Vietnam. Five years later, they elevated their relations to an extensive strategic partnership for peace and prosperity in Asia.

In November 2023, the two countries issued a joint statement, elevating their relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership for peace and prosperity in Asia and the world. This marked the beginning of a new stage of development in the bilateral relations.

Thang expressed his belief that the Vietnam – Japan relations will continue to grow stronger, deeper, and more comprehensive in the future.

Japanese Ambassador to Vietnam Yamada Takio speaking at the event. Photo: HCMA

Japanese Ambassador to Vietnam Yamada Takio highlighted the special ties between Japan and Vietnam, which were formed based on historical and cultural connections. He emphasized that the bilateral relations are now in the best stage ever and are becoming increasingly close. Preserving and deepening this bond is a solid foundation for further elevating the relationship.

The conference consisted of two sessions featuring speeches and presentations focusing on three main content groups:

  1. The new context affecting Vietnam – Japan relations
  2. Vietnam – Japan relations in the fields of politics, diplomacy, strategic security, and multilateral mechanisms
  3. The bilateral relations in the economic field and other sectors

During the event, domestic and foreign scholars analyzed and discussed the regional and international context influencing Vietnam – Japan bilateral relations, the need for cooperation, and the two countries’ positions in each other’s foreign and economic policies. They also showcased achievements in cooperation across various fields since the establishment of diplomatic relations 50 years ago.

The participants identified new opportunities and challenges for Vietnam – Japan relations in the future and proposed practical solutions to promote relations between the two countries in all aspects.

Participants proposing practical recommendations and solutions to realize the visions and development orientations of the bilateral relations. Photo: HCMA

By summarizing and evaluating the results achieved in Vietnam – Japan relations over the past 50 years, the seminar provided scientific arguments to develop a vision-oriented report and recommendations. The goal is to strengthen relations between the two countries in the future, meeting the needs and interests of each country, and contributing to peace, prosperity, cooperation, and development in the region and the world.

Hannah Nguyen