1. Date of establishment of diplomatic relations with Vietnam: 21/09/1973

    - In 1975, Japan set up its Embassy in Hanoi and in 1976 Vietnam's Embassy was established in Tokyo. The two sides signed an agreement on payment of war compensation of JPY 13.5 billion (approx. US$ 49 million) as non – refundable aid from the Japanese Government to Vietnam.
    - Now, the economic, political, cultural relations are continuously extended; mutual understanding and trust between two countries are significantly improved.
    Political Relations:
    Every year, the two countries exchange high- level visits:
    The Prime Minister of Japan visited Vietnam 5 times: Prime Minister  Murayama (8/1994), Prime Minister Hashimoto (1/1997), Prime Minister Obuchi (12/1998), Prime Minister Koizumi (4/2002) and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (11/2006). In October 2004, Prime Minister Koizumi attended the ASEM 5 Summit in Hanoi and Prime Minister Abe visited Vietnam and attended APEC Summit in 11/2006. Japanese Prince Akishino visited Vietnam in June 1999.
     From the Vietnamese side, CPV General Secretary Do Muoi visited Japan in 1995, General Secretary Nong Duc Manh in October 2002 and Prime Minister Vo Van Kiet in April 1993. Prime Minister Phan Van Khai officially visited Japan in 1999 and paid working visits to Japan in 2001, April 2003, December 2003, July 2004 and transited Japan in July 2005. In October 2006, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dzung paid an official visit to Japan.
    In 2002, leaders of the two countries agreed to promote Vietnam – Japan relations in accordance with guideline “ensuring partnership, long stable”. During the visit to Vietnam of the Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs in July, 2004, two sides signed the Joint Statement “Toward a Higher Sphere of Enduring Partnership". In October 2006, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dzung paid an official visit to Japan and started a new period “Toward a Strategic Partnership for Peace and Prosperity in Asia”.
    The two sides set up a multi - level dialogue regime. Apart from the regular political dialogues between the Foreign Ministers (since July 2004), and Deputy Foreign Minister (since 1993), the two sides also agreed to hold annual dialogues on economy, security and defense. Diplomatic – Defense dialogues at the department level started from January 2001. The two sides exchanged military attachés and opened General Consulates in Ho Chi Minh City and Osaka (March, 1997). In May, 2007, the two sides established the Vietnam-Japan Cooperation Committee, its co-chairs are the two Ministers of Foreign Affairs from both countries. The first meeting was organized on the occasion of the official visit to Japan by Deputy Prime Minister – Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Gia Khiem (May 22-26, 2007).  
    The Japanese Government conferred Japanese highest decoration for foreigners - the “Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun” on former Prime Minister Phan Van Khai (November, 2006) and former Deputy Prime Minister Vu Khoan (May, 2007).
    Japan supports Vietnam’s renovation policy and its integration into the  region and the world by providing assistance???? helped Vietnam join APEC, WTO, ASEM, and ARF; campaigned for the OECD’s technical aids to Vietnam).  The two sides support each other at important international forums, including the United Nations.  
    Economic relations: Japan is one of the most important economic partners of Vietnam.
    • Each of the two countries has applied the most-favored nation status to each other since 1999. The main export products of Vietnam to Japan are seafood, textile, crude oil, electric cables and furniture. The main Japanese products exported to Vietnam are machinery, steel, electronics, motorbikes, textile material and leather.
    • The two sides aim to raise the total bilateral trade volume to US$ 15 billion in 2010.
    • From January 2007 the two countries have begun official negotiations on the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).
    Foreign Direct Investment:
    • By March, 2007, there had been 767 Japanese investment projects in effect in Vietnam with the total registered capital up to US$ 7.8 billion, and Japan is the fourth largest investor in Vietnam. In 2006 alone, Japanese investors invested 1.34 billion USD into Vietnam through 137 new projects and the expansion of the existing 85 projects.
    • The two sides have been actively implementing the second stage of the Vietnam – Japan Joint Initiative on improving the investment environment in Vietnam.
    Official Development Aids (ODA):
    • Japan is the largest donor to Vietnam. From 1992 to 2005, the total Japanese ODA for Vietnam reached about US$ 11 billion, accounting for over 30% of the total committed ODA from the international community to Vietnam; the said amount includes US$ 1.4 billion of non-refundable aids.
     • The two sides agreed that the aids programs of Japan to Vietnam will focus mainly on following five fields: (i) Human Resource Development and Institutional Improvement; (ii) Infrastructure Development (Electricity, Transport etc.); (iii) Agriculture and Rural Development (vi) Education, Health; and (v) Environment. On 2nd July, 2004, Japan announced that its new ODA policy regarding Vietnam would be limited to three targets: (i) promotion of the economic growth, (ii) social-life improvement and (iii) Institutional Improvement.
    Labor cooperation affairs:
    • Japan is a potential market for Vietnamese labors. Since 1992, Vietnam has sent to Japan over 18,000 trainees. In 2004, Vietnam set up its Labor Management Office in Tokyo. On November 11th, 2005, Vietnam promulgated Decision 141/2005/ND-CP on the overseas Vietnamese labor’s management. In 2006, Vietnam sent to Japan 5,360 trainees, a 20% increase as compared  with 2005.
    Cultural – education  cooperation
    Vietnam - Japan cooperation in culture-information field has been intensified and improved. Japan regularly delegates its experts to Vietnam to assist the implementation of projects on the research, preservation and improvement of Vietnamese traditional house all over the country. The two sides established the Vietnam-Japan Expert Committee for preserving Thang Long Imperial Citadel and the Committee’s first meeting was held on March 19th, 2007.
    The two sides also exchange working delegations to perform artistic shows, organize exhibitions, participate in film and cultural Festivals in each other's country.
    On May 22nd 2007, the Vietnamese Government appointed Mr. Sugi Ryotaro – Japan – Vietnam Goodwill Ambassador to be a Vietnam - Japan Special Friendship Ambassador.
    The two sides are preparing for the Vietnam – Japan Culture Exchange Forum in Hanoi, Hue and Ho Chi Minh City in July - August 2007.
    Training – education cooperation:
    The cooperation between the two countries on training and education are developing in many forms and at various levels, national and local levels,  among schools, organizations, and people. Japan is one of the largest donors providing non refundable education – training aids to Vietnam.
    Vietnam has also received many Japanese professors and experts coming to the country for lectures or culture and history research. With the support from the Japanese Government, Vietnam is implementing pilot education of the Japanese language in some junior high schools in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
    Cooperation on tourist exchange: Japan is always one of the top 5 biggest tourist markets for Vietnam. Its visitors account for 10% of the total foreign tourists in Vietnam. The number of Japanese tourists visiting Vietnam in 2004 was 267,210, an increase of 27.4% as against 2003. The Vietnam – Japan Joint Agreement on tourism cooperation (signed on April, 2005) helps attract more Japanese tourists to Vietnam. In 2005, the number of Japanese tourists  increased, reaching 320,605, a 20% increase in comparison with 2004. In 2006, the number was 383,896 and Japan became the third largest tourist market for Vietnam.
    From January 1st, 2004, Vietnam officially and unilaterally exempts the Japanese tourists and businessmen from an entry visa for a 15 day trip, and from July 1st, 2004, exempts the short-term visa to Vietnam for all Japanese passport holders. On March 8th 2005, both sides exchanged Verbal Note to exempt all diplomatic and official passport holders from entry visas for a 90-day trip; the exemption entered into effect from May 1st , 2005.


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