Kyodo News on October 19 reported that at their talks in Hanoi on October 19, Suga and Phuc affirmed economic cooperation between their countries as well as the importance to ensure regional security.

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Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (second from right) and his Japanese counterpart Suga Yoshihide with their spouses

The Japanese news agency also noted that the two PMs had agreed to resume regular flights between their countries at an early date, and to implement a "business track" that would allow executives and workers to travel without a 14-day quarantine period provided they follow certain COVID-19 precautions.

PM Phuc was quoted as saying he is ready to support Japan’s investment activities in Vietnam, and he is hopeful that bilateral relations will strengthen further.

According to Kyodo News, Japan is looking to diversify its supply chains to mitigate risks brought to light by the COVID-19 crisis.

The Japanese government is handing out subsidies to firms that move production to Southeast Asia. Of the 30 firms chosen so far to receive the subsidies, ranging from manufacturers of medical gowns and disinfectant wipes to car engine parts, half are planning to set up in Vietnam.

Meanwhile, NHK Television reported that PM Suga and his Vietnamese counterpart discussed bilateral ties and regional issues during their meeting in Hanoi on October 19,.

They also confirmed that the two sides will promote economic ties.

Amid the continuing coronavirus pandemic, they agreed to strengthen mutual supply chains to promote a steady supply of masks and other items to Japan, resume business people's short-term visits and flights between the two countries, and support Vietnamese students and vocational trainees struggling to make ends meet in Japan.

Regarding East Sea-related issues, the two Government leaders reiterated the importance of resolving disputes through peaceful means, rather than force, in order to secure peace and stability and freedom of navigation.

In another article titled “Suga pledges to help ASEAN establish rule of law,” NKH said Suga affirms Japan will step up support for ASEAN member nations to establish the rule of law in the region.

In his speech at the Vietnam – Japan University in Hanoi, Suga emphasized that Japan and ASEAN can together create a peaceful and prosperous future, saying that Japan's initiative on a Free and Open Indo-Pacific, and ASEAN's initiative – the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific, share much in common.

The PM also stressed that Japan will promote economic cooperation with ASEAN countries, including help in building high-quality infrastructure, strengthening supply chains and creating international rules for data utilization, NHK added.

PM Suga has selected Vietnam and Indonesia for his first trip overseas as Prime Minister of Japan, which reflects priorities in his foreign policy.

Source: VNA