The talks took place within the framework of Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh’s official visit to Japan.

At the talks, the two ministers agreed that based on the Memorandum of Understanding on bilateral defense cooperation and exchange signed in October 2011 and the Joint Vision Statement on Vietnam - Japan Defense Relations with vision towards the upcoming decade inked by the two defense ministries in April 2018, the two sides have closely collaborated and strengthened the bilateral defense ties in a comprehensive, pragmatic, effective manner and in line with the two countries’ extensive strategic partnership, despite the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Defense Minister General Phan Van Giang (left) and his Japanese counterpart Kishi Nobuo
The two sides at the talks

The two officials exchanged views on regional and global situations of common concern and emphasized the importance of freedom of navigation and overflight in the face of the complicated developments in the region and the world.

They stressed the importance of respecting international law, including the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) 1982, in solving disagreements among parties concerned in disputed waters such as the East Sea (South China Sea) and the East China Sea. They also voiced their wish that parties concerned would exercise restraint, not to use force or threaten to use force, and address disputes by peaceful means on the basis of international law.

In the coming time, the two defense ministers will direct their relevant agencies to actively implement agreements reached by the two defense leaders in the past, including the agreement on transferring defense equipment and defense technology signed in September 2021 and two MoUs on cooperation in military medicine and cyber security signed by the two defense ministries this time.

Both Minister Giang and his Japanese counterpart were unanimous in assigning the two sides’ functional bodies to work closely and consult with each other at multilateral cooperation mechanisms and forums, such as ASEAN Defense Minister’s Meeting Plus (ADMM+), and ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF).

The Vietnamese defense minister showed his support for the Japanese Ministry of Defense’s proposal on organizing an informal meeting of Defense Ministers of ASEAN and Japan. He voiced his support for Japan’s active participation in multilateral defense cooperation mechanisms in which ASEAN plays a central role, contributing to regional and global peace, stability, cooperation and development. He also noted that Vietnam and Japan co-chair meetings of the Experts’ Working Group on U.N. Peacekeeping Operations, fourth cycle, for the 2021-2023 period, within the framework of ADMM+.

General Giang hailed two Japan-initiated Japan - ASEAN cooperation programs on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief and on improving cyber security capacity. He suggested the Japanese side continue to consult with other ASEAN member states on organizing such programs in the time ahead.

The two highly valued the outcomes of the eighth defense policy dialogue at the deputy ministerial-level held earlier, and agreed to task their affiliates to effectively carry out agreed contents, making practical contribution to consolidating the bilateral defense cooperation in the new development period.

After the talks, the two ministers witnessed the signing of MoUs on cooperation in military medicine and cyber security between the two defense ministries.

Also in Japan, Defense Minister General Phan Van Giang received General Yamazaki Koji, Chief of Staff, Joint Staff of the Japan Self-Defense Forces.

Translated by Mai Huong