The visit took place in the context that the extensive strategic partnership between Vietnam and Japan is seeing strong, comprehensive and substantive development in all spheres, including the growing development in bilateral defense ties in both scale and scope. Since Japan opened the Defense Attaché Office in Vietnam in 1995 and Vietnam opened the Defense Attaché Office in Japan in 1998, the bilateral defense cooperation has been continuously consolidated and strengthened, gradually becoming an important pillar of Vietnam - Japan extensive strategic partnership.

Vietnamese Minister of National Defense Phan Van Giang holding talks with his Japanese counterpart Kishi Nobuo via videoconferencing in June 2021

Based on the Memorandum of Understanding on Bilateral Defense Cooperation and Exchange signed in October 2011 and the Joint Vision Statement on Defense Cooperation towards the Next Decade between the two ministries of defense signed in April 2018, the two sides have worked closely to boost their bilateral defense relations in a practical and effective manner. The two sides have effectively carried out cooperation mechanisms such as the defense policy dialogue at the deputy ministerial level, and consultation for staff officers of the armies, navies and air-forces.

The Japanese side has also actively carried out its capacity-building program through training courses and professional exchanges for staff in such areas as flight safety, aviation medicine, underwater medicine, medevac, information technology, U.N. peacekeeping operations. The Japanese Ministry of Defense supported and effectively coordinated with the Vietnamese counterpart when the Vietnamese side held the position as Chair of the ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting (ADMM) and ADMM Plus during Vietnam’s ASEAN Chairmanship Year 2020. Especially, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the two sides’ military medical experts have exchanged and shared experience in coping with the disease in a timely manner.

While realizing the foreign policy of the 13th National Party Congress, Vietnam always considers Japan a strategic, important and long-term partner, and wishes the two countries to continue to actively enhance their bilateral cooperation in all fields.

At a virtual talks early this June, Defense Minister Phan Van Giang agreed with his Japanese counterpart Kishi Nobuo that the two sides should soon implement bilateral and multilateral defense cooperation contents immediately after the pandemic is controlled, with priority given to exchanges and contacts at all levels, participation in U.N. peacekeeping operations; effective implementation of dialogue mechanisms and consultation for naval, army and air force staff officers; and implementation of capacity-building programs.

Based on achievements in bilateral defense ties in the past, the Vietnam visit of Japanese Minister of Defense Kishi Nobuo is believed to be a success, making active contribution to the two countries’ political trust and development of the bilateral defense cooperation in a more intensive, effective, and substantive manner in line with the interests of each country, and for peace and development in the region and the world.

Translated by Mai Huong