ASEAN, Japan enjoy “heart-to-heart relationship”, says PM Suga
13:01 | 20/10/2020

VGP – Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide has concluded his three-day official visit to Viet Nam from October 18-20.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide pleasantly walk from the Presidential Palace, where the former hosts official welcome ceremony for the latter, to the Government Office for their summit meeting, Ha Noi, October 19, 2020. Photo: VGP

     >>> Japanese PM Suga arrives in Ha Noi for three-day official visit

Suga chose Viet Nam and Indonesia for his first trip abroad since he became the Prime Minister of Japan.

Speaking to reporters before his departure to Viet Nam, Prime Minister Suga said “Japan as an Indo-Pacific nation will resolutely demonstrate both domestically and overseas the determination it has to contribute to the peace and prosperity of this region.”

He went on to say that “With the leaders of both countries. I believe that ASEAN will be an absolutely critical key and also a partner for realizing the free and open Indo-Pacific that Japan is promoting.”

During his stay in Viet Nam, Prime Minister Suga met with Party General Secretary and State President Nguyen Phu Trong, Chairwoman of the National Assembly Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, and held summit meeting with Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

He also visited President Ho Chi Minh’s Stilt House where the two Prime Ministers also enjoyed a pleasant stroll, and delivered a policy speech at the Viet Nam-Japan University (VJU) - which is a symbol of the Viet Nam-Japan extensive strategic partnership.

At the press briefing following the summit meeting with Prime Minister Phuc, Prime Minister Suga said Viet Nam plays a key role in realizing the Free and Open Indo-Pacific strategy advocated by Japan.

In his speech at the VJU, Suga said ASEAN and Japan are “equal partners and friends” and the ASEAN-Japan relationship remains exactly a “heart-to-heart” relationship.

He express his belief that ASEAN and Japan fully share fundamental principles such as the rule of law, openness, freedom, transparency and inclusiveness.

ASEAN, situated at the hub of the vast Indian and Pacific Oceans, released the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP) as a guide for its future path in 2019. The ASEAN Outlook powerfully sets forth the rule of law, openness, freedom, transparency and inclusiveness as the ASEAN’s principles for behavior.

The AOIP, as Prime Minister Suga stated, shares many fundamental commonalities with the “Free and Open Indo-Pacific” Japan is advocating.

He voiced strong support the AOIP and expressing his firm belief that “we can create a peaceful and prosperous future along with ASEAN with these fundamental values in common”.

Suga promised that Japan will work hand in hand with ASEAN to establish the rule of law in seas and oceans./.

By Quang Minh

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