Japan Establishing Security Ties with Vietnam

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Vietnamese Army

Tokyo -- When Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada met his Vietnamese counterpart Pham Gia Khiem on Saturday, not only trade and cultural links, but also defense issues were on the table.

They agreed to launch a new 2+2 defense and diplomatic consultation framework that will entail meetings between Japanese and Vietnamese vice-foreign ministers and defense director-generals.

This is the same kind of arrangement that Tokyo recently launched together with their counterparts in India.

The Japanese Foreign Ministry is calling this the "Japan-Vietnam Strategic Partnership."

Although the precise content of Japan-Vietnam security relations is yet to be determined, broadly speaking it will almost certainly be focused on forming a counterweight to China.

The security of the Malacca Straits may also receive attention.

Okada also spoke to his Vietnamese hosts about nuclear energy and high-speed railway exports.

Japan wants Vietnam to adopt the Japanese shinkansen technology for an envisioned north-south railway.

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