Japan, Vietnam PMs reaffirm ties

Japan's prime minister and his Vietnamese counterpart have agreed to work together to maintain the international order based on freedom and the rule of law, apparently with China's moves in mind.

Kishida Fumio met Pham Minh Chinh at the prime minister's office in Tokyo late Wednesday for about an hour.

Chinh is the first foreign leader Kishida has met in Japan since taking office.

As China is increasing its maritime activities in the East and South China seas, Kishida and Chinh reconfirmed the importance of freedom of navigation and flights, and agreed to maintain and strengthen a rule-based global order.

China applied to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership pact, or CPTPP, an 11-nation framework to which both Japan and Vietnam belong.

Kishida and Chinh agreed to maintain rules for a high level of liberalization of the trade pact.

Chinh also agreed to cooperate to diversify the supply chains of Japanese firms.

Kishida also expressed readiness to supply 1.54 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine that will accompany Chinh as he heads home on Thursday.

The two leaders also discussed problems in accepting trainees from developing countries. A significant number of technical interns have disappeared from their workplace or are overstaying their visas.

Brokers have also been found taking unfair advantage of foreign workers who wish to work in Japan.

Against this backdrop, the two agreed to maintain close communication and work to build a framework that will manage the system appropriately.

They also agreed to accelerate talks over a deal signed in September that allows Japan to provide defense equipment and technology to Vietnam.

They also agreed to work together in various fields, including cybersecurity.