Maritime ties with Vietnam boosted

Kyodo

Japan and Vietnam agreed Monday to promote bilateral maritime security cooperation in an apparent response to China’s increasingly assertive naval activities.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang met on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum summit in Bali, Indonesia. They also shared the goal of encouraging more Japanese companies to invest in Vietnam to improve its economic development.

Japan “has been concerned about (unilateral attempts) to change the status quo by force,” Abe told San, according to one of the officials, apparently referring to Chinese naval activities that have led to territorial rows with other countries in Asia, including Japan and Vietnam, in the East China and South China seas.

San agreed with Abe, saying such disputes must be resolved in accordance with international law, the official added.

On the economy, Abe said Japan will further cooperate with Vietnam in improving the business environment in the country and promote additional investment by Japanese firms. He also promised Japan’s support in developing human resources in Vietnam.

Abe asked San to keep pressing North Korea to resolve Pyongyang’s past abductions of Japanese citizens.

San said Vietnam, which has diplomatic ties with the North, understands Japan’s position, the officials said.