Vietnam president expected to visit

Kyodo

Japan plans to invite Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang to visit Japan in mid-March as a state guest, sources in the government and the ruling coalition said.

Sang is expected to meet with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as well as Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko, and give a speech in the House of Representatives on March 17 or 18. The gesture indicates Tokyo is aiming to demonstrate amicable ties with Vietnam, which like Japan is involved in a territorial dispute with China, but in the South China Sea.

Sino-Japanese ties have been strained over the Japan-administered Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, which both China and Taiwan claim.

It will be Sang’s first visit to Japan since assuming the presidency in 2011.

Sang and Abe are expected to confirm the principles of maritime security, including the rule of law and freedom of navigation, with an eye on China, and it is also likely they will discuss Japan’s support for Vietnamese nuclear plant construction, the sources said.

  • iwishitweretrue

    Rather than playing games with China’s neighbours, Abe should show a bit of courage and bite the bullet, and do what it takes to visit China to sort out the Diayu/Senkaku issue, even if it means apologising for Japan’s nationalising the islands without China’s consent.

  • guest1212

    This is a political and regional strategically move. Even through being considered as a “small country” next to giant China, historically Vietnam has learned and experienced how to resist and fight back Chinese invasion and expansion in the past. By choosing Vietnam, Japan is looking to have an ally and friend in the region in case the territorial dispute (islands in East China Sea) with China explodes.