Japan will continue to provide official development assistance to Vietnam in the next five years to support its efforts to achieve sustained economic development and combat poverty, the Foreign Ministry said Friday.

In addition to Vietnam, the ministry announced its medium-term development assistance programs for Egypt, Ghana and Tanzania the same day.

The country-based assistance plans adhere to the government’s medium-term ODA policy guidelines, formulated on instructions by former Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi that specified increased effectiveness and efficiency in designing overseas aid.

The assistance program for Vietnam underlines the need to support Hanoi’s efforts to introduce a market-based economy and stabilize the country’s political situation, saying this would help promote stability in Southeast Asia.

In the next five years, Tokyo will continue to direct its assistance toward enhancing Vietnam’s economic infrastructure, creating a social safety net and developing human resources in agricultural and environmental fields.

Regarding the other three countries, the ODA programs also pledge continued assistance, stressing these countries’ strategic importance in their regions.