Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and Vietnamese Vice President Nguyen Thi Doan have agreed to continue bilateral efforts to ensure maritime security while underlining the importance of respecting the rule of law, ministry officials said.
Meeting on the sidelines of the U.N. World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai on Sunday, Kishida was quoted as saying Japan wants to increase cooperation with Vietnam over wide-ranging issues such as maritime security.
Kishida and Doan also discussed matters related to the South China Sea, the ministry said.
The area is the focus of lingering tensions over territorial rows between China and Southeast Asian countries, Vietnam and the Philippines in particular.
Similarly, Japan is stuck in a standoff with China over the sovereignty of the Japan-administered Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea.
Doan lauded Japan’s role in the international community and said Vietnam wants to continue working together with Tokyo to tackle maritime security and other issues, the ministry said.
Japan sees close cooperation with Vietnam, with whom it has a strategic partnership, as vital to checking China’s increasing assertiveness at sea.
Kishida and Doan also reaffirmed continued cooperation to increase the number of Vietnamese coming to Japan to work as nurses and caregivers, the ministry said.