Vietnam has asked Japan for support in building a high-speed railway that runs along the country's length, the government has said.

The proposal was made at a meeting between Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki in Hanoi, the government said in a statement late Friday.

Japan is the largest source of official development aid to Vietnam, and is the Southeast Asian country's third largest source of foreign direct investment.

Vietnam is studying the possibility to build the 1,545-kilometer (960-mile) railway with a possible price tag of up to $64.8 billion, according to state media.

At the meeting, Chinh also asked Japan for help to "restructure stakes" at Nghi Son Refinery and Petrochemical, Vietnam's largest oil refinery, the government said, without elaborating.

The $9 billion refinery is 35.1% owned by Japan's Idemitsu Kosan Co., 35.1% by Kuwait Petroleum, 25.1% by Vietnam's state oil firm PetroVietnam and 4.7% by Mitsui Chemicals Inc.

The 200,000-barrel-per-day refinery early last year cut its run rate following a disagreement between shareholders about financing for crude. Idemitsu Kosan said at the time it had no plan to give fresh financial aid to the refinery.