Japan and Vietnam sign defense transfer agreement in China’s concerns


Tokyo — Japan will be able to provide Vietnam with defense equipment and technology under an agreement signed on Saturday as both sides strengthen military cooperation amid concerns over the growing military influence of the Chinese administration. became.

Japan’s Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi said the agreement would raise the defense partnership to a “new level” and that Japan and Vietnam plan to deepen their defense ties through multinational joint exercises and other means. Details regarding the transfer of certain equipment, including naval vessels, will be considered in subsequent consultations, the ministry said.

Kishi met Vietnam’s Phan Van Giang in Hanoi at the same time that Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi visited the Vietnamese capital for two days. He concluded his visit by saying that the Chinese administration plans to donate 3 million doses of its coronavirus vaccine to Vietnam.

The agreement will come two weeks after US Vice President Kamala Harris visits Vietnam to strengthen relations with Southeast Asian countries. During the tour, Harris urged countries to confront the “bullying” by the Chinese administration in the South China Sea.

Japan’s Ministry of Defense said in a statement that Kishi and Jiang agreed on the importance of maintaining navigation and air freedom in the Indo-Pacific region and cooperation in various areas of defense, including cybersecurity. ..

Tokyo regularly protests the presence of the China Coast Guard near the Japanese-controlled Senkaku Islands. The Senkaku Islands also insist on the Chinese Communist Party administration and call it Diaoyu. Japanese officials say Chinese vessels routinely invade Japan’s territorial waters around the island, sometimes threatening fishing vessels.

During the parley, Mr. Kishi expressed Japan’s strong opposition to “one-sided attempts to change the status quo through coercion or tension-raising activities,” referring to the increasingly aggressive activities of the Chinese administration in the East China Sea and South China Sea. He stated, but did not identify any country. By name.

Vietnam is Japan’s eleventh partner in signing technology transfer agreements with defense equipment. Tokyo aims to extend military cooperation beyond its long-standing ally, the United States, and has similar agreements with the United Kingdom, Australia, the Philippines and Indonesia.

Associated Press