03/01/2017, 17.08
VIETNAM – JAPAN
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Emperor Akihito visits Vietnam to boost bilateral relations

Japan is Vietnam’s main partner. More than 1,600 Japanese companies are active in the country. Since 1992, the Japanese government has provided US$ 23 billion in development aid.

Hanoi (AsiaNews) – Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko are on a state visit to Vietnam (28 February-5 March) to boost economic ties between the two countries.

Japan is Vietnam’s second largest source of foreign investment after China as well as its fourth largest trading partner. Currently, more than 1,600 Japanese companies are active in the country.

The two countries are involved in many large-scale projects to improve Vietnam’s infrastructure and energy sector.

Japan has provided Vietnam with Official Development Assistance (ODA). In 2015 the two governments agreed to raise ODA funds to 300 billion yen (US$ 2.6 billion).

Over the past 15 years, Japan has provided Vietnam with 2.6 trillion yen (US$ 23 billion) in development aid. Both governments want to boost cooperation in organic farming, high tech, labour and culture.

The relationship between Vietnam and Japan developed from the 8th century, noted Hatsuhisa Takashima, the emperor's press secretary. Starting in the16th century, relations came into the minds of the Japanese people. During and after World War Two, the relationship stopped, but resumed afterwards.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) noted that the interests of Vietnam’s trading partners are centred more on economics than on human rights, democracy, environmental protection and multi-party elections.

In its 2016 report, HRW said that the Vietnamese government has waged a harsh campaign not only against religious freedom, but also against freedom of expression and assembly.

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