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Japanese and Vietnamese leaders meet, with focus on economic cooperation

HANOI (JAPAN TIMES/ANN)--Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga started a meeting Monday with his Vietnamese counterpart, Nguyen Xuan Phuc, in Hanoi, with the two set to discuss economic and defense cooperation.
Suga was expected to promote Japan’s Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP) policy, according to Japanese officials. He was also expected to

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and his Vietnamese counterpart, Nguyen Xuan Phuc, walk at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi on Monday.

reach a deal with Phuc to facilitate the cross-border flow of medical supplies and other goods.
Japan is looking to diversify its supply chain to mitigate risks brought to light by the COVID-19 pandemic, including its reliance on Chinese imports for face masks.
The government is handing out subsidies to firms that move production to Southeast Asia, which is both geographically well-placed and can provide relatively cheap labour.
Of the 30 firms chosen so far to receive the subsidies, ranging from manufacturers of medical gowns and disinfectant wipes to car engine parts, half are planning to set up in Vietnam.
The countries are also close to reaching a military agreement that would enable Japan to export defense equipment and technology to Vietnam, including patrol planes and radar that would help improve its surveillance capabilities. That pact could be signed during Suga’s visit.
Suga, who became prime minister in mid-September after his predecessor, Shinzo Abe, stepped down for health reasons, was also slated later in the day to make a policy speech at the Vietnam Japan University, which opened in 2016 with funding from both countries.
After meeting with other Vietnamese political leaders, including National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, Suga will fly to Jakarta on Tuesday for a meeting with Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo.


(Latest Update October 20, 2020)

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