Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio and his Vietnamese counterpart Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh agreed to unite against Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine during their crucial meeting on Sunday, May 1 in Hanoi. Kishida met Chinh on the second day of his 8-day tour of Southeast Asia and Europe, and the two allies pledged to restore peace and stability in the region, as well as hold Russia accountable for its war crimes and atrocities in Ukraine.
The two regional allies “strongly opposed threats and uses of weapons of mass destruction and attacks on civilians in Ukraine,” according to Japanese media.
Vietnam and Japan also signed 22 cooperation agreements to achieve post-COVID economic recovery in critical areas such as the supply chain diversification, human resource exchanges, digital transformation, and energy transition by Vietnam.
Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio will pay an official visit to Viet Nam from April 30 to May 1. pic.twitter.com/NRYRcERVGN — Viet Nam Government Portal (@VNGovtPortal) April 27, 2022
PM Kishida: I am heading off on a visit to #Indonesia, #VietNam, and #Thailand, which are strategic partners for Japan in #ASEAN, and also to #Italy and the #UK, fellow #G7 member countries. (1/3) pic.twitter.com/0Fr4vPVcmo — PM’s Office of Japan (@JPN_PMO) April 29, 2022
During this visit, with regard to the situation in #Ukraine, I will engage in candid exchanges of views with my counterparts and confirm our cooperation in this area. We will also discuss in concrete terms how to move towards the realization of a Free and Open Indo-Pacific. (2/3) — PM’s Office of Japan (@JPN_PMO) April 29, 2022
In this way, I will make it a trip that fully defends the peaceful world order. (3/3) — PM’s Office of Japan (@JPN_PMO) April 29, 2022
Kishida’s visit comes as Tokyo is stepping up the sanctions against Moscow in coordination with other Group of Seven nations to deter President Vladimir Putin from waging his war. In the run up to Kishida’s visit to Vietnam, the two leaders focused on strengthening ties and working together against Russia’s aggression.
It Is to be noted that Hanoi, a former ally of Moscow since the Soviet era, had abstained a United Nations vote regarding the resolution condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. However, Vietnam pledged support for Ukraine, stressing that the country has already sent aid worth $500,000 via international humanitarian organisations. Chinh also acknowledged Kishida’s trip, as he had visited Japan in November last year, 2021.
On April 29, 2022, Prime Minister Kishida held a press conference regarding his visit to Southeast Asia and Europe.
Click below for the full text:https://t.co/806EzeQyzT#PMinAction — PM’s Office of Japan (@JPN_PMO) April 30, 2022
Tokyo ‘will not tolerate’ unilateral attempts of changing status quo using coercion: Kishida
During their 90-minute meeting, Kishida iterated that the world stood at the challenging crossroad that dismantled the international rule based order. Further, he sought cooperation between the ally nations, asserting that Tokyo “will not tolerate” unilateral attempts of changing status quo using coercion and military might.
Kishida sought Vietnam’s cooperation to establish a “free and open” Indo-Pacific based on the rule of law. He opposed China’s belligerence and military assertiveness in the East and South China Seas against the smaller island nations.
Kishida emphasized the importance of strengthening Strategic Cooperative Partnership, and working towards the realization of a Free and Open Indo-Pacific. Vietnam’s Chinh said the two sides have “agreed on specific directions and measures to take their strategic cooperation relationship to a new level”. Vietnam agreed that Beijig must respec international law including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, as well as implement the Declaration of the Parties on the East Sea to establish the international Code of Conduct in the East Sea.
“I expressed my strong opposition to a unilateral change of the status quo by force in the East China Sea and the South China Sea,” Kishida said.
“I am convinced that we can join hands with Vietnam for the peace and stability of the region and the world,” Kishida said, while he attended a dinner hosted by Chinh on Saturday, shortly after he arrived in the country.
Japanese Prime Minister asserted that nations must unite against the authoritarian regimes such as Russia’s and China’s that have destabilised regional security in Ukraine and Southeast Asia. He consolidated response from Southeast Asian nations to impose sanctions against Moscow for its all out invasion of a sovereign nation like Ukraine.
In the entire region, only Singapore has joined international sanctions against Russia so far. Kishida called for “cessation of hostilities [in Ukraine] and responding to the impact on the world economy,” during a press conference in Hanoi. After Vietnam, Kishida is set to visit Indonesia, Thailand, Italy and Britain.