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Japan and Vietnam Expand Defense Partnership

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang on March 18, 2014.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang on March 18, 2014.

Leaders from Japan and Vietnam have signed an agreement to expand maritime security relations between the two countries against a backdrop of an expansionist China.

The Tuesday agreement establishes an “extensive strategic partnership,” between the two countries and will, “promote cooperation between the respective services of the Vietnam People’s Army and the Japan Self-Defense Forces (JSDF), and advance cooperation in such fields as human resource development, capacity building, and visits of military ships,” according to statements following the signing of the agreement in Tokyo by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang.

“The two sides affirmed that peace and stability at sea were in the common interest of both countries as well as of the international community,” the leaders said in a joint Tuesday statement.
The agreement builds upon a 2011 memorandum of understanding between Vietnam and Japan that created a bilateral security forum and exchanges between the Vietnamese military and the JSDF, according to a Wednesday report in Jane’s Defence Weekly.

The agreement follows more than a year of aggressive actions by China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) into the South China Sea and the ongoing dispute between Japan and China over the Senkaku Island chain.

“The growing strategic ties between Japan and Vietnam also highlight both governments’ intention to restrain China’s increasing assertiveness in its near seas,” read a Wednesday analysis from Jane’s Defence Weekly.

“In recent years Hanoi has sought to contest its ownership of regional offshore territory and has supported these efforts through boosting relations with countries including the United States, India, and Japan. Japan, for its part, is engaged in a prolonged standoff with Chinese maritime forces around the Senkaku islands in the East China Sea.”

The agreement also has an economic component that could lead to closer defense industry ties between Japan and Vietnam. The expanded relationship will also help facilitate the construction of a Vietnamese nuclear power plant with the assistance of Japan.

  • hai_nguyen

    Now that the US has re-pivoted to the Middle East (Israel…) and Europe (Ukraine…), leaving the “work in process) pivot to Asia in the dust and mutual defense allies at the mercies of aggressive, criminal and lawless China (more motivated with Russian’s bloodless absorption template)… it’s time for self-determination minded South East Asian countries to hitch a ride with Japan-Vietnam collaboration and solidify counter- expansionism platform for the next 10+ years, before the US is forced to hand Asia to an interested China. If these nations ( Malaysia, India, Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore) step out of the shadow of political hesitancy and jointly formulated mutual defense packs with Japan, the Philippines and Vietnam, China will either retreat from its current aggression policies or face economic ruins and regime-change.

    • Luong the Viet

      I totally agree with you, my fellow Viet brother. We Viets should first overthrow the corrupt Vietcongs who are nothing but slaves to china. Second, we must be very strong ourselves and not rely on alliances or the goodwill of other nations. Three, we must establish strong military, political and economical relationship with other nations.

      If America wants to help us, then we should glad accept it but NEVER rely on it. America can’t be trusted and will sell their own mom to the highest bidder. Instead, we should have stronger relationship with Japan, Korea, Australia, India and other nations who have something to lose from china.

      • Henry Nguyen

        No! If someone starts our house on fire, I would not go after my brother as the 1st suspect or conspirator. I put out the fire then look for the offender before having a talk with my brother. You have the wrong priority but I like your feeling!

        • Luong the Viet

          You chinese are NOT brothers to us Viets!!! You always invade and attack us and we ALWAYS DEFEAT you thru out our long history. Now, we Viets must join other nations to totally destroy all you evil greedy chinese forever.