New Japanese PM makes Vietnam first overseas stop

TN News

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Vietnam will be the first official diplomatic destination of newly elected Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Abe, who was elected last December, will be in Vietnam on January 16 and 17 per the invitation of his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Tan Dung.

"The two [prime ministers] will discuss how to bring the strategic partnership between the two countries to a deeper level, boosting mutual cooperation in politics, national defense and economics," Vietnam's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Luong Thanh Nghi said at a press briefing Thursday.

Abe will also meet with other high-ranking leaders of Vietnam during the visit, which marks 40 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries, as well as between Japan and ASEAN.

Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary, Yoshihide Suga, said after leaving Vietnam Abe will spend the rest of his Southeast Asian trip in other ASEAN-member countries Thailand and Indonesia on January 18 and 19.

Reuters cited Suga as saying that the three countries in the visit are at the forefront of Asian economic growth with which Japan mired in deflation and stuck in its fourth recession since 2000 should expand economic ties.

"It's important to strengthen the cooperation with the ASEAN countries to ensure peace and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region," he said.

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