Vietnam and Japan agreed to step up cooperation in defense and maritime security during Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs Koichiro Gemba's visit to Vietnam from July 13-14.
According to a statement released at a press conference held Saturday by Gemba and his Vietnamese counterpart Pham Binh Minh, the two countries agreed that the East Sea plays an important role in regional stability and security.
They discussed solutions to the East Sea disputes based on international and regional laws and the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
Abiding by the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East (South China) Sea (DOC) and building a code of conduct (COC) for the parties to the disputes will help maintain maritime security and safety, according to the statement.
Minh said Japan agreed to continue its official development assistance for Vietnam to become an industrialized country by 2020.
The two nations have agreed that 2013 will be the Vietnam Japan Friendship Year, when they will also celebrate the 40th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral ties.
Japan hopes for tighter cooperation with Vietnam to help the latter country improve its investment environment, Gemba said at the press conference in Hanoi.
According to Deputy Press Secretary Naoko Saiki, Gemba also called on Vietnam to reduce corruption, increase transparency and the rule of law as measures to strengthen its investment environment.
"We want to see Vietnam's investment environment strengthened so it will be more attractive and more Japanese companies will come to Vietnam," she said in the briefing.
In another meeting on Saturday Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung received Gemba and co-chaired the fourth meeting of the Vietnam-Japan Cooperation Committee.
During this meeting, Gemba reaffirmed Japan's support for maintaining security and maritime safety in the East Sea and solving disputes through peaceful negotiations based on UNCLOS.
He wrapped up his two-day visit on July 14.