Vietnam, Japan ink defense cooperation deal

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Vietnam and Japan Monday signed a memorandum of understanding on defense cooperation, the Vietnam News Agency reported.

The agreement was signed after talks between high-ranking military delegations led by Vietnam's Defense Minister Phung Quang Thanh, who is currently on a visit to Japan, and his Japanese counterpart Yasuo Ichikawa.

The two officials agreed to increase exchanges and bilateral cooperation in defense, the news agency reported.

Japan is an important strategic partner of Vietnam, Thanh said.

Meanwhile, Ichikawa stressed that Vietnam was Japan's partner of in effors to promote peace and stability in Asia.

Since Japan's general plan of self-defense clearly stated the tendency of improving security cooperation with member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), including Vietnam, Japan Ministry of Defense will take all opportunities to tighten the cooperation with Vietnam, he added.

The Japanese official also expressed his gratitude to the support from Vietnam Ministry of National Defense after the Touhoku earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan on March 11.

Thanh also led the Vietnamese high-ranking military delegation to meet with Japan Prime Minister Yoshihiki Noda, the VNA reported.

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