Japan, Vietnam pave way for further defence collaboration

Japan and Vietnam agreed to enter an "extensive strategic partnership" on 18 March: a move that supports enhanced bilateral defence collaboration and is intended as a counterbalance to China's growing regional power.

The agreement - signed in Tokyo by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang - promotes expanded co-operation between the armed forces of the two countries in areas such as "human resource development, capacity building and visits of military ships".

It also supports a memorandum of understanding signed by Japan and Vietnam in October 2011 that facilitated the creation of a bilateral defence and security forum, mutual ministerial visits, and exchanges between Japan's Self-Defence Forces and the Vietnamese military.

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