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Japan and Vietnam to strengthen military cooperation in response to China

Japan and Vietnam to strengthen military cooperation in response to China Japan and Vietnam Strengthen Military Cooperation (photo: GettyImages)

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Vietnamese President Vo Van Thuong reached an agreement on Monday to deepen cooperation between the two countries in maritime security, amidst the increasing military activities of China in the Asia-Pacific region, according to Kyodo.

During the talks, Kishida and Thuong affirmed their commitment to the success of the special summit involving ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) leaders, which Japan will host next month to commemorate the 50th anniversary of their friendship and cooperation.

Kishida and Thuong also confirmed their dedication to expanding bilateral cooperation on various issues, including the economy and cultural exchanges.

Why countries strengthen cooperation

Japan seeks to leverage economic growth in Asia by strengthening ties with developing countries such as Vietnam and other ASEAN members while also trying to counter China's growing influence in the region.

Vietnam, along with other ASEAN member states, has territorial disputes with Beijing in the strategically vital South China Sea. China claims a significant portion of this region, which hosts some of the world's busiest maritime routes.

Meanwhile, disputes over the Senkaku Islands, controlled by Tokyo but claimed by Beijing, have led to tensions between Japan and China. Chinese coast guard vessels have repeatedly entered Japanese territorial waters around the uninhabited islands called Diaoyu Dao in Beijing.

International cooperation to counter China

The United States, South Korea, and Japan have elevated their cooperation to a new level this year in response to threats from North Korea and China. In August, a summit was held in Washington, where the three nations agreed to enhance security collaboration.

Furthermore, they initiated trilateral exercises, as seen in April this year. In October, for the first time in history, the countries conducted trilateral aerial drills near the Korean Peninsula.