The fact that Mr. Suga chose Vietnam as his first destination shows that he attaches great importance to his relationship with Vietnam, and his schedule in his first overseas trip since taking office also clearly affirms the fact.
Vietnam was also chosen for the special strategic partnership with Japan in the region. Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide witnessed the handover ceremony of 12 cooperation documents between ministries, branches and enterprises of the two countries in many fields such as infrastructure, energy and digital.
Japanese PM Suga Yoshihide walks Sword Lake. (Photo: VNA)
Both leaders agreed to promote cooperation in the fields of defense, security and prevention of COVID-19. The two sides agreed on the application of priority travel regulations, and agreed to soon restore the flight route, and promote the early opening of markets for Vietnamese fresh longan fruit and Japanese mandarins.
The two sides reaffirmed the importance of ensuring peace, security, safety and maritime and aviation freedom in the East Sea; promoting the settlement of disputes by peaceful measures; and strictly complying with international laws, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in activities at sea.
Not only the first destination on his overseas trip, Vietnam was also selected by Mr. Suga to convey Japan's foreign policy to the region and the world in its first appearance with the international community abroad.
The Japanese Prime Minister also expressed his expectations about the future of the Vietnam-Japan and ASEAN-Japan relationships to the younger generations of countries, represented by students of Vietnam-Japan University.
Despite his busy journey in Vietnam, the Japanese Prime Minister and his wife spent time visiting some places of great historic and cultural significance, including the President Ho Chi Minh Relic where the Vietnamese great leader lived and worked from 1958 to 1969.
On the same day, the Japanese Prime Minister’s wife Suga Mariko visited the Temple of Literature where Japanese Emperor Akihito and Queen visited in 2017.
Lady Mariko also spent time visiting the Vietnam Women's Museum, where she felt especially impressed by the similarities between Japan's Ikebana art and Vietnam's traditional embroidery.
A very noteworthy highlight and a lot of press coverage on October 20 was the fact that Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide walked around Sword Lake early in the morning as witnessed by a large number of people in the capital.
The image of Mr. Suga calmly waving to people on the roadside is clear evidence of the friendliness and openness of Vietnam - a land of hospitality and peace that once welcomed many top leaders to visit, including US President Bill Clinton in 2000, US President Obama in 2016 and French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe in 2018.
It can be said that the first trip abroad since the inauguration of Japanese Prime Minister Suga has been successful not only in terms of politics, economics, investment and development, but also in terms of history and literature. The visit not only contributes to promoting the Vietnam - Japan strategic partnership, but also helps to promote and elevate the position of Vietnam as a safe destination for heads, leaders and citizens of countries around the world./.