Late Japanese PM Abe Shinzo – a great friend of Vietnam
Hanoi, July 11 (VNA) – Japan’s former Prime Minister Abe Shinzo made great contributions to the development of the relations between Vietnam and Japan, for the sake of their people, and for peace, prosperity, cooperation and development in the region and the world. The former leader passed away at Nara Medical University in Nara prefecture on July 8. Earlier the same day, he was shot while campaigning for a candidate of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) in the prefecture. The incident has stunned not only Japanese people but also all around the world, including Vietnam, as Abe, Japan’s longest-serving prime minister, had a special relationship with the Southeast Asian nation. During his term of office, Abe had visited Vietnam many times. In an interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency (VNA) in February 2019, Abe, as PM of Japan, said thanks to Doi Moi (Reform), the Vietnamese economy developed dynamically. In the mind of Japanese, Vietnamese people are very hardworking, intelligent, highly patient, and have warm hearts, he said. Such impressions on Vietnam may be a reason motivating him to work to deepen the relations between the two countries. With the special affection, Abe continuously consolidated the Vietnam-Japan friendship and strategic partnership. Thanks to his efforts, the bilateral relationship developed strongly across spheres during his eight years in office. In 2014, the two countries upgraded their bilateral relationship to an extensive strategic partnership for peace and prosperity in Asia. Three years later, Japan became Vietnam’s biggest official development assistance (ODA) supplier, second largest investor, and fourth biggest trade partner. Notably, it was Abe who invited Vietnamese leaders to attend the expanded G7 Summit Japan 2016, and the G20 Summit as a special guest of host Japan in 2019. This was the first time Vietnam had attended such big events. Apart from the thriving relations, under Abe’s administration, the Vietnamese community in Japan grew into the second biggest foreign community in Japan. According to the Immigration Services Agency of Japan (ISA), the number of Vietnamese people in Japan reached 432,934 in late 2021, accounting for 15.7 percent of the total foreigners in the country, up 12 times as compared to that in 2012 when Abe just returned to office. Notably, Vietnamese trainees in Japan amounted to 160,563, making up nearly 58.15 percent of total foreign interns in the country, partially thanks to policies facilitating the admission of Vietnamese labourers adopted by the Japanese Government under Abe’s administration. Abe, a prominent politician and a great friend of Vietnam, passed away after the attack, which has shocked the world and saddened many people. In a message of condolences to the Japanese Government and people on July 8, PM Pham Minh Chinh, on behalf of Vietnamese Party and State leaders and people, expressed the deepest sympathies to them as well as the bereaved family. He also highlighted Vietnam’s appreciation for Abe’s special sentiments and precious support to the land and people of Vietnam as well as the bilateral extensive strategic partnership./.