伊藤大使の第70回自衛隊記念日レセプションにおけるご挨拶

令和6年6月14日
伊藤大使の第70回自衛隊記念日レセプションにおけるご挨拶(2024年6月14日)
 
[Introduction]
Senior Lieutenant General HOANG XUAN CHIEN, Deputy Minister of National Defense, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam,
Your excellencies, distinguished guests, ladies, and gentlemen. Good evening. Xin Chao quy vi. 皆さん今晩は。
I want to express my profound gratitude to all the guests attending the reception tonight, which marks the 70th anniversary of forming the Japan Self-Defense Forces.
I assumed my duty as Japanese Ambassador to Vietnam on 15th May. I am honored to host this reception for the first time in Hanoi. 

[Japan-Vietnam Relations]
Last year, it was the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Vietnam, and in November, our relations were upgraded to the “Comprehensive Strategic Partnership for Peace and Prosperity in Asia and the World.” 2023 became a historical milestone year.
This year, in turn, marks the start for the next 50 years. We need to embody this comprehensive and strategic partnership and will further accelerate bilateral collaborations in various areas.

[Japan-Vietnam Defense Cooperation]
Defense cooperation between Japan and Vietnam is important to secure regional peace and stability while the international environment is increasing its severity. Defense cooperation is also an essential driving force for bringing Japan-Vietnam relations to a higher level.
Defense Ministers of the two countries confirmed that our defense cooperation entered into a "new phase" during their meeting in June 2022. This vision articulates our proactive commitments to peace and stability in the region and international community, going beyond the bilateral context. With the momentum created by the elevation of our partnership, Japan and Vietnam have seen further development of defense cooperation in diverse areas.
Both countries exchange visits of high-ranking defense officials actively. In February, this year, Defense Vice-Minister SERIZAWA visited Vietnam at the official invitation of Deputy Defense Minister Chien. This visit marked the memorial 10th vice-ministerial level consultation between Japan and Vietnam.
Japan successfully transferred anti-rust technology to Vietnam last December. This cooperation was based on the "Japan-Vietnam Defense Equipment and Technology Transfer Agreement." To materialize further cooperation in defense equipment, consultations between the two countries are making progress. Furthermore, Japan also intends to deepen the ongoing discussion to provide “Official Security Assistance (OSA)” to Vietnam.
With regard to the support for capacity building, the Ministry of Defense and Self-Defense Forces are cooperating with Vietnam in the fields of air rescue, underwater unexploded ordnance (UXO) clearance, and underwater medicine. Now that Vietnam is the most active partner for Japan in those cooperations, we are ready to add a new area of cooperation, that is, aviation weather.
In addition, Japan plans to support capacity building of cyber security in Nha Trang this July. Japan will take this initiative with the cooperation of the Vietnam Ministry of Defense to support all ASEAN countries.
Last February, JS SHIMAKAZE and JS SUGINAMI visited Hai Phong Port. This showcases an example of growing Japan-Vietnam maritime cooperation. 
Today, as you can see, there are many booths introducing activities and products by Japanese companies in the field of defense. Taking this opportunity, I would like to express my deep appreciation for the contributions that those private companies made for this reception.

[International Affairs]
Russia's aggression against Ukraine is a violation of international law. This act undermined the foundation of the existing international order based on the rule of law, which has been established by our predecessors. Any attempt to unilaterally change the status quo by force should never be accepted anywhere in the world. 
“Ukraine today may be East Asia tomorrow.” The international community must now unite to uphold international principles and common values.
We know that there exist serious threats in the East China Sea, and the South China Sea, which is called East Sea in Vietnam. Japan opposes any attempt to unilaterally change the status quo through force or coercion in this region. Japan also affirms the importance of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait and advocates the peaceful resolution of cross-strait issues. 
On North Korea, the nuclear and missile issues as well as the abductions issue remain unresolved. Japan will continue to tackle these issues in cooperation with the international community. 
Under the changing geopolitical circumstances, it has become an imminent need more than ever before to maintain and strengthen the free and open international order based on the rule of law. For that purpose, it is critical to realize a "Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP)."
Ladies and gentlemen, Japan formulated the new “National Security Strategy,” the “National Defense Strategy,” and the “Defense Buildup Program” in December 2022. In line with these policy documents, Japan will strengthen its deterrence capabilities and prevent armed confrontations while upholding the free and open international order based on the rule of law.

[Conclusion]
Let me finish my remarks by expressing my earnest hope for the continuous advancement of our bilateral defense cooperation through the close coordination with Vietnam’s Ministry of National Defense and People's Army. I will also assure you that we will make every effort to further develop the Japan-Vietnam relations for peace and prosperity in Asia and the world. 
Thank you very much for your kind attention.