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2009年5月24日 (日)

ベトナム 「プラス1」超える関係目指せ

The Yomiuri Shimbun(May. 24, 2009)
Japan, Vietnam envision strategic relationship
ベトナム 「プラス1」超える関係目指せ(5月24日付・読売社説)

Japan can look forward to cooperating with Vietnam in various business fields, including space development.

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has just paid a visit to Japan, following in the footsteps of Vietnamese Communist Party chief Nong Duc Manh, who came here in April.

In a joint statement issued after a meeting between Manh and Prime Minister Taro Aso, the two countries vowed to work on developing their bilateral relationship into a "strategic partnership." In his talks with Aso, Dung also agreed to promote bilateral economic cooperation in various fields on the basis of the joint statement.

A large number of Japanese companies have advanced into Vietnam recently in pursuit of the so-called China-plus-one strategy: Having made huge investments in China, taking advantage of its cheap, able workforce, they are seeking to enter another country or region as a second production base in consideration of investment risks in China, including mounting labor costs. Vietnam fits the bill.

The joint statement seeks not only the promotion of investment by Japanese companies in Vietnam, but also the improvement of the investment environment in Vietnam. With the statement, the attractiveness of doing business in Vietnam, which is known for its diligent workforce and low labor costs, will be further enhanced.

In late December, Japan and Vietnam signed an economic partnership agreement. We hope the two countries will quickly ratify the agreement and develop their bilateral economic relationship into one stronger than a relationship based on the China-plus-one strategy.


High-tech cooperation set

In the joint statement, Japan and Vietnam also agreed to expand their cooperation into new areas, including the space, nuclear and aircraft technology sectors.

First of all, the two nations will cooperate to develop small satellites and construct a space technology center in the suburbs of Hanoi. It will be the first time that Japan has provided full-fledged support for another country's space development. It is expected that Japanese companies will build satellites for Vietnam and launch them on Japanese rockets.

Meanwhile, the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry agreed with the Vietnamese government in May 2008 on cooperation for the start of nuclear power generation in Vietnam in 2020.

In the field of aircraft technology, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. is producing a small passenger jet, dubbed the Mitsubishi Regional Jet, as Japan's second domestically developed plane after the YS-11. Vietnam likely will be a key buyer of the MRJ.

The global space business is expected to grow at a healthy pace due to the increase in demand for satellites in developing countries. The number of orders for nuclear power plants also is sure to increase, mainly in developing countries, amid growing awareness of the importance of environmental protection. As the development of the MRJ will be supported by a wide range of industries, such as parts and materials manufacturers, it is expected that the MRJ development will create a positive ripple effect on the manufacturing industry as a whole.


China expanding influence

If Japanese companies are able to pave the way for expansion overseas using Vietnam as a stepping stone, they can expect to reap big rewards.

China also has been strengthening its economic influence in Southeast Asian countries. As Beijing has taken a lead over Japan in cooperation with these countries--especially in the space development field--Tokyo should make more efforts to realize substantive cooperation in this area.

We hope Japan and Vietnam will strengthen the bilateral relationship so it deserves to be called a strategic partnership.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 24, 2009)
(2009年5月24日01時33分  読売新聞)


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