Vietnam attends ASEAN-Japan defence vice-ministerial forum    
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Vietnam attends ASEAN-Japan defence vice-ministerial forum
Sep 14 2017

A Vietnamese delegation led by Deputy Defence Minister Sen. Lieut. Gen. Nguyen Chi Vinh attended the 9th ASEAN-Japan Defence Vice-Ministerial Forum that opened in Fukuoka, Japan, on September 13.

The event draw the participation of Japanese Deputy Minister of Defence Ro Manabe and representatives of 10 ASEAN member countries and the ASEAN Secretariat. 

In his address at the first session, Deputy Minister Sen. Lieut. Gen. Vinh highlighted ASEAN's considerable achievements over the last five decades in the areas of politics-security, economy and culture-society. 

Vietnam has joined hands with other ASEAN members in building a strong, united and identity-rich ASEAN Community that plays a central role in the region and the world. Many fruitful cooperation mechanisms within the ASEAN framework have been greatly contributed by Vietnam such as the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM ), Vinh said

He underlined the need for the member countries to enhance solidarity and unanimity on the basis of the consensus principle, which is based on international law, the ASEAN Charter and internationally-recognised values.

According to the Deputy Minister, new security challenges have emerged recently in the region and the world, requiring the ASEAN nations have a new approach and a thorough viewpoint for further development. Each ASEAN country has its own problems and they need joint efforts to address those problems. The ASEAN members should set aside their own interests to overcome differences and reach consensus for the sake of the whole community.

It is essential to specify the standards for ASEAN to push practical and effective cooperation, he said, adding that Vietnam not only needs cooperation and assistance from the international community and other ASEAN countries but is also ready to share experiences in clearing mines and bombs, settling war consequences, search and rescue, and military medicine. 
He also hailed Japan’s efforts in organising the ASEAN-Japan Defence Vice-Ministerial Forum and actively participating regional and international security issues.

He expressed his hope that in 2020, when the ADMM will mark its 10th founding anniversary and be held by Vietnam, fundamental issues will be solved so that the ADMM will be an equal and responsible structure benefiting each country while maintaining peace and stability in the region and the world.

In a speech at the second session on maritime security, a Japanese delegate voiced concern about marine security challenges, especially island reinforcement and structure building in the East Sea and unilaterally altering the status quo in the waters which run counter to international law.

Japan persistently opposes these actions and hopes that the ASEAN countries will unite together and have a common voice in related issues, and soon reach a practical and effective Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC), the Japanese delegate added.

The forum consisted of three main sessions on the enhanced achievements and solidarity, the regional security situation, and the Vientiane Vision’s facts and prospects.

Earlier on September 12, Nguyen Chi Vinh and his Japanese counterpart Ro Manabe had a meeting on the sidelines of the 9th ASEAN-Japan Defence Vice-Ministerial Forum in Fukuoka, Japan, during which they shared the view that the China-ASEAN Code of Conduct (COC) on the East Sea should be effective and legally binding. 

The Japanese Deputy Defence Minister hailed the growing defence cooperation between Japan ASEAN nations, including Vietnam.

He proposed an informal meeting between the Japanese Defence Minister and ASEAN counterparts be organised in the framework of the upcoming ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM-plus) in October, saying that such a meeting will help boost the ties between Japan and ASEAN nations, and create an opportunity for the new Japanese Defence Minister to get acquainted with ASEAN partners.

Japan pays heed to the negotiations to complete the China-ASEAN Code of Conduct (COC), adding that Japan is keen to cooperate with Vietnam in maintaining peace and security and ensuring maritime security in the East Sea, Ro Manabe said.

Concerning the China-ASEAN COC, Vinh stated that it must be based on international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 (UNCLOS 1982).

Vietnam does not accept the so-called new status in the East Sea which was created through illegal reclamation, construction and militarization of reefs and shoals in the waters, he said, noting that  the country backs denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula and the settlement of all issues through peaceful dialogues on the basis of respect for international law.