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Vietnam, Japan sign defence trade deal

Vietnam and Japan have formally announced an agreement to facilitate co-operation on defence trade and technologies.

The Defense Equipment and Technology Transfer Agreement was signed in Hanoi on 11 September following talks between the two countries' defence ministers, General Phan Van Giang and Nobuo Kishi.

The accord is intended to support Japanese defence exports to Vietnam and related collaborations in defence research, development, and production.

The Japanese Ministry of Defense (MoD) said that the agreement elevates bilateral defence ties to a “new level”. The agreement will also support “accelerated consultations for the transfer of specific equipment including vessels”, it added.

Vietnam's Ministry of National Defence (MND) said the agreement will contribute to stronger defence ties between the countries. It added that Vietnam and Japan are also discussing agreements to co-operate on cyber defence and military medicine.

Vietnam and Japan agreed to sign the Defense Equipment and Technology Transfer Agreement in October 2020. However, the formal signature was delayed due to complications stemming from the Covid-19 pandemic. The two countries started talks on the accord in late 2016.

Neither defence ministry elaborated on areas of defence equipment co-operation. However, the Japanese MoD previously told Janes that the agreement will be geared towards supporting the development of Vietnam's maritime security capability.

Accordingly, Japan sees opportunities to export to Vietnam equipment such as offshore patrol vessels, maritime patrol aircraft, radar and surveillance equipment, and communications and information systems.

Further support is provided through a bilateral agreement announced in March 2020 to co-operate on defence shipbuilding.

On signing this accord, the MND in Hanoi said that it would support joint shipbuilding projects as well as Japanese technology transfers to Vietnam and “defence industrial technical training”.

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