On 11th September 2021 signed an agreement on the transfer of defence equipment and technology. The agreement was signed between Defence Minister Nobuo Kishi and Vietnamese counterpart Phan Van Giang in Hanoi. The agreement aims at expanding its influence in regional security and the equipment exports are an effort to ease Japan’s military limit. In the coming days, both countries will work out the details about the transfer of specific equipment including naval vessels. Defence Ministry Kishi later stated that Japan will further enhance the talks with Vietnam to see self-defence force vessels.
Japan deal does not only is to improve defence cooperation between the two countries but also increase its presence in the Indo-Pacific over the regional security issue. As per the reports, the Secretary-General of the Centre for China-Japan Relations, Zhang Yong stated that “Japan seeks to expand its voice and influence in the region by raising its relations with Vietnam to a new stage with strengthened military links”. Zhang Further said “Japan has been acting increasingly defensively towards China as the United States intensified its efforts to draw Japan over to its side and continued to strengthen their alliance”.
As per the reports by Kyodo News the agreement aims at China’s rising influence in regional waters. Japan’s move is aimed at China, given a series of actions the country has made against China recently, including conducting military exercises against China with countries in and outside of the Indo-Pacific region and provoking China on the Taiwan question.
The Defence Minister Kishi’s meeting coincided with a two-day visit with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. In the meeting, the minister decided to donate three million doses of Covid vaccines. He further stated that they should refrain from any actions which would complicate the situation. Vietnam has a territorial dispute with China over the Spratly and Parcel Island which are present in the South China Sea. Vietnam is the 11th nation with whom Japan has signed the deal. Japan has already signed a similar deal with United Kingdom, Australia, the Philippines and Indonesia. They are expected to sign it with United Nations too.