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Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh (Photo: VNA)
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister (FM) Pham Binh Minh held phone talks with Japanese Foreign Minister Motegi Toshimitsu on March 31 to discuss cooperation amid the complicated developments of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Minh spoke highly of the assistance the Japanese Government and people have provided for Vietnam in the fight against the pandemic, and suggested the Japanese Government continue supporting the Vietnamese community in Japan in COVID-19 prevention and control.
As ASEAN Chair 2020, Vietnam is actively promoting the bloc's concerted efforts and collaboration with partners in the field, he said.
Toshimitsu, for his part, highly valued drastic measures undertaken by Vietnam to fight COVID-19, expressing thanks to the Vietnamese Government for its endeavours to ensure safety for 20,000 Japanese living and working in the Southeast Asian country.
He also affirmed that the Japanese Government will make every effort to ensure safety for Vietnamese citizens in Japan.
Japan will continue actively assisting Vietnam in coping with the epidemic, he said, adding that apart from biologicals worth 20 million JPY (some 184,600 USD) provided for Vietnam in February and March, Japan will offer aid worth at least 200 million JPY (1.84 million USD) via international organisations.
Both sides highlighted the importance of international cooperation in the fight against COVID-19 as well as the sharing of information and experience in vaccine production, medical equipment, citizen protection, among others.
The Japanese side also pledged to partner with Vietnam to step up the joint work in the field within the ASEAN cooperation framework.
The new coronavirus first surfaced in central China in late 2019. Infections have now exceeded 770,000 cases worldwide, with the United States, Italy and Spain overtaking mainland China in confirmed cases.
An additional three new cases contracted the novel coronavirus were reported by the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology in Hanoi and the Pasteur Institute in Ho Chi Minh City on March 31 afternoon.
The three new cases have pushed Vietnam's total coronavirus cases to 207 so far, of which 58 have made a full recovery and left hospital.
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