November 10, 2015.
Resulting from an agreement made on November 6, 2015, Japanese ships will be able to make port calls next year to a Vietnamese naval base along the South China Sea. Hanoi is currently constructing a facility for foreign ships in Cam Ranh Bay, which will be open next year for Japanese ships to visit. In order to expand the defense cooperation between the two nations, they have agreed on the first ever joint naval exercise between the Japan Maritime Self Defense Forces (MSDF) and the Vietnamese navy. Although this is a first, Japan has already been supporting maritime security in Vietnam over the past few years. In August 2014, Japan’s foreign minister Fumio Kishida donated six ships to Vietnam to help reinforce its maritime safety. Despite some tension in the South China Sea, in which Vietnam has a claim in, Hanoi hopes to maintain close relationships with Japan, as well at the US, China, and the Philippines.
Louie Nguyen, CFA is the CIO of San Diego-based Soledad Investment Management. Soledad invests qualified clients’ assets in markets around the world, including Vietnam.