Japan and Vietnam have agreed to deepen security cooperation in hopes of strengthening an alliance that shares concerns about China's territorial assertiveness in regional waters.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called for greater economic collaboration with Vietnam, following talks Wednesday with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung in Hanoi.
Mr. Abe said the two countries share similar challenges.
Mr. Dung said Vietnam and Japan want all regional disputes to be resolved through “peaceful negotiations based on international law.”
Japan is mired in a territorial dispute with China about ownership of islands in the East China Sea called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China. The dispute has strained relations between the two countries.
Vietnam and the Philippines are key parties to a separate controversy about access to resources in the South China Sea, a region also claimed by China.
Mr. Abe's stop in Hanoi marked the first leg of his three-nation visit to Southeast Asia this week. He will also go to Thailand and Indonesia. The trip is seen as a regional diplomatic push amid tense relations with China and an effort to expand trading markets.
This is Mr. Abe's first overseas trip since he was elected last month as prime minister.