A Brief History of Vietnam-Japan Economic Relations
Japan cautious in establishing closer ties in the form of political and trade with Vietnam because Vietnam suspicion of Japanese economic power and its relationship with the United States. In May 1978, two of Japan's economic mission will visit Vietnam at the end of the month to discuss the promotion of trade and investment in development projects in Vietnam. In October 1987, Japan diplomatic source in Hanoi said Japanese companies that were very active in Vietnam will slow the pace of their investments as a result of pressure from ASEAN and the United States. In December 1989, Japanese companies are actively trying to promote trade and investment activities in Vietnam despite the continued freezing of economic aid to the country by the Japanese government.
In June 1990, a Vietnam senior official said the Vietnamese government has approved more than US$ l billion of foreign investment and the figure could be increased if the Japanese establish trade relations with Hanoi following the completion of the Cambodia issue. In the same month, a Vietnam senior official said Vietnam needs more trade, not aid in restoring the country's economy as it attracts great interest from businessmen in Southeast Asia and Japan. In August 1990, two from the four largest Japanese shipping company, Nippon Yusen Kaisha and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha eyeing a bigger share in the trading of Vietnam liner which at that time was dominated by a number of Western countries and Asia, the Soviet Union and Vietnam. In the same month, Vietnam has invited Japan to explore offshore oil and help the construction of a refinery.
In September 1990, a Japanese business delegation will visit Vietnam in that year to attending a trade seminar in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh. In December 1990, Vietnam is facing a shortage of cheap oil from the Soviet Union, hoping that Western companies or the Japanese would help it build a refinery that is worth billions of dollars to meet domestic needs. In March 1991, the Vietnamese government expects 15,000 Japanese citizens will visit Vietnam in the year to explore business opportunities, more than seven times the number in 1990. In April 1991, Vietnam's oil industry may soon receive a significant boost required when Mitsubishi Oil Co. has confirmed its support for an international project to develop undersea oil resources of the country. The project was carried out by an oil consortium of Japanese and European.
In the same month, the representatives of Japan-Vietnam Trade Association said big and well-known companies in Japan now beginning to step into Vietnam. Prime Minister of Vietnam, Do Muoi also held a meeting with the chairman of the Japanese firms, Kanematsu Corporation and Daio Paper Corporation in Hanoi. In May 1991, Japanese companies have been willing and eager to explore oil in Vietnam. But they face the dilemma of whether to lag too far behind or in front of the United States embargo friends in won the right to search for oil exploration in Vietnam. In the same month, Nhan Dan newspaper reported that business travelers group from Japan and Singapore that are on a mission to collect information is the most frequent foreign visitors to Vietnam last year.
In June 1991, Japanese Foreign Minister, Taro Nakayama had informed the Vietnam leaders that he hoped Hanoi will create a better climate for Japanese investors. In the same month, the Japanese oil companies and trading houses began to approach Vietnam in their time waiting for the abolition of the United States trade barriers for 16 years which could open one of the last frontiers that contains an energy source. By July 1991, Japan's trade relations with Vietnam is expected to increase by more than 15 percent in that year to about US$ l billion despite the United States led sanctions. In the same month, a Thai commercial official in Tokyo, Am pa wan Pitchayalai said the growing importance of Japan in Vietnam could affect the Thai business opportunities in the Japanese market. The Vietnamese government also has agreed with partners from Japan and South Korea to enter the first joint venture for car assembly.
In October 1991, Vietnam has asked Japan to continue economic cooperation in the future and promised that its course towards a free market economy will continue. In the same month, the Japanese trading giants have set their sights on Vietnam and using Singapore to launch their business ventures to this Indochina country. Vietnam officials and diplomats said Vietnam will receive dividends of peace gradually from peacefully settle of the Cambodia issue, the Japanese is likely to continue economy assistance. In November 1991, Japan business mission began to enter Vietnam in encouraging since the Cambodian peace agreement paved the way to break up the trade sanctions that led by the United States.
In December 1991, Vietnamese Prime Minister, Vo Van Kiet had met executives from several Japanese oil and trading companies to discuss the prospect of creating a cooperation agreement. In January 1992, a foreign ministry official in Tokyo said Japan will continue its official assistance to Vietnam in that year after the suspension for 14 years because of the Vietnamese invasion over Cambodia in December 1978. With Japan poised to resume suspended aid to Vietnam in 1979, Japanese companies are gearing up to enter the country they saw as one of the last frontiers in Asia, with an attractive supply of oil, coal and cheap labor. In the same month, the Vietnamese official reports said the Japanese government is considering the assistance to Vietnam after a hiatus of 13 years, Hanoi has been informed that it wants to improve economic ties.
In March 1992, Japanese commercial banks are planning to open a resident office in Moscow and Ho Chi Minh City to facilitate the channeling of the Japanese money to Russia and Vietnam.. In October 1992, Japan will continue economic aid to Vietnam after the United States elections on November 3, thus further weakening of the United States sanctions against the communist state. In November 1992, Vietnam has asked Japan to help finance projects that are considered important for the country's transition to a market economy. The request lists 548 projects in 18 regions, worth US$ 6.4 billion. In the same month, the Japanese Cabinet will approve a loan of 45.5 billion yen to Vietnam after the termination of economic sanctions imposed on the country since 1978.
By November 1992, foreign investment in Vietnam in that year has increased by more than a quarter compared to last year and the country is expecting more investment flows from Japan after Tokyo announced plans a big assistance. By December 1992, total trade between Vietnam and Japan increased 4.7 percent to US$ 1.15 billion during 1992, with exports of crude oil makes Vietnam one of the few countries that enjoy a trade surplus with Japan. In January 1993, the re-channeling of Tokyo aid to Vietnam has encouraged Japanese corporate sector to enter the country they saw as one of the last frontiers in Asia.
In February 1993, Japan's Keidanren business organization opened a two-day seminar for Vietnamese officials, economists and company executives in Hanoi to discuss how to build stronger relationships. A total of about 130 Vietnamese and 100 Japanese businessmen participated. In the same month, the President of Sanyo Electric Co Ltd, Yasuaki Takano said his company is considering plans to invest in new projects in China and is currently evaluating the possibility of investing in Vietnam. In March 1993, the Vietnamese newspapers praised new relationship between Vietnam and Japan after the visit of Prime Minister Vo Van Kiet to Tokyo. The visit to Japan by the Prime Minister of Vietnam is the first since the fall of South Vietnam in 1975.
 Anonymous, Japan sees Vietnam as a market of lucrative potential in The Straits Times, 4 October 1977, p. 14.
 Anonymous, Two top Japanese trade missions to visit Vietnam in New Nation, 17 May 1978, p. 7.
 Anonymous, Japan to slow down Hanoi investment in The Business Times, 2 October 1987, p. 18.
 Anonymous, Japanese firms bullish on Vietnam despite ban on aid in The Straits Times, 7 December 1989, p. 7.
 Anonymous, Investments for Vietnam total US$ lb in The Business Times, 21 June 1990, p. 28. See also Anonymous, Hanoi and Tokyo embrace for mutual benefit in The Business Times, 27 February 1993, p. 21.
 Anonymous, We need trade, not aid, says Viet minister in The Straits Times, 21 June 1990, p. 8. See also Anonymous, Analysts see Japanese-Viet business boom in the making in The Business Times, 20 November 1990, p. 4.
 Anonymous, Japanese lines eye Vietnam trade pie in The Business Times, 29 August 1990, p. 30.
 Anonymous, Hanoi invites Tokyo to seek oil, build refinery in The Straits Times, 24 August 1990, p. 9. See also Anonymous, Hanoi government offers role in oil industry to Japan in The Business Times, 24 August 1990, p. 30
 Anonymous, Japanese business team attend seminars in Vietnam in The Business Times, 24 September 1990, p. 10.
 Anonymous, Hanoi wooing foreign oil investment in The Business Times, 6 December 1990, p. 8.
 Anonymous, Hanoi expects more Japanese in The Business Times, 7 March 1991, p. 7. See also Anonymous, More yen for Vietnam in The Straits Times, 7 March 1991, p. 10.
 Anonymous, Mitsubishi joins Viet undersea oil venture in The Business Times, 25 April 1991, p. 10.
 Anonymous, Japanese companies gearing up to trade with Hanoi in The Business Times, 6 April 1991, p. 6.
 Anonymous, Vietnamese Prime Minister meets chiefs of Japanese firms in The Straits Times, 19 April 1991, p. 37.
 Anonymous, Japanese wary as they hunt for oil in Vietnam in The Business Times, 28 May 1991, p. 20.
 Anonymous, Japan, S'pore top business visitors to Vietnam in The Business Times, 3 May 1991, p. 7.
 Anonymous, Nakayama asks Hanoi for better investment climate in The Business Times, 15 June 1991, p. 6.
 Anonymous, Japanese keen to develop Vietnam's oil reserves in The Business Times, 27 June 1991, p. 4.
 Anonymous, Tokyo-Hanoi trade likely to rise more than 15pc this year in The Business Times, 30 July 1991, p. 8.
 Anonymous, Booming Vietnam-Japan trade worries Thais in The Business Times, 31 July 1991, p. 7.
 Anonymous, Vietnam in motor joint venture with Japanese, Koreans in The Business Times, 6 July 1991, p. 6.
 Anonymous, Vietnam wants Japan to resume economic ties soon in The Business Times, 31 October 1991, p. 8.
 Anonymous, Key role for Singapore in Japan's Vietnam trade in The Business Times, 21 October 1991, p. 1.
 Anonymous, Vietnam likely to get aid after signing of accord in The Business Times, 24 October 1991, p. 8.
 Anonymous, Japan gearing up for investment in Vietnam in The Business Times, 25 November 1991, p. 8. See also Anonymous, Tokyo business team in Hanoi in The Business Times, 2 November 1991, p. 7.
 Anonymous, Viet PM meets Japanese to discuss oil-gas co-operation in The Straits Times, 3 December 1991, p. 36.
 Anonymous, Tokyo to resume aid to Hanoi after 14-year suspension in The Business Times, 3 January 1992, p. 26. See also Anonymous, Japan to resume aid to Vietnam, Cambodia in The Straits Times, 3 January 1992, p. 7.
 Anonymous, Japanese firms eye Vietnam as Tokyo prepares to resume aid in The Business Times, 31 January 1992, p. 8. See also Steven Brull, Japan set to become dominant player in Vietnam's economy in The Straits Times, 29 April 1992, p. 11.
 Anonymous, Tokyo wants to increase economic ties with Hanoi in The Business Times, 20 January 1992, p. 28.
 Anonymous, Japanese banks planning offices in Russia, Vietnam in The Business Times, 9 March 1992, p. 6.
 Anonymous, Tokyo 'to resume aid to Hanoi after US polls' in The Straits Times, 29 October 1992, p. 8.
 Anonymous, Vietnam seeks Japan's financial aid in The Business Times, 19 November 1992, p. 10.
 Anonymous, Japan to resume yen loan to Vietnam: report in The Business Times, 5 November 1992, p. 10. See also Anonymous, Japan resumes aid to Vietnam in The Business Times, 7 November 1992, p. 2.
 Anonymous, Hanoi sees rise in investment in The Business Times, 10 November 1992, p. 8. See also Anonymous, Foreign investment in Vietnam up by a quarter in The Straits Times, 10 November 1992, p. 34.
 Anonymous,Trade between Vietnam and Japan seen hitting US$1.15b in The Business Times, 28 December 1992, p. 6.
 Anonymous, Resumed Tokyo aid encouraging Japan firms to invest in Vietnam in The Straits Times, 26 January 1993, p. 10.
 Anonymous, Leading Japan business group opens 2-day seminar in Vietnam in The Straits Times, 5 February 1993, p. 43.
 Anonymous, Sanyo's new Chinese project in The Straits Times, 17 February 1993, p. 35.
 Anonymous, Hanoi papers welcome new ties with Tokyo in The Straits Times, 30 March 1993, p. 9. See also Anonymous, Viet PM's visit to Japan expected to boost economic ties in The Straits Times, 23 March 1993, p. 8. See also Anonymous, Viet PM in Tokyo to boost trade and diplomatic ties in The Business Times, 25 March 1993, p. 3. See also Anonymous, Hanoi PM to visit Japan in March in The Straits Times, 1 March 1993, p. 4.