Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc met on Thursday with visiting Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko, hailing the friendship between the two countries and their people.
|Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc with Japanese Emperor Akihito on Thursday. (Photo: VNA/VNS)|
Prime Minister Phuc said he believed the visit by the emperor and the empress was a milestone that would foster co-operation between two sides in many fields.
Mr. Phuc expressed thanks for the affection that the Emperor expressed for Vietnam and its people, and also for Japan’s economic support as Vietnam’s leading trade partner. He also applauded the contribution of Japanese firms operating in Vietnam to the country’s economy.
For their part, the Emperor and Empress said they were moved by the warm welcome offered by the Vietnamese Government and people. They also thanked Vietnam for its support in the aftermath of the 2011 tsunami in Japan.
Prime Minister Phuc extended an invitation to other members of the Japanese royal family to visit Vietnam next years on the occasion of the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Tokyo and Hanoi.
Museum of Biology
Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko visited the Museum of Biology at the Vietnam National University in Hanoi, where specimens of white goby fish and Onagadori chicken—gifts from the Japanese Royal Family—are preserved.
A passionate researcher of freshwater fish, Emperor Akihito discovered a new species of white goby fish in a Can Tho River tributary while conducting his PhD essay on fish in the south of Vietnam in the 1970s. He presented a specimen of the fish to the museum in 1976.
Meanwhile, Onagadori is a specious breed of Japanese chicken that was given by Prince Akishino to the museum on August 17, 2012.
During the visit, part of their ongoing six-day State visit to Việt Nam from February 28, Emperor Akihito and his spouse showed interest in specimens of various animal and plant species displayed in the museum, especially rare ones.
Established in 1926 under the Biology Faculty of the Hanoi University of Technology—which is now the University of Natural Sciences under the Vietnam National University—the Museum of Biology is the first of its kind in Indochina.
The museum is part of the Vietnam National Museum of Nature system, which continues to keep and conserve hundreds of thousands of specimens of animals and plants collected since the late 19th century, including those from different areas across the world, which are presents from the heads of state, scientists and foreign museums.
Talking to Japan alumni
Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko, on the same day, met with Vietnamese alumni of Việt Nam’s first university in Hanoi, Van Mieu – Quoc Tu Giam (Temple of Literature), who studied in Japan.
To welcome the Emperor and the Empress, many Japanese living in Vietnam gathered at the area near Van Mieu Quoc Tu Giam with Japanese flags in hands.
Talking to the former students, Emperor Akihito called them the bridge that connects Vietnam and Japan and expressed his wish that they continue to contribute to the good relationship between the two countries.
Ms. Ngo Minh Thuy, Vice Rector of Vietnam National University’s Foreign Languages and International Studies programme and the vice president of the Vietnam – Japan Friendship Association and president of the Japan Alumni Club in Vietnam, said it was a memorable day.
“The Emperor and Empress were very friendly and down-to-earth,” she said.
She also said that the Vietnam – Japan Friendship Association has organized many activities to foster the relationship between the two peoples and nations.
The former students said they all share the desire to continue nurturing bilateral friendly ties.
In the same afternoon, the Japanese guests met families of Japanese war veterans living in Vietnam.