President Tran Dai Quang (L) and Japanese Emperor Akihito at the welcome ceremony in Hanoi (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – President Tran Dai Quang and his spouse chaired a welcome ceremony in Hanoi on March 1 for Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko who arrived in Vietnam on February 28 for their six-day State visit.

During a meeting held following the ceremony, President Tran Dai Quang and his spouse warmly welcomed the Emperor and Empress on their first ever State visit to Vietnam, describing the visit as a historical event in the history of Vietnam-Japan relations.

They expressed their belief that the visit will contribute to strengthening mutual trust and understanding between the two people as well as their sentiments towards each other, thus further expanding the extensive strategic partnership between Vietnam and Japan.

President Tran Dai Quang thanked the warm sentiments that the Japanese Emperor and Empress, the Royal Family as well as the Japanese Government and people have given to Vietnam over the past years.

Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko showed their delight at their first-ever visit to Vietnam and thanked the Vietnamese side for its warm welcome.

The two sides reviewed the bilateral long-standing relations, which began from the eighth century when Vietnamese Great Master Phat Triet came to Nara – Japan’s capital then – to perform Buddhism and cultural exchange activities, and Japanese traders cruised to Hoi An port of Vietnam in the 16th-17th century.

They expressed pleasure at the rapid and sound progresses in Vietnam-Japan ties during the past nearly 45 years, while sharing the common hope of further bolstering the friendship and cooperation between the two countries in the future.

Emperor Akihito asserted that the historical exchange laid down an important foundation for the two sides to boost their partnership for the respective development as well as the growth of the Vietnam-Japan friendship.

At the meeting, President Tran Dai Quang and his spouse introduced the Japanese guests to the diversity and unique identity of the Vietnamese culture, which had absorbed world cultural quintessence.

They said they wish to welcome more members of the Japanese Royal Family in 2018 when the two countries celebrate the 45th anniversary of diplomatic ties.

The Emperor and Empress of Japan are noble symbols of the nation and the solidarity of Japanese people. They only make visit abroad on the occasion of special commemorative events with partners sharing close relations with Japan.

Emperor Akihito, who has long shown his warm sentiments towards Vietnam, has been supporting Royal Family members to strengthen exchanges with Vietnam.

Vietnam and Japan have enjoyed the best friendship ever. They have built political trust and stepped up cooperation at regional and international forums.

Also on March 1, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko laid a wreath and paid tribute to late President Ho Chi Minh at his mausoleum in Hanoi.-VNA