Thousands of Japanese consumers flocked to a fair of Vietnamese products that took place in Koshigaya city in the Japanese prefecture of Saitama from Aug. 3-5.

Jointly organised by Japan’s Aeon Group, the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Vietnamese Embassy in Japan and Vietnam Airlines, the event was part of activities to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the two countries’ diplomatic ties in 2013.

Addressing the opening ceremony, Aeon Vice President and Senior Executive Manager Hiroshi Yokoo said the group wants to introduce Vietnam ’s culture and popular consumer products from the Southeast Asian country, including garments, handicraft items, fruits and foodstuff.

The Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade, Ho Thi Kim Thoa, said two-way trade hit 21 billion USD last year, and this figure stood at 12 billion USD in the first half of this year. Japan is now the top investor in Vietnam with around 1,700 projects worth a total of 28 billion USD.

Thoa said she hopes the event will enhance understanding of Vietnam and its culture, contributing to strengthening friendship between the two peoples.-VNA