At the opening ceremony of Vietnam - Japan cultural exchange festival 2018 (Source: VNA)

Da Nang (VNA) - The Vietnam - Japan cultural exchange festival 2018 officially kicked off in the central city of Da Nang on July 26 as part of activities to mark the 45th anniversary of the diplomatic ties between the two countries.

In his opening remark, Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son highlighted the fruitful development of the Vietnam-Japan diplomatic ties in all spheres over the past 45 years, affirming that the two countries have created mutual trust among their senior leaders, ministries, sectors and peoples.

The recent State-level visit to Japan by President Tran Dai Quang has contributed to the ushering in a new development period for the friendship and cooperation between the two nations.

Son stressed that Japan is now the largest provider of official development assistance (ODA), and a top partner of Vietnam in accelerating industrialization and modernization.

Japan is also the second largest investment, third biggest tourism and fourth trade partner of Vietnam now, he added, noting that Vietnam is an attractive destination for Japanese investors.

People-to-people exchanges between the two countries have been constantly expanded with 260,000 Vietnamese now living, studying and working in Japan, up nearly 4 times compared to the figure of 2013. The number of Japanese people in Vietnam topped over 16,000.

Son said the Vietnam - Japan cultural exchange festival 2018 offers a good chance for Vietnamese people to not only get insights into Japan’s culture and people’s life, but also learn from Japan’s experience in urban development and tourism, thus promoting cooperation between the two sides.

He said he believed that the event will help strengthen mutual trust and understanding, contributing to deepening the Vietnam-Japan extensive strategic partnership.

Deputy Secretary of the Da Nang Party Committee Vo Cong Tri said the city has so far established friendship and cooperation with over 30 prefectures and cities of Japan, with many cooperation programs bringing practical benefits to the two countries’ localities.

The effective use of ODA provided by the Japanese Government for transport and industrial infrastructure development, along with flexible policies of the locality, has created an attractive investment environment for Japanese businesses.

Da Nang is home to 150 Japanese -invested projects with a total capital of 530 million USD, mostly on electronic and electrical equipment production, and information technology. It is also a favorite destination for visitors from Japan.

For his part, Japanese Ambassador to Vietnam Kunio Umeda affirmed the 45th anniversary of the Vietnam-Japan diplomatic ties will be an important milestone for promoting the bilateral relations across the fields.

Within the framework of the event, many exchange activities will be arranged to introduce cultural identities and arts of both countries to visitors.

The festival will last until July 29.-VNA