Many prominent Japanese politicians and Tokyo-based foreign diplomats made their presence at a reception hosted by the Vietnamese embassy in Japan on the occasion of traditional Lunar New Year (Tet) on February 7.

The Japanese guests included former Prime Ministers Yasuo Fukuda and Yukio Hatoyama, President of the New Komeito Party Natsuo Yamaguchi, and Deputy Foreign Minister Toshiko Abe among others.

Addressing the function, Vietnamese Ambassador Doan Xuan Hung said Vietnam and Japan have developed a strategic partnership on the basis of mutual trust.

Japan is Vietnam’s leading trade partner and foreign investor as well as the country’s largest ODA provider.

The two countries have made 2013 the Vietnam-Japan Friendship Year to celebrate 40 years of their diplomatic ties.

Japanese Deputy Foreign Minister Toshiko Abe affirmed that Vietnam and Japan are important partners of each other.

She pledged to cooperate with Ambassador Hung to further boost the two countries’ relations and said she hopes that the strategic partnership between Vietnam and Japan will see unceasing development.

Talking with a Vietnam News Agency correspondent, former Japanese PM Yukio Hatoyama said 2013 will be a special year as it marks the 40 th anniversary of the two countries’ diplomatic ties.

He said he plans to visit Vietnam in April and welcomes all Vietnamese to Japan.

On the occasion of Tet, the Vietnamese Embassy in South Africa also held a get-together in February 7.-VNA