Hai Phong hosts Vietnam-Japan cultural exchange festival hinh anh 1Visitors at the ​cherry blossom exhibition in Hai Phong city on March 12. (Photo: VNA)

Hai Phong (VNA) – Northern Hai Phong city kicked off a Vietnam-Japan cultural exchange festival together with a cherry blossom exhibition on March 12 to introduce the locals to the beauty of Japan.

In his opening remarks, Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Nguyen Van Tung affirmed the strong ties between Hai Phong city and Japan, which is reflected by 130 Japan-invested projects in the city, worth 40 billion USD and representing more than 30 percent of the locality’s total FDI.

Japan has also been a major provider of official development assistance (ODA) for Hai Phong’s key projects and has supported the city in developing waste treatment plants as well as transportation infrastructure, he said.

The city has established relations with six cities and prefectures in Japan and integrated Japanese in its high school curriculums, the chairman noted, adding that Hai Phong has had a TV channel in Japanese.

Takahashi Anyumu from the Japan National Tourism Organisation said as Vietnam is among Japan’s key visitor market, Japan has set up a tourism representative office in Vietnam, the 16th of its kind abroad, to promote the image of the country to Vietnam as well as Hai Phong.

The cherry blossom exhibition takes place at the city’s central square until March 14 with about 100 cherry trees gifted by the government of Japan on display.

The government of Japan took this opportunity to present Hai Phong a fire truck.-VNA