Deputy Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee Le Thanh Liem sounded his confidence about the future of Vietnam – Japan relations at a December 11 ceremony marking the upcoming 80 th birthday of Japan’s Emperor Akhito and the National Day of Japan.

Liem said his optimism is founded on thriving investment and trade ties. As of September, Japan became the city’s fifth largest investor with 619 projects topping 2 billion USD. The city also partnered with various Japanese localities on a number of urban projects.

Japan is always a friend and trustworthy partner of Vietnam, Liem noted.

The Japanese Consul General in HCM City, Hida Harumitsu, shared this view, stating that the bilateral relationship is currently at its peak over the past 40 years. He said he hopes the partnership will move to yet greater heights next year.

On the economic front, Japan poured 5.1 billion USD in Vietnam last year, or 40 percent of the country’s foreign direct investment. In the past 11 months, the figure jumped to 5.7 billion USD, making Japan the biggest investor in the country.

During the 2013 Japan – Vietnam Friendship Year, HCM City and southern localities hosted a string of cultural exchanges to link their people together.

Also on December 11, the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisations and the municipal chapter of the Vietnam – Japan Friendship Association also hosted a similar event.-VNA