Vietnamese Ambassador to Japan Nguyen Quoc Cuong (R) persents the appointment decision to doctor Nagato Natsume (Photo: VNA)

Tokyo (VNA) – Japanese doctor Nagato Natsume has been appointed Honorary Consul of Vietnam in Aichi prefecture of the Northeast Asian nation.

Vietnamese Ambassador to Japan Nguyen Quoc Cuong handed over the national flag, emblem of Vietnam and the appointment decision to Nagato Natsume on April 8.

The presentation ceremony was also attended by Chairman of the People’s Committee of Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City Nguyen Thanh Phong, former Vietnamese Vice President Truong My Hoa, Aichi Governor Hideaki Omura, Mayor of Nagoya city Takashi Kawamura and other officials of the two countries.

Nagato Natsume, Director of the Japanese Cleft Palate Foundation and Secretary General of the International Cleft Lip and Palate Foundation, first came to Vietnam in 1992. He and the Japanese Cleft Palate Foundation have assisted clef lip and palate surgeries for Vietnamese children and carried out charitable activities helping enhance the two countries’ relations.

Ambassador Cuong said the appointment is the Vietnamese State and Government’s recognition of the doctor’s contributions to bilateral ties.

He expressed his hope that as the Honorary Consul, Nagato Natsume will continue helping to enhance connections between Aichi and Vietnamese localities, as well as between Japan and Vietnam.

Natsume told Vietnam News Agency that over the last 26 years, he has visited Vietnam 200 times and organised more than 4,000 cleft lip and palate surgeries in the country. He hopes that in the future, more Vietnamese people will come to work in Japan and more Japanese firms will do business in the Southeast Asian country.

He noted Vietnam-Japan relations are particularly close and he will exert every effort to contribute to the ties.

Also at the ceremony, Ambassador Cuong offered congratulations on the establishment of the Vietnam-Japan Friendship Association in Aichi, which coincided with the 45th founding anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two nations.

He said the Japan-Vietnam relationship is at its best stage, evidenced by many mutual visits of their leaders, especially a visit to Vietnam by the Japanese Emperor and Empress in 2017. Locality-to-locality ties have also been strengthened, including between Aichi and HCM City.

The ambssador asked the friendship association to work harder to promote relations between Aichi and Vietnamese localities and assist Vietnamese people in the prefecture.

For his part, Aichi Governor Hideaki Omura congratulated Natsume on his appointment and the association’s foundation, voicing his belief that these moves will contribute to cooperation between Aichi and Vietnam.

He noted that 200 Aichi businesses are investing in Vietnam while about 23,000 Vietnamese people are living in this prefecture.-VNA