The first Vietnam-Japan people’s friendship festival to celebrate the 40 th anniversary of their diplomatic ties was held in Hanoi on September 20.

Addressing the event, Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai said since the establishment of diplomatic ties, Vietnam and Japan have become important partners on the backdrop of their strengthened political trust.

The bilateral relationship now can be described as the best so far, Hai said.

He expressed his belief that the Vietnam-Japan strategic partnership will move to a new height for the benefit of the two peoples.

Japanese Ambassador to Vietnam Yasuaki Tanizaki said cultural similarities have laid a foundation for bilateral friendship and people-to-people exchange which, according to him, need stronger efforts from young generations to further blossom.

Held by the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisations, the four-day festival will also run in Vinh Phuc and Quang Ninh.

The same day, a similar ceremony was also held in Ho Chi Minh City , with Vietnamese and Japanese businesses and citizens taking part.

Speaking at the event, Japanese Consul General Harumitsa Hida said more and more Japanese firms are interested in the city and its neighbouring localities.

Japan has been so far HCM City ’s fifth largest investor with 570 projects worth 3 billion USD and the largest importer.

In the first eight months of this year, the city recorded an export-import turnover of 2.54 billion USD and welcomed nearly 150,000 Japanese tourists, he noted.-VNA