Visitors pose with Vietnam's three-wheel cyclos (Source: VNA)

Tokyo (VNA) – The Vietnam Festival 2018 kicked off at Yoyogi park in the Japanese capital of Tokyo on May 19 on the occasion of the 128th birth anniversary of late President Ho Chi Minh.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Vietnamese Ambassador to Japan Nguyen Quoc Cuong said that the event is part of important activities to take place in Japan in 2018 in celebration of the 45th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties.

Besides Tokyo, the Vietnam Festival will be organised in other localities across Japan, including Fukuoka, Aichi, Osaka, Kanagawa, and Saitama, within this year, Cuong added.

Former Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda expressed his delight at the development of the two countries’ relations, while hoping that the friendship will be strengthened to meet aspirations.

Deputy head of the Japan-Vietnam Friendship Association Motoyoshi Ryoikichi told the Vietnam News Agency that the bilateral ties are in a flourishing period.

There are around 240,000 Vietnamese people living in Japan, a tenfold increase compared with the figure five years ago.

The Vietnam festival was first held in Japan in September 2008, becoming the biggest-ever festival of Vietnam held in the country, attracting 150,000 visitors in just three days.

Since then, the festival has been organised annually and become the largest cultural exchange event between the two countries.

This year’s event has 120 pavilions, including 60 cuisine ones, and 50 others introducing the image of Vietnamese land and people and Vietnamese goods, along with art performances.

The two-day festival is expected to attract over 150,000 visitors.-VNA