The 2013 Vietnam Festival in Japan got underway at Yoyogi Park in Tokyo on September 14, as part of the “Vietnam Days in Japan” to celebrate the 40th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties.

Present at the event were Japanese Prince Akishino and his wife, Princess Kiko, former Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, Vietnamese Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh, Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Hoang Tuan Anh and Vietnamese Ambassador to Japan Doan Xuan Hung, among others.

Addressing the opening ceremony, Ambassador Hung expressed his hope that the biggest-ever festival will be successful, contributing to deepening the friendship between the two peoples and the Vietnam-Japan strategic partnership.

Meanwhile, in his speech, Minister Anh stressed the important and great achievements gained by the two countries across various fields over the past 40 years.

Japan is Vietnam’s biggest investor, and Vietnam always attaches importance to the strategic partnership with Japan, Minister Anh said.

Co-chaired the festival’s organising board, former Senator Matsuda Iwao noted that in the past five years, the number of Japanese flocking to the festival has increased rapidly, reflecting the growing interest in Vietnam.

The 2013 Vietnam Festival is scheduled to take place on September 14-15, featuring Vietnamese cuisine and handicrafts and tourism products in 133 booths.

Vietnamese and Japanese artists have been together in performances to entertain visitors.-VNA