The Vietnamese people always treasure assistance that Japan has provided to Vietnam in past years.

President of the Vietnam – Japan Friendship Association in HCM City Nguyen Cong Tanh made this affirmation at a ceremony held by the HCM City chapter of the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisations on Dec. 8, to mark the National Day of Japan and the 78 th birthday of Japanese Emperor Akihito.

Tanh said that despite difficulties caused by the tsunami disaster, Japan continues to increase official development assistance to Vietnam to 71.6 billion JPY (921.4 million USD), supporting infrastructure and human resource development projects and providing emergency relief to help people in the Mekong Delta overcome the consequences of September floods.

He added that HCM City people are delighted at the Nov. 20 inauguration of the Japan-funded Thu Thiem tunnel which runs beneath Saigon River, manifesting goodwill and friendship in the two countries’ relations.

Japanese Consul General in HCM City Hida Harumitsu said he believes after visits to Japan made by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and the high-ranking delegation from HCM City led by municipal Party Committee Secretary Le Thanh Hai, relations between HCM City as well as between Vietnam and Japan will be strengthened and the two countries’ cooperation will be more effective./.