Tran Ngoc Phuc, the founder of the medical equipment company, Metran, based in Japan, checks up on the ventilators. (Photo: VNA)


Tokyo (VNA)
– Tran Ngoc Phuc, Chairman of the Overseas Vietnamese Association in Japan, has been awarded Japan’s Order of the Rising Sun, Silver Rays.


The decoration is made in recognition of Phuc’s contributions to Japan and the relations between Japan Vietnam.

Phuc, born in 1947, left Vietnam to study industrial chemistry in Tokai University, Japan, from 1968.

In 1984, 10 years after his graduation, Phuc established the Metran Co Ltd, based in Saitama prefecture’s Kawaguchi City (about 30km from the capital city of Tokyo), to develop a high frequency oscillatory ventilator (HFO), named Hummingbird. Metran’s HFO, aiming to help increase the flow of oxygen for premature babies, would allow for diffusion of air supply at a rate thousands of times faster than machines available at that time.

It was reported that 90 percent of Japanese hospitals and medical facilities employed machines made by Phuc’s company. The paediatric ventilator is also present at hospitals in other countries, including Germany, the UK, Switzerland and Thailand.

The story of the Vietnamese-made machine, which helped save the lives of thousands of premature newborns in Japan, caught the attention of the Japanese Emperor. In July 2012, Metran received the rare honour of a visit by Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko.

In December 2017, Metran was recognised by the Japanese government as one of enterprises playing role as a drive force in the future regional growth. Phuc’s company received research funding of more than 300,000 USD from automaker Suzuki and Tokyo University.

In May 2017, Phuc, named Nitta Kazufuku in Japanese, was elected as chairman of the Overseas Vietnamese Association in Japan for the 2017-2020 term. He has since dedicated himself to mobilising Vietnamese youth in Japan to support those struggling to adapt to the local way of life.-VNA