February 27-March 5: Japanese Emperor, Empress make first-ever visit to Vietnam

Monday, 2017-03-06 04:43:59
 Font Size:     |        Print

President Tran Dai Quang and Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko raise their glasses at the banquet. (Credit: VOV)
 Font Size:     |  

NDO – Followed are some prominent events that made the headlines over the past week introduced by Nhan Dan Online:

Japanese Emperor, Empress pay first official visit to Vietnam

Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko on February 28 started their first-ever six-day State visit to Vietnam at the invitation of President Tran Dai Quang.

During their stay, the royal couple had a meeting with President Tran Dai Quang and enjoyed a banquet hosted by the State leader and his spouse, while meeting Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his wife, and National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan. They also attended an afternoon tea party held by Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and his wife.

The Japanese Emperor and Empress also laid a wreath and paid tribute to President Ho Chi Minh at his mausoleum in Hanoi.

At the meetings, the two sides agreed that the Japanese Emperor and Empress’ visit has contributed to the historical significance of the bilateral relations. They shared the belief that it will contribute to fostering mutual trust and understanding as well as the sentiment of each people for the other, thus further expanding the extensive strategic partnership between Vietnam and Japan in the future.

They concurred that the relationship between Vietnam and Japan is at its finest level in the history of the ties. Next year, the two sides will celebrate the 45th anniversary of the diplomatic ties, they noted, stressing that the historical exchange as well as similarities in culture between the two countries such as wet rice cultivation, sericulture and weaving in addition to the love for peace, which should be preserved and further promoted.

Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko visit the Temple of Literature in Hanoi on March 2. (Credit: MOFA)

Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko expressed their sympathy for the Vietnamese people’s difficulties caused by climate change, including drought, saltwater intrusion and environmental pollution.

Both sides agreed on the need for all countries across the globe to pay more attention to protecting the environment to ensure health and the living conditions of all people, while sharing their common perspectives on the significance of education to national development.

Within the framework of the visit, the Japanese Emperor and Empress met volunteers of the Japan International Cooperation Agency and staff of the Japanese Embassy in Vietnam.

They also hosted an exchange with Japanese alumni and the Japanese community in Vietnam, as well as the families of Japanese veterans living in Vietnam.

The Japanese Emperor and Empress also visited the Museum of Biology of the Vietnam National University in Hanoi. While staying in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue, they enjoyed the traditional Hue court music at Duyet Thi Duong Theatre, and visited the Imperial City of Hue and the commemorative area of patriot Phan Boi Chau.

SOM1 successfully wraps up, laying foundation for next events

The first Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Senior Officials Meeting (SOM1) and related meetings successfully concluded on March 3 with positive outcomes, laying a foundation for the next events from now to the year’s end.

SOM1 and related meetings reached high consensus on the four priorities proposed by Vietnam for APEC Year 2017, namely promoting sustainable, innovative and inclusive growth; deepening regional economic integration; strengthening micro, small and medium-sized enterprises’ competitiveness and innovation in the digital age; and enhancing food security and sustainable agriculture in response to climate change.

At the meetings, Vietnam also raised a number of major initiatives for 2017, as well as for the long term. Worthy of note is the initiative to set up a mechanism for future APEC cooperation, including the building of a post-2020 APEC Vision and the acceleration of the Bogor Goals.

The other initiatives cover a range of fields, such as promoting the inclusion of development in Asia-Pacific, human resources development in the digital age, stepping up the supporting industries, transnational e-commerce, sustainable tourism development in the context of climate change and dialogues on anti-corruption and trade fraud prevention.

They also reached a consensus and endorsed the work plan for the whole year, including SOMs, Ministerial Meetings and the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week in Da Nang in November.

Flag-raising ceremony held for last two Kilo-class submarines

The Kilo-class submarine 186 Da Nang. (Credit: VGP)

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc attended the flag-raising ceremony for two new Kilo-class submarines, coded 186 Da Nang and 187 Ba Ria–Vung Tau, at the Cam Ranh Military Port in the central province of Khanh Hoa on February 28.

186 Da Nang and 187 Ba Ria–Vung Tau are the last two diesel-powered 636 Varshavyanka (Kilo)–class submarines in the contract (worth nearly US$2 billion) signed with Russia in 2009 on the purchase of six Kilo-class submarines with the aim of building a modern regular naval force and strengthening national sea and island defence capabilities.

After the ceremony, the two submarines will be officially handed over to the Submarine Brigade 189 for operation.

The previous four submarines, coded 182 Hanoi, 183 Ho Chi Minh City, 184 Hai Phong and 185 Khanh Hoa, were handed over to Vietnam in 2015 and 2016.

Nationwide economic survey starts from March 1

The General Statistics Office (GSO) is conducting a nationwide economic survey from March 1 to evaluate the performance of economic and administrative units from the grassroots to the central level.

The move aims to examine the efficiency of business operation, the application of information and technology, and the structure of manufacturing agencies and distribution of workers in each locality and economic sector.

The GSO will devise statistics criteria in 2016 – the first year of the socio-economic development strategy through 2020 and the national gross domestic product and gross regional domestic product targets, and update a database on businesses.

A new point of this year’s survey is collecting data on foreign non-governmental organisations in Vietnam to fully assess manufacturing activities of all economic organisations and individuals.

The agency will also use information from the taxation sector, the State treasury, and other State management agencies on health, education-training, culture-sports, and information-communication as references.

The survey will be carried out in two periods, with the first running from March 1 for businesses and administrative units, and the second from July 1 for individual manufacturing facilities and religious organisations.

Vietnam attends Asia’s largest coffee and tea fair

Eight Vietnamese firms showcased their top-quality tea and coffee products at the Café Asia and International Coffee and Tea Expo—the largest of its kind in Asia, which was held in Singapore on March 2-4.

The three-day event brings together 150 café owners and managers, coffee and tea exporters and importers and distributors and suppliers of café-related machinery and equipment in a dynamic marketplace.

Trung Nguyen, Hello 5 and Liberica Gold are among the Vietnamese exhibitors who have branched out their products to Singapore in the past several years. Other businesses sent brochures, catalogues and samples to introduce their brands at the event.

SMS-texting programme launched to support AO victims

The Vietnam Association of Victims of Agent Orange (AO)/dioxin (VAVA) on February 27 held a press conference on launching a charitable texting programme to support victims of AO/dioxin.

Under the programme, which runs from February 26 to April 28, an individual can donate VND18,000 (US$0.80) to AO victims by sending a message reading ‘DACAM’ to the national humanitarian portal 1409.

First held six years ago, the campaign has mobilised more than VND18 billion (US$790,020), including over VND4.2 billion (US$184,338) in 2016.

The money has been distributed to VAVA sub-organisations at localities to construct rehabilitation centres for AO victims and support the lives of those living in difficult circumstances.

London Symphony Orchestra offer musical treat in Hanoi

London Symphony Orchestra perform in Vietnam for the first time.

The London Symphony Orchestra presented a musical treat for music lovers at Ly Thai To Statue near Hanoi’s Hoan Kiem Lake on March 4, the first time ever in Vietnam.

The live concert, beginning with Vietnam’s national anthem and lasting for a total of 105 minutes, was highly praised by all members of the audience.

The programme, directed by the young conductor Niklas Benjamin Hoffmann, included Dmitri Dmitrievich Shostakovich’s Festive Overture, Benjamin Britten’s Four Sea Interludes and Rachmaninov’s Symphony No. 2.

In addition to the above-mentioned musical pieces, artists of the London Symphony Orchestra performed an extract from the ballet ‘The Nutcracker’ and a piece from the soundtrack of Star Wars.

The concert was the London orchestra’s final performance during its tour of Asia.

Xuan Vinh returns with top form after Olympic success

Vietnam’s No. 1 marksman Hoang Xuan Vinh went on to satisfy his home fans by winning a silver medal in the men’s 10m air pistol event at the ISSF World Cup in New Delhi, India on February 28.

Vinh proved his superiority as an Olympic champion by overwhelming 34 opponents in the preliminary round on the morning with six shots earning a total of 581 points (97, 98, 97, 96, 97 and 96 points respectively).

In the final round later the same day, Vinh made it through to the last three medal competitors, alongside Tomoyuki Matsuda (Japan) and Jitu Rai (India).

The Vietnamese shooter went on to beat Jitu Rai to vie for the gold medal with Matsuda; however, he failed to create a miracle, only scoring 9.5 and 9.8 points compared to 10.2 and 10.6 points by the Japanese athlete.

In total, Vinh walked away with the silver medal with 236.6 points, while Matsuda took gold and broke the world record with 240.1 points.

The New Delhi World Cup, which lasted until March 1, was the first stage of the 2017 ISSF World Cup Series.