Hai Phong (VNA) – Northern
Hai Phong city kicked off a Vietnam-Japan cultural exchange festival together
with a cherry blossom exhibition on March 12 to introduce the locals to the
beauty of Japan.

In his opening remarks, Chairman
of the municipal People’s Committee Nguyen Van Tung affirmed the strong ties
between Hai Phong city and Japan, which is reflected by 130 Japan-invested
projects in the city, worth 40 billion USD and representing more than 30
percent of the locality’s total FDI.

Japan has also been a major
provider of official development assistance (ODA) for Hai Phong’s key projects
and has supported the city in developing waste treatment plants as well as
transportation infrastructure, he said.

The city has established
relations with six cities and prefectures in Japan and integrated Japanese in
its high school curriculums, the chairman noted, adding that Hai Phong has had
a TV channel in Japanese.

Takahashi Anyumu from the Japan
National Tourism Organisation said as Vietnam is among Japan’s key visitor
market, Japan has set up a tourism representative office in Vietnam, the 16th of its kind abroad, to promote the image of the country to Vietnam as well as
Hai Phong.

The cherry blossom exhibition
takes place at the city’s central square until March 14 with about 100 cherry
trees gifted by the government of Japan on display.

The government of Japan took
this opportunity to present Hai Phong a fire truck.-VNA