Viet Nam News
HÀ NÔI — Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc met on Thursday with visiting Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko, hailing the friendship between the two countries and their people.
Prime Minister Phúc said he believed the visit by the emperor and the empress was a milestone that would foster co-operation between two sides in many fields.
Phúc expressed thanks for the affection that the Emperor expressed for Việt Nam and its people, and also for Japan’s economic support as Việt Nam’s leading trade partner. He also applauded the contribution of Japanese firms operating in Việt Nam to the country’s economy.
For their part, the Emperor and Empress said they were moved by the warm welcome offered by the Vietnamese Government and people. They also thanked Việt Nam for its support in the aftermath of the 2011 tsunami in Japan.
Prime Minister Phúc extended an invitation to other members of the Japanese royal family to visit Việt Nam next years on the occasion of the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Tokyo and Hà Nội.
Museum of Biology
Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko visited the Museum of Biology at the Việt Nam National University in Hà Nội, where specimens of white goby fish and Onagadori chicken—gifts from the Japanese Royal Family—are preserved.
A passionate researcher of freshwater fish, Emperor Akihito discovered a new species of white goby fish in a Cần Thơ River tributary while conducting his PhD essay on fish in the south of Việt Nam in the 1970s. He presented a specimen of the fish to the museum in 1976.
Meanwhile, Onagadori is a specious breed of Japanese chicken that was given by Prince Akishino to the museum on August 17, 2012.
During the visit, part of their ongoing six-day State visit to Việt Nam from February 28, Emperor Akihito and his spouse showed interest in specimens of various animal and plant species displayed in the museum, especially rare ones.
Established in 1926 under the Biology Faculty of the Hà Nội University of Technology—which is now the University of Natural Sciences under the Việt Nam National University—the Museum of Biology is the first of its kind in Indochina.
The museum is part of the Việt Nam National Museum of Nature system, which continues to keep and conserve hundreds of thousands of specimens of animals and plants collected since the late 19th century, including those from different areas across the world, which are presents from the heads of state, scientists and foreign museums.
Talking to Japan alumni
Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko, on the same day, met with Vietnamese alumni of Việt Nam’s first university in Hà Nội, Văn Miếu – Quốc Tử Giám (Temple of Literature), who studied in Japan.
To welcome the Emperor and the Empress, many Japanese living in Việt Nam gathered at the area near Văn Miếu Quốc Tử Giám with Japanese flags in hands.
Talking to the former students, Emperor Akihito called them the bridge that connects Việt Nam and Japan and expressed his wish that they continue to contribute to the good relationship between the two countries.
Ngô Minh Thủy, Vice Rector of Việt Nam National University’s Foreign Languages and International Studies programme and the vice president of the Việt Nam – Japan Friendship Association and president of the Japan Alumni Club in Việt Nam, said it was a memorable day.
“The Emperor and Empress were very friendly and down-to-earth,” she said.
She also said that the Việt Nam – Japan Friendship Association has organised many activities to foster the relationship between the two peoples and nations.
The former students said they all share the desire to continue nurturing bilateral friendly ties.
In the same afternoon, the Japanese guests met families of Japanese war veterans living in Việt Nam. — VNS