|Residents of central Thừa Thiên-Huế Province wave flags to bid farewell to the Japanese Emperor and Empress. - Photo vov.vn |Viet Nam News
THỪA THIÊN-HUẾ – Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko concluded their first ever six-day State visit to Việt Nam yesterday after visiting several monuments restored with Japanese assistance in Huế City.
The Emperor and Empress were impressed by the warm welcome of the Vietnamese administration and people, said Hatsushi Takashima, spokesman and special assistant of the Japanese Foreign Ministry, at a press briefing on Saturday.
The city, in the central province of Thừa Thiên-Huế, was recognised by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage in 1993.
At the Huế Imperial Citadel, an official from the Huế Monuments Conservation Centre introduced the Japanese Royal couple to special cultural aspects of the ancient capital of Việt Nam (under the Nguyễn Dynasty).
Many of the palaces and tombs of Nguyễn Kings in Huế have been restored with assistance from the Japanese Government and experts from the Waseda and Tokyo Universities, the official said.
The Emperor and Empress also enjoyed Huế’s famous royal court music, which was recognised by UNESCO as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity in 2003. This music was also staged in Japan in the eighth century.
The same day, the Japanese Emperor and Empress visited a memorial house dedicated to Phan Bội Châu, a pioneer of the Đông Du movement in early 20th century that encouraged young Vietnamese to go east to study and seek ways to save the nation.
A memorial stele dedicated to Japanese doctor Asaba Sakitaro, who made great contributions to the Đông Du movement, is kept at Fukuroi City, Shizuoka prefecture as a symbol of Việt Nam-Japan friendship in the 20th century.
During their stay, the royal couple met Japanese nationals in Việt Nam as well as volunteers of the Japan International Co-operation Agency in Huế.– VNS