Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has suggested Vietnam and Australia work harder to lift their bilateral ties to a new height while meeting with Speaker of the Australian House of Representatives Anna Burke in Hanoi on May 22.
Buddies: Children take part in a Hoi An-Japan friendship symbol painting contest during the three-day Hoi An-Japan cultural exchange festival. — VNA/VNS Photo Tran Le Lam
The three-day event includes an exhibition of products made from recycled waste, folk games, photographs in Japanese traditional costumes, a charity concert to support Japanese earthquake and tsunami victims, instruction in origami and a boat race.
Hoi An People's Committee chairman Le Van Giang said at the opening ceremony the annual festival allowed the two nations to show their cultures and forge a tighter relationship.
Giang said it was significant that the Japanese had overcome the pain caused by their recent earthquake and tsunami to take part in the festival.
He said the festival was a show of solidarity of spirit in difficult times.
"On behalf of the city authority and people, I want to share your pain and pray for Japan to overcome its difficulties," he said.
Embassy of Japan commissioner in Viet Nam Kitamura Toshihiro said that for long time, Hoi An had been famous for cultural exchanges between the two countries and the annual festival was a lively evidence.
"I believe the festival will be successful and contribute to the development of our strategic partner relationship," he said.
Toshihiro also thanked the Vietnamese for their timely assistance and sharing in Japan's disasters.
The festival is being co-organised by Hoi An city People's Committee, the Embassy of Japan, the Japan foundation centre for culture exchange in Viet Nam and the Japan international co-operation agency.
The festival, first held in 2003, also introduces the World Cultural Heritage city to domestic and international tourists. — VNS