Vietnam Time

9/11/2018 8:30:13 PM

Vietnam-Japan and Japan-Vietnam Special Ambassador Ryotaro Sugi visits Hanoi Birla Village

The Vietnam-Japan Special Friendship Ambassador, Ryotaro Sugi and his spouse, Japanese Ambassador to Vietnam Kunio Umeda, and Japanese artists visited Vietnamese children from Birla Children's Village in Hanoi on September 10.

Ryotaro Sugi has sponsored 152 children so far. (Photos: Birla Children's Village)

Ryotaro Sugi, 73, is a well-known actor and singer in Japan has special feelings for Vietnam. He has helped 90 children since his first visit to Vietnam since 1988. During to visit to Vietnam in May 2016, Sugi said he decided to sponsor 10 more in July.

Even though Sugi has visited Vietnam dozens of times in the past 30 years, he still shows his excitement when returning to the country. The children at Birla Children's Village welcomed him on September 10.

Bearing gifts, Sugi called himself father to all the children and has given both psychological and material support to them. Not only did he upgrade the equipment but he also helped pay for the children's tuition, daily expenses and treatments costs for ill children who had heart diseases or cancer.

Sugi has been visiting the children at Birla at least once every year. According to Sugi, the children did not have parents' love so he wants to give them at least a father's affection and warmth.

A group photo.

Sugi Ryotaro first came to Vietnam in 1989. At that time, Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Vietnam Do Muoi said to him that Vietnamese politics and economy were stagnant due to wars. Vietnam wished to take advantage of all the opportunities to become a country like Japan. Then, Sugi promised to use cultural power as a main tool to strengthen the friendship between Japan and Vietnam.

According to him, along with politics and economy, culture (namely mutual understanding, respect and exchange) is very important to set up all the relations. The good friendship between Vietnam and Japan is a result of many regular cultural exchanges during a long time.

To promote Vietnam-Japan relationship, Sugi established the Japan-Vietnam Cultural Exchange Association in 1991 and Japanese Language Centre in Hanoi in 1995. He was appointed as Vietnam-Japan Special Friendship Ambassador in 2005.

He is the first Japanese person to be awarded the “Friendship Order” by President Tran Duc Luong in 1997 for his continuous contribution to social welfare activities and to the two nations’ diplomatic relationship and also the first to be awarded a title as honorary citizen in the capital in 2014.

Ealier, President Tran Dai Quang received visiting Ryotaro Sugi in Hanoi on September 6.

At the reception, the State leader spoke highly of the ambassador’s positive contributions to the bilateral relations over the past over 30 years via meaningful activities, especially those in the fields of culture, arts and people-to-people exchange.

Ryotaro Sugi’s activities have actively contributed to enhancing mutual understanding about the people and culture of Vietnam and Japan, creating a firm foundation for consolidating the friendship and collaboration between the Vietnamese and Japanese people, he said.

As the ambassador will work with Vietnamese ministries and agencies to organize the Vietnam-Japan Music Festival 2018 in celebration of the 45th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties on September 9, the President expressed his belief that the program will be a success, thus bolstering the collaboration and people-to-people exchange between the two countries.

For his part, Ryotaro Sugi said he is delighted at the development of Japan-Vietnam relations over the past time, especially after the State visit to Vietnam by the Japanese Emperor and Empress and the State visit to Japan by President Quang and his spouse.

He said he has received close coordination from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Vietnam Television in organizing the Vietnam-Japan Music Festival 2018. He affirmed that he will do his utmost to foster the Japan-Vietnam relationship./.

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