Japan emperor, empress to visit Vietnam in 2017: report

03:33 - 15/09/2016

The trip would be in response to many invitations from Vietnamese government.

Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko are planning to make their first visit to Vietnam next spring.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a press conference that the trip would come in response to  invitations from the Vietnamese government, Kyodo News reported.

“Friendly relations between our countries are steadily progressing, but we have so far been yet to organize a visit,” Suga said, as cited in the report.

The 83-year-old Akihito is Japan’s 125th emperor in his line. He succeeded his father in 1989. His wife is 82.

In August, the long reigning emperor indicated intention to step down and his plan has received strong support from the Japanese public.

The most recent visit from a Japanese leader was the one by President Shinzo Abe in 2013.

Japan is one of Vietnam's top donors and development partners. It has provided a combined US$27.6 billion worth of official development assistance since 1992.

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