Vietnamese president, Japanese governor enjoy banh mi in Tokyo

By Nhu Tam   November 28, 2023 | 01:34 am PT
President Vo Van Thuong and Tokyo Governor Koike Yuriko enjoyed banh mi at a restaurant opened by two Vietnamese during an official visit to Japan Tuesday.

President Thuong, accompanied by his wife Phan Thi Thanh Tam, along with Governor Yuriko and leaders of major Japanese corporations, visited Banh Mi Xin Chao (Banh Mi Says Hello) restaurant in Tokyo to savor a variety of Vietnamese delicacies, including banh mi, pho, coffee, spring rolls, and sweet soup desserts.

Banh Mi Xin Chao, established in 2016 by former Vietnamese students Bui Thanh Duy, 37, and Bui Thanh Tam, 32, has since grown into a chain of 15 establishments across Japan.

Chủ tịch nước Võ Văn Thưởng và Thống đốc Tokyo Koike Yuriko thưởng thức bánh mì tại nhà hàng. Ảnh: Báo Thế giới và Việt Nam

President Vo Van Thuong (R, 2nd) and Tokyo Governor Koike Yuriko (L, 3rd) enjoy banh mi in Tokyo, Nov. 28, 2023. Photo courtesy of The World and Vietnam Report

"When it comes to Japanese cuisine, Vietnamese people are familiar with sushi, ramen noodles, tempura, and sake. Conversely, the Japanese associate Vietnam with images of banh mi, pho, spring rolls, and coffee. These culinary similarities contribute to the positive relationship between our two countries," Thuong said.

The president expressed joy in experiencing Vietnamese cuisine in Japan and highlighted the cultural connection fostered by shared food traditions.

CT nước và Thống đốc Tokyo tại quán bánh mỳ Xin chào

(From L) President Vo Van Thuong, his wife Phan Thi Thanh Tam, and the Governor of Tokyo Koike Yuriko at Banh Mi Xin Chao restaurant, Nov. 28, 2023. Photo by VnExpress

President Thuong acknowledged the deepening relationship between Vietnam and Japan, culminating in the recent upgrade to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership on Monday. He underlined the importance of this milestone in opening a new chapter in the development of relations between the two countries.

With approximately 500,000 Vietnamese residents, the second-largest foreign community in Japan, Thuong extended best wishes for their success in both personal and business endeavors.

The president asked the Tokyo Governor to support the Vietnamese community's business, living, and educational endeavors in Tokyo.

Following Governor Koike's introduction of Tokyo's flood prevention system, the president proposed collaboration to share experiences in fire and flood prevention with Hanoi and other Vietnamese areas.

Thuong is on an official visit from Nov. 27 to 30 at the invitation of the Japanese government.

Vietnam and Japan established diplomatic ties on September 21, 1973, elevating them to a strategic partnership in 2009.

Japan is one of Vietnam's most important economic partners, biggest official development assistance provider, second biggest partner in terms of labor cooperation, third in terms of investment and tourism, and fourth in trade.

Bilateral trade was worth nearly US$50 billion last year, with both nations' exports being almost equal.

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