Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko are scheduled to arrive in Hanoi on February 28 for their first ever visit to Vietnam, at the invitation of President Tran Dai Quang.

In an interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency ahead of the visit, the Emperor’s press secretary, Hatsuhisa Takashima, said the visit is a historic event of great significance for the two countries’ traditional relationship.

He highlighted the long-standing relations between Vietnam and Japan, which date back to the 16th century, with the presence of the first Japanese street in Vietnam.

Bilateral rapport is now at its best, after undergoing historical ups and downs, he said, adding that the exchange of visits between the two countries’ leaders is important to reinforce their mutual trust and friendship.

He noted that Vietnam and Japan are carrying out a number of activities to tighten their amity.

He stressed that as the largest aid provider to Vietnam, Japan has been cooperating with the country to support its development, citing as examples the donation of maritime patrol vessels to Vietnam, the construction of the Vietnam - Japan University, and the active operation of Japanese businesses in Vietnam.

Effective bilateral cooperation in economics, human resources training, and infrastructure improvements have contributed to the solid relationship between the two countries.

He said the Japanese Emperor and Empress were touched by the warm invitation from Vietnamese leaders, adding that the visit is one of the most anticipated by both and political circles in the two countries.