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Japanese reconstruction minister seeks more outlets for Japan’s farm produce, seafood in Vietnam

Japanese reconstruction minister seeks more outlets for Japan’s farm produce, seafood in Vietnam

Sunday, February 04, 2024, 17:12 GMT+7
Japanese reconstruction minister seeks more outlets for Japan’s farm produce, seafood in Vietnam
Japanese Minister of Reconstruction Shinako Tsuchiya (L, 2nd) is seen during her visit to a supermarket operated by Phan Thanh Akuruhi Co. Ltd. in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, February 3, 2024. Photo: N. Binh / Tuoi Tre

Japanese Minister of Reconstruction Shinako Tsuchiya has recently led a delegation to Vietnam to explore opportunities for promoting the export of farm produce and seafood from the Tohoku region, which suffered heavy damage from quake-tsunami disasters 13 years ago.

During the working visit, Minister Tsuchiya gained insights into the import and distribution of foods by Vietnamese enterprises from Japan, with a specific focus on the Tohoku area, mainly the three prefectures of Fukushima, Iwate, and Miyagi, which were significantly affected by the double tragedies that occurred in March 2011.

She participated in a three-day cuisine, culture, and travel festival that commenced at Aeon Mall in Ho Chi Minh City on Friday.

The event aimed to showcase and promote the diverse foods, gastronomy, and tourist destinations of Fukushima and its surrounding areas, the online newspaper of the Communist Party of Vietnam reported.

The event was organized by the Japan Reconstruction Agency along with the Japan National Tourism Organisation and Japan External Trade Organization.

Addressing the festival, Tsuchiya highlighted its purpose of portraying the appealing characteristics of cuisine and showcasing attractive tourist destinations in Fukushima.

She emphasized that Fukushima is currently in a phase of recovery following the past disasters.

At the same time, she acquainted festival-goers with a variety of farm produce, fruits, and seafood from the prefecture and the broader Tohoku region.

On Saturday morning, Minister Tsuchiya and her entourage paid a visit to the Ho Chi Minh City Business Association (HUBA) to explore opportunities for boosting bilateral trade.

During a meeting with HUBA's leaders, the minister provided an overview of the ongoing economic recovery in Fukushima.

She expressed a desire to enhance collaboration between the two parties with the aim of exploring additional export markets for farm produce and seafood from Fukushima, according to Doanh Nhan Sai Gon (Saigon Entrepreneur) Online.

Vu Anh Khoa, vice-president of HUBA and chairman of supermarket chain Saigon Co.op, mentioned that the retailer has established collaborations with numerous Japanese partners in distributing Japanese goods in Vietnam for the past 15 years.

Supermarket customers have expressed high appreciation for the quality, design, and diversity of Japanese goods, Khoa commented.

He believed that the meeting would open more opportunities for cooperation between the two sides.

Later on the same day, Minister Tsuchiya visited Ho Chi Minh City-based Phan Thanh Akuruhi Co. Ltd., a Vietnamese enterprise specializing in importing and distributing Japanese food and beverage products.

During a meeting with the company's leaders, Tsuchiya conveyed that her ministry is committed to providing maximum support to all localities in the Tohoku region to facilitate their ongoing socio-economic recovery from the devastating disasters.

"We are striving to revive the development of Fukushima, Iwate, and Miyagi. This business trip is designed to acquaint Vietnamese consumers with key exports, particularly agricultural and aquatic products, from the three prefectures, with the ultimate goal of promoting their exports," Nguoi Lao Dong (Laborer) newspaper cited Tsuchiya as saying.

The minister said that Fukushima is renowned for its sweet and fragrant apples as well as fresh peaches.

Miyagi Prefecture attracts attention with its diverse array of fish products.

She asserted that she would introduce these key products of the Tohoku region during her visit.

Lam Thi Hoang Truc, chairwoman of Phan Thanh Akuruhi, a trading company dealing in various products from the Tohoku region, noted that the volumes of goods imported from Japan to Vietnam, both in general and for her firm specifically, have experienced a slight reduction in the past three years.

This decline is attributed to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and other global instabilities.

She, however, expressed her belief that the situation will likely improve this year.

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Vinh Tho - N. Binh / Tuoi Tre News

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