Ambassador of Japan to the Lao PDR Takeshi Hikihara hosted a reception on 8 Dec at his beautiful riverside residence in Vientiane to celebrate His Majesty Emperor Akihito’s forthcoming 83rd birthday (23 Dec).
In his speech at the reception, Ambassador Hikihara congratulated the Lao government for its successful chairmanship of the ASEAN Summits during 2016 as well as the conclusion of the 10th Party Congress where the 8th Five-Year National Socio-Economic Development Plan was endorsed. Looking back on Japan-Laos relations, he mentioned some significant progress during 2016 after the upgrading of relations to a “strategic partnership” in 2015, above all, politically high-ranking mutual visits.
He welcomed the Japan-Laos Joint Development Cooperation Plan for the Sustainable Development of the Lao PDR, which was agreed between the two Prime Ministers in September to work together to achieve the goal of the Lao government’s new National Socio-Economic Development Plan.
He also touched upon new ODA projects implemented this year, including the Wattay International Airport expansion project.
He expressed sincere gratitude for the donations from Lao people for earthquake relief in Kumamoto Prefecture. He also introduced the new symbolic emblem of Japan-Laos friendly relations, an elephant and cherry blossom, which was designed by a Japanese designer.
Guests enjoyed the opportunity to taste fresh Japanese strawberries as well as delicious Wagyu, the famous Japanese beef, and viewed photos regarding Japan-Laos relations and various Embassy activities.
Some Japanese companies and NGOs located in Vientiane displayed their products and activities.
The reception was attended by Minister of Industry and Commerce Khemmany Polsena, Minister to the Prime Minister’s Office Bounkeuth Sangsomsack, Minister of Planning and Investment Souphan Keomixay, Minister of Labor and Social Welfare Khempheng Xaysompheng, Minister of Justice Xaysi Santivong, and other prominent guests from the fields of government, business and culture.
Source: Lao News Agency