Talking about the image of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe dressed in Ao Dai, Ambassador Wu Hongnan shared how to actively bring many cultural beauties from Vietnam to the Japanese.
Vietnam’s Ambassador to Japan Wu Hongnan said at the Cultural Diplomatic Conference held in Hanoi on December 20: “We need to be more active and bold in promoting Vietnamese cultural values and enhancing the soft power of Vietnam’s diplomacy.”
To prove this, Ambassador Nan told the story of persuading the Japanese to try Ao Dai, one of Vietnam’s outstanding traditional cultural features. The ambassador invited artists from Ho Chi Minh City. Ho Chi Minh City provided materials and tailor Ao Dai for Japanese officials and main wives.
“When we saw that Japanese friends were still timid because they were afraid of wearing Ao Dai wrongly, we encouraged them to dress well,” he shared between meetings.
The ambassador mentioned that Akie Abe, the wife of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, was wearing Ao Dai sitting on a bicycle to take pictures while participating in the Vietnam Festival in Tokyo in 2019. The event attracted about 400,000-500,000 people. 19 broke out. Under the leadership of Abe, the minister in charge of revitalizing the local economy, Katyama Satsuki, also wore a typical Vietnamese Ao Dai.
He said: “The photos of Japanese female officials and his wife Dai Ao Dai have been widely circulated in the Japanese media, which has excited public opinion in your country.”
In addition to Ao Dai, Ambassador Nan also tried to promote Vietnamese culture in Japan through food. In 2017, when Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited Da Nang to participate in APEC, he enjoyed a wide area in Hoi An and praised the dish. Ambassador Wu Hongnan thought it was an opportunity to introduce the wide area to the Japanese.
“I organized a show to introduce Guangnan noodles and invite Japanese friends to enjoy it. It is difficult to make Guangnan noodles, so I invited artisans from Guangnan to cook in Japan,” he said. VnExpress.
“Japanese friends like this dish very much and they introduce it to each other. Many people then call the embassy and ask where they can enjoy this dish,” he added. “Thanks to such things, in addition to traditional dishes such as spring rolls and pho, we also let you know more about Vietnamese cuisine.”
Ambassador Wu Hongnan shared that in 2018, he came to Hokkaido and couldn’t find a Vietnamese restaurant. He felt that this place knew little about Vietnam. In 2019, the Embassy of Vietnam in Japan held a festival in Hokkaido to introduce Vietnamese culture, music and food. The main dishes are pho and spring rolls.
“We brought food and chefs from Tokyo, and prepared about 500 bowls of pho, which is expected to be sold in two days. But as soon as the opening morning, we sold out. Japanese friends lined up very crowded. Pho is very famous. When Japanese friends feel good, they will continue to recommend it to others,” he said.
The first Vietnamese restaurant in Hokkaido was opened by a Japanese couple who had been to Vietnam. “When we held that festival, we invited them to do a test, which was very successful. After the two of them opened a Vietnamese restaurant, many people followed suit. Now there are about 10 Vietnamese restaurants in Hokkaido.”
“This is the success of insisting on demand. We must practice to simulate the market and turn our pride into inspiration for building relationships with other countries,” the ambassador commented.