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Late Vietnamese history professor recognized by Japan’s foreign ministry

Hoang Nhu Lan, late Prof. Phan Huy Le’s wife, receives the certificate from Japan’s ambassador in Hanoi on October 17, 2018.
Hoang Nhu Lan, late Prof. Phan Huy Le’s wife, receives the certificate from Japan’s ambassador in Hanoi on October 17, 2018.

Late professor Phan Huy Le was posthumously honored with a certificate recognizing his contributions to bolstering the Vietnam-Japan friendship and cultural exchange activities in a ceremony held in Hanoi on Wednesday.

Japanese Ambassador to Vietnam Umeda Kunio presented the certificate on behalf of Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs Kono Taro at the event.

“I would like to express my heartfelt appreciation for your great contribution in supporting Vietnam – Japan academic interaction, educating specialists in Japanese studies for Vietnam, and spreading the Dong Du movement, through which the people of both our countries can better understand each other,” Kono Taro wrote on the certificate of appreciation.

Dong Du is a 20th century political movement which encouraged young Vietnamese to move to Japan to study in the hope that they would return as revolutionaries prepared to rise against French colonial rule.

Born in 1934, the late professor was a trusted historian, honorary chairman of Vietnam’s Historian Association, and former chairman of Vietnam-Japan Friendship Association. Le died on June 23, 2018.

According to Ambassador Kunio, the professor spent his time as chairman of the Vietnam – Japan Friendship Association working to connect the people of Vietnam and Japan through various activities, most notably a study on the preservation of Hoi An in 1990.

His study shed light on the relationship that first began in the 16th century between the central Vietnamese city of Hoi An and Japan, and later became the foundation for the current relationship between the two countries.

“I’ll always remember the professor’s words and am determined to promote the bilateral relationship between the two countries,” the Japanese ambassador said during the ceremony.

Hoang Nhu Lan, the late professor’s wife and a representative of the family, expressed her heartfelt appreciation to both Ambassador Kunio and Minister Taro.