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Royal New Zealand Navy sailors visit Maison Chance in HCMC

The Saigon Times

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As part of their five-day trip to Vietnam, officers and sailors from the Royal New Zealand Navy’s HMNZS Te Mana and HMNZS Aotearoa ships visited Maison Chance, a charity organization supporting disadvantaged individuals in Binh Tan District on September 25. Also joining the visit was the New Zealand Consul General in HCMC Scott James.

They participated in sports activities and music performances with disabled individuals and unfortunate children at the center.

On behalf of the New Zealand Ambassador, Consul General Scott James and the delegation presented nine wheelchairs to the center, reported the Phap Luat news site.

“This marks the first-ever visit of two Royal New Zealand Navy ships to Vietnam, providing clear evidence of the strong strategic partnership between New Zealand and Vietnam,” said Consul General Scott James during the visit.

Vietnamese tourist arrivals among top seven in Japan

According to the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO), Vietnamese tourist arrivals to Japan in August this year were 50,900, and the figure in the first eight months of this year amounted to 397,000, ranking seventh among countries and territories having the largest tourist arrivals to Japan, behind South Korea (4.3 million arrivals), Taiwan (nearly 2.6 million), the U.S. (1.3 million), China (nearly 1.3 million), Hong Kong (nearly 1.3 million), and Thailand (580,000).

Yoshida Kenji, chief representative of JNTO in Vietnam, told vnexpress.net that Vietnam is a key tourism market of Japan. He expected Vietnamese tourist arrivals to Japan this year would exceed the record number of 500,000 in 2019. In addition, JNTO has also carried out several tourism promotion activities in Vietnam, appointing singers Dong Nhi and Ong Cao Thang as Japanese tourism ambassadors to Vietnam, Kenji said, adding that JNTO would coordinate with air carriers and tourism companies in a bid to attract more Vietnamese tourists to Japan.

Vu Thi Bich Hue, head of communications at Flamingo Redtours, a travel company based in Hanoi, said the number of Vietnamese visitors to Japan is expected to continue to rise in the coming time thanks to the current record low tour prices.

Whales spotted near Co To Island

At least four pods of whales were seen near Co To Island in the northern province of Quang Ninh in the past two weeks.

Nguyen Hai Linh, head of the Office of Culture, Sports and Tourism in Co To District, told the Tuoi Tre news site that those whales came to look for food in the waters of Dau Trau and Mong Rong, about 700 meters from Co To Island. Each pod consisted of three to four whales about 5-10 meters long.

Those whales appeared for about 15-20 minutes in the morning and swam close to the fishermen’s fishing boats. They lunged through the water with mouths wide open to breathe and feed.

Just a few whales appeared near Co To Island to look for food in previous years. This year, a large number of whales have flocked to the waters, proving that the marine ecosystem there is recovering.

Supporter and martial arts teacher of disadvantaged kids

Phan Van Nhat, 28, has worked as secretary of the communist youth union of Village 9 in Binh Dinh Province’s My Thang Commune, Phu My District, since 2019.

In 2021, Nhat began to help Nguyen Duc Nghia, a child who lived with his mother and grandparents in poverty. Without any personal paper, Nghia could not go to school. Nhat then taught the child how to read and write at home, and helped him be admitted to an elementary school right in that year.

To attract the participation of young villagers, Nhat has organized many artistic and sporting activities. Together with young locals, he established a troupe to perform ba trao, a genre of traditional folk singing of coastal villagers, at the annual traditional fishing festival in the village. He also established a kylin dance team and a boat race team for the youth, and organized many festivities and swimming classes for local children.

As a master of Binh Dinh traditional martial arts, Nhat established two martial arts clubs, one in My Thang Commune and the other at a high school in Phu My District. He told thanhnien.vn that all the high school students and poor children could attend the martial arts classes free of charge.

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