CẦN THƠ — The Japanese Government on Wednesday bestowed the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon upon Vietnamese Professor Võ Tòng Xuân, honorary rector of Southern Cần Thơ University.
Professor Xuân, 82, was born in the Mekong Delta province of An Giang.
The Order of the Rising Sun is Japan’s national medal awarded to those who have made outstanding achievements in the fields of international relations, the development of Japanese culture or advancements in the fields of Japanese interest such as agriculture, social welfare and environmental preservation.
Attending the award ceremony, Watanabe Nobuhiro, Consul General of Japan in HCM City, said that Professor Xuân was the bridge for the special cooperation relationship in agriculture between Việt Nam and Japan.
“He is nicknamed ‘Dr Rice’ by his friends because of his contributions to the development of the rice industry,” Watanabe said, adding that the Order of the Rising Sun, Golden Ray and Ancient Ribbon of Japan was awarded to Xuân for his great contributions over the years in many fields.
Xuân is an agricultural scientist with much of his research conducted in the Mekong Delta – Việt Nam’s rice granary. He conducted research focusing on rice cultivation techniques in the tropics in 1974 while he was studying at Kyushu University in Japan.
After completing his doctoral degree in agronomy, he returned home and worked at Cần Thơ University. In collaboration with Japanese researchers, Xuân continued to carry out studies on rice cultivation techniques.
In 1997, as a research fellow and visiting lecturer at Kyoto University’s Centre for Southeast Asian Studies, he came to Japan for a year, during which he studied the host nation’s agricultural co-operative models and helped arrange learning tours in Japan for Vietnamese farmers and policy-makers.
After returning to Việt Nam, based on his research at Kyoto University, Xuân introduced agricultural policy, particularly Japanese agricultural co-operatives and techniques, at many workshops.
In addition, as an agronomist, he has made great contributions to strengthening cooperation in the agricultural sector between Japan and Việt Nam via Japan’s ODA cooperation programmes. — VNS