The Japanese Government has decided to bestow “the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon” upon Vietnamese professor Vo Tong Xuan.
The professor was honored for his contributions to promoting agricultural cooperation between Vietnam and Japan, according to the Japanese Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City on April 13.
Speaking at the ceremony held in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho yesterday, Japanese Consul General Watanabe Nobuhiro said since 1875, the order has been awarded to foreigners who make outstanding contributions to Japanese cultural development, social welfare, and environmental protection.
Japanese Consul General to Ho Chi Minh City Watanabe Nobuhiro (L) hands over the order to Professor and Doctor Vo Tong Xuan. Photo: Thanh Luy
Watanabe Nobuhiro stressed that Prof. Xuan, who is known as “Dr. Rice”, has contributed to turning Vietnam into a world-famous rice exporter from a rice importing country.
The professor’s achievements in rice research are known not only in Vietnam but also in Japan and many countries in the region, the consul general said, adding that many Japanese researchers have received Xuan’s guidance.
For his part, Prof. Xuan said that this recognition is the motivation for him to make more efforts to keep studying, researching, and dedicating to Vietnam’s socio-economic development, especially to the agricultural sector, and contribute to strengthening the solidarity and friendship between the two countries.
Born in 1940 in Vietnam’s southern province of An Giang, Prof. Vo Tong Xuan is a scientist and researcher on agriculture in Vietnam, particularly in the Mekong Delta, the largest rice granary in the country.
Xuan conducted a study 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 Can Tho University. In collaboration with Japanese researchers, Xuan continued to carry out studies on rice cultivation techniques.
After receiving his doctoral certificate at Kyushu University in Japan in 1975 for his research on rice cultivation in the tropics, he has worked with Japanese researchers in conducting research on rice farming.
He is a pioneer and an active contributor to the promotion of academic exchanges between Japan and Vietnam in the field of agriculture. He was the visiting lecturer at the Centre for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University in 1997, during which he arranged many field trips for Vietnamese farmers and policymakers.
Moreover, as an agronomist, Xuan has made significant contributions to strengthening Vietnam-Japan agricultural cooperation through Japan’s official development assistance (ODA) projects, typically, Japan's first cooperation program with Vietnam on agricultural technical training via a cooperation project with the Faculty of Agriculture under Can Tho University in the period of 1970-1975.