The opening ceremony for the 14th programme took place on the banks of the Hoai River where artists from Japan and the Hoi An Cultural Centre joined together in a song honouring Vietnam-Japan friendship. Japan’s traditional and contemporary dances were featured in performances by the Da Nang Yosakoi Group, while the ‘Night of Full Moon’ dance made the already beautiful old town glitter even more. As part of the exchange, there will be a wide range of activities for visitors to experience the cultures of both countries such as display of craftwork and costumes, calligraphy, origami and folk games. On the opening night, the Hoi An government called on local residents and tourists to celebrate the meat-free day for health and the environment on August 16. Hoi An Vice Chairman Le Van Thanh said the relationship between Vietnam and Japan dated back about 400 years and had its origin in Hoi An, a once-thriving commercial port. The cultural exchange festival has been held many times and attracted much attention from both countries, said Thanh, adding that this year’s festival also aimed to strengthen Vietnam-Japan relations and enhance mutual understanding between the two countries.