July 6, 2012 Guest

Guest : Dr. Nghiem Vu Khai (Vice Minister, Ministry of Science & Technology, Viet Nam)

On July 6, the Miraikan welcomed Dr. Nghiem Vu Khai, Vice Minister of Ministry of Science & Technology, and guests. Dr. Khai has previously studied at Osaka City University. He is therefore very knowledgeable in Japanese culture and fluent in Japanese.

Dr. Khai visited with the goal to learn from Japan's strategies, as science and technology policies are becoming a focal issue for Viet Nam, whose economy is growing.  Among others, he showed interest in learning how the Miraikan provides people with information about science and the latest technologies.

Miraikan's Executive Director, Dr. Mohri, expressed that the cultural and ideological similarities between Viet Nam and Japan will serve as good grounds for scientific and technological exchange between the two countries. Upon hearing about Viet Nam's plans to build a national science museum, Dr. Mohri suggested there could be possibilities for joint projects with the Miraikan. He also suggested that Dr. Khai participate in ASPAC (Asia Pacific Network of Science & Technology Centres), which Dr. Mohri himself is a member and President of.

Touring the 5th floor, Dr. Khai showed much interest in the H-IIA rocket's LE-7A engine and the manned submersible research vehicle (Shinkai 6500) display. In the ISS (International Space Station) Space Habitation Module, Dr. Khai was shocked to see that curry, of all things, was available. He was very impressed to see the array of Asian dishes available for astronauts, and was also delighted to see the portrait of Vietnamese astronaut Pham Tuân on display.
  
After crossing the Oval Bridge, Dr. Khai toured the 3rd floor, where he stood in awe, gazing at the beautiful Geo-Cosmos. Joining visiting elementary school students, he also enjoyed watching a demonstration of ASIMO kicking a soccer ball. The guests were then led to the Spring of Wishes, by which they were completely taken. Interested to see what wishes Miraikan's visitors had offered, the group carefully read the Spring's messages one by one. They then made quite an impression tossing the red ball into the Spring, talking about their dreams for the future.

If Japan is to maintain economic growth and a stable society, international exchange with its Asian neighbors through science, art, sports, economy, and education will be key. Today's visit certainly seemed to contribute to that exchange. Japan's ties with Viet Nam are sure to become increasingly important in the future.

(Science Communicator: Isao Yamazaki)

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