Vice Governor of Hokkaido Tsuji Yasuhiro expressed his wish at a meeting with Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong in HCM City on November 17. He said Hokkaido wants to boost cooperation with Vietnam in general and HCM City in particular, especially in such potential areas as agriculture, trade, seafood and tourism. The prefecture’s administration and business association have proposed the launch of a direct air route between Hokkaido and Vietnam with the hope of promoting the bilateral trade and tourism relations, he said. Hokkaido considers HCM City a potential partner and wants to introduce high-quality agri-products to the local customers, he added. Phong recommended the Japanese prefecture enhance cooperation programmes with the city such as exchanging apprentices and highly-skilled workers as Hokkaido small-and medium-sized enterprises are facing a shortage of human resources due to the country’s aging population. He believed that Hokkaido’s high quality farm produce will soon win customer confidence in HCM City.