-- While in Japan to attend the fourth Mekong-Japan Summit, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung met Japanese Deputy Prime Minister Okada Katsuya in Tokyo on April 20, saying he hoped Japan would increase official development assistance for Vietnam. He said the two sides should develop relations at all levels and simplify entry procedures for Vietnamese to study, work and travel to Japan. He added that Vietnam wishes to learn from Japan’s experience in human resource training and social insurance. For his part, Mr. Okada Katsuya expressed his strong impression of Vietnam’s development and Japan’s willingness to share her experience in implementing policies on social insurance with Vietnam.
-- Fifteen unskilled Chinese workers have been found working without a work permit at Meisheng Textiles VN Co Ltd in Ngai Giao Industrial Park in Chau Duc District, Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province, local authorities reported. The provincial Department of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs has fined the company VND17.5 million (US$840) for the violation and requested that it train Vietnamese workers to replace those Chinese ones. All foreigners working in Vietnam without meeting regulations on management of foreign workers will be expelled, local police said.
-- Police in Hanoi yesterday arrested a 32-year-old woman, Phan Thi Thu Thuy, of HCMC’s District 10, on charges of women trafficking. Thuy was seized at a hotel room when she was about to send 9 women to China. She lied to her victims that they would get jobs when arriving in China but in fact, she would sell them for money. Thuy confessed to police that she sold 4 women to China in November 2011.
-- More than 6 million people will see their salary increased when the new common minimum wage is raised from the current VND830,000 to VND1,050,000 ($50.4) under a governmental decree that will take effect on May 1, 2012, said the State Budget Department under the Finance Ministry. Total spending on the increase of minimum wage is estimated at VND8.5 trillion (US$408.2 million).
-- Binh Duong province authorities yesterday destroyed 8.4 tons of cattle meat and organs, all stinking and rotten, which were seized by a joint inspection team at Trien Khanh Private Enterprise, a cattle meat processor, in Binh Hoa Ward, Thuan An Town on April 18. Nguyen Viet Huong, 40, the manager of the enterprise, had failed to show any documents about the origin of the goods.
-- The People’s Court of District 3, HCMC is handling a lawsuit in which Le Thi Hoa, a resident in District 10, claims damages of VND1 billion (US$48,000) from the Trung Tam Notary Office that had certified some false papers related to her purchase of a house in Phu Nhuan District. These false documents were submitted to the office by the seller of the house.
-- Refund of the VAT paid for goods by foreigners in Vietnam who later leave the country through the Tan Son Nhat and Noi Bai international airports in HCMC and Hanoi will be applied from June 1, 2012, under a new circular of the Finance Ministry. The refunded VAT amount is 85 percent of the total amount of the VAT levied on their goods.
-- A large amount of sugar bearing the fake trademark “Bien Hoa” has been detected by market management officers in Long An Province. They seized 40,700 bags of sugar (0.5 kg and 1 kg per bag) from Tan Quoc Hung Trading Co Ltd and Giang Hua Co Ltd in the province’s Duc Hoa District. The companies have violated the trademark rights of the manufacturer of Bien Hoa sugar, authorities said.
-- The first prize of the “Evergreen Singing 2012” contest, the annual singing contest held annually by HCM City Television (HTV)'s for people aged 35 and above, has gone to 36-year-old singer Thai Thanh Hiep, the youngest contestant at the event. Hiep received the highest votes, 44,819, through text messages from the fans who elected him to be the best singer of the contest. He was among the three singers who entered the contest’s final round yesterday evening.
-- Phan Thanh Hung, one of the candidates for the position of chief coach of Vienam’s men national football team, has agreed to assume the post for 4 months, from August to December 2012, said the Vietnam Football Federation after a meeting with Hung yesterday.