During an interview with the Vietnam News Agency, Furuta spoke highly of the Vietnamese culture and people, which left a lasting impression on him when he first visited Hanoi in December 1974.

Vietnamese culture is characterized by seemingly contrasting elements that coexist harmoniously. The patriotism of the Vietnamese people, as demonstrated by their continuous struggles against foreign invaders, is a well-known trait recognized worldwide. Furthermore, Vietnam’s openness to embracing the positive aspects of other cultures is evident in its efforts to integrate into the global community while preserving its national identity.

During the national conference on culture in 2021, held to implement the resolutions of the 13th National Party Congress, Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong emphasized the significance of culture as the spiritual foundation of society and the internal strength of the country. Therefore, it is crucial to focus on building and developing culture, which entails cultivating individuals with integrity and a good lifestyle, as well as fostering a healthy cultural environment.

In relation to Vietnam’s goal of becoming a developed country by 2045, with an emphasis on culture, Furuta believes that a country with a rich culture but an underdeveloped economy will struggle to preserve its cultural heritage. Similarly, a developed and economically prosperous nation that fails to satisfy its people’s spiritual needs will face internal instability.

Given this perspective, the viewpoint expressed by General Secretary Trong aligns with Vietnam’s current development period, as observed by Professor Furuta.

The 13th National Party Congress has set a new task of developing cultural industries and perfecting the cultural market. This involves comprehensive and harmonious development of culture in relation to economic growth and social progress.

Regarding the impact of this new task on Vietnam-Japan relations, particularly in cultural cooperation, Furuta emphasizes the importance of building an equitable partnership in future bilateral relations between the two countries.

Furuta perceives that “soft power” will play a vital role in establishing equitable partnerships among countries in East Asia, including Vietnam and Japan.

Moreover, he expressed his hope that Vietnam will nurture strong cultural industries to enhance its regional standing and foster an equitable partnership with Japan.