Japan will consider a mechanism for cultural exchange with Vietnam, such as the establishment of the Japan-Vietnam Cultural Exchange Promotion Committee, said President Ogura Kazuo of the Japan Fund for International Exchange in a press briefing in Hanoi on May 10.
His fund will consider the possibility of setting up a representative office in Vietnam, Ogura said. He added that he will make proposals on the above said issues to the Japanese Government following his four-day Vietnam visit, which will end on May 11.
Speaking to the press before leaving Hanoi for HCM City, Ogura said he hoped in the coming time Japan would establish a cultural exchange centre in Vietnam. The Japanese cultural activist and his companions toured the French Cultural Centre in Hanoi on May 9.
He suggested that Vietnam and Japan organise seminars on cultural preservation and educational reform. "Vietnam can learn these experiences from Japan as the two countries share many cultural similarities," Ogura said.
Bilateral cultural exchanges have enjoyed fruitful development since the Japanese Government sent a delegation of cultural activists to Vietnam in 1996. However, potential for furthering bilateral ties remains to be tapped.
The number of Vietnamese studying the Japanese language rose from 10,106 in 1998 to more than 18,000 in 2003. Since 2003, Japanese has been taught as an elective at a number of high schools including Chu Van An in Hanoi and Le Quy Don in HCM City.
In addition to helping Vietnam preserve its tangible and intangible cultural heritages, Japan has encouraged modern and traditional cultural promotion activities such as introducing Japanese traditional musical instruments and tea serving procedures, exhibitions, and film festivals and providing programmes to the Vietnam Television.