Vietnam Academy Of Social Sciences
Name: Institute for Northeast Asian Studies
Phone: 84-4.6.2730436
Fax: 84-4.6.2730478
Address: 12th Floor , No.01 Lieu Giai, Ba Dinh Dist., Hanoi

Functions and tasks of Institute for Northeast Asian Studies

Institute for Northeast Asian Studies (INAS), the processor is Center for Janpanese Studies, was established on 13rd of September 1993 based on Decision No. 466/TTg. Its functions are to carry out basic and comprehensive research on countries and regions in Northeast Asia (Japan, South Korea, North Korea, Mongolia, and Taiwan) and general issues of the region (politic, economy, culture, society, international integration,  environment, and sustainable development) in order to provide scientific facts for building policies of the Party and Government, and to introduce the knowledge and information on country and regional studies in Northeast Asia to improve the understanding of Vietnamese to the Northeast Asian countries, region, and significant issues.   

The staff and officials of Institute for Northeast Asian Studies are including 47 persons, among them, there are 1 Associate Professor, 11 Doctors, 15 Maters whose majors are basic social sciences and country studies (economy, politic, culture, society, Japanese Studies, and South Korea Studies). Beside English, most of researchers are able to use at least one other language like Japanese, Korean, Chinese in their research fields.   

From the starting point of having only one research center, nowadays, the Institute has three research centers on country studies (Center for Japanese Studies, Center for South Korea Studies, and Center for North Asian Studies), 4 departments of regional stuidies (Politic and Security; Economy and Regional Integration, Culture and Society; Environment and Sustainable Development), 3 departments of supporting research (Department of managing science and International Cooperation, Organization and Administration Office, Information – Library Office), and Vietnam Review of Northeast Asian Studies published once a month.   

After 20 years of establishment, the Institute has notable achievements as following:

First of all, the Institute has carried out a significant number of researches. Only the number of specialized books published by the Institute’s staff has reached 85. Beside that, the Institute are responsible for 6 national level projects, 58 ministry level projects, and approximately 150 Academy level projects.    

Some of the most outstanding programs and researching projects recently are: 1) The ministry-level Program The policy of Northeast Asian countries on significant regional issues 2011 – 2020 (2011-2012) with 7 sub-topics; 2) The ministry-level Program The significant political and economic matters in Northeast Asian countries 2011 – 2020 (2009-2010) with 5 sub-topics; 3) The project on Protocol Comprehensive Partnership Vietnam – South Korea (2007-2008) with 8 sub-topics; 4) The national-level project on Cooperative economic relationship Vietnam – Japan (2006-2007) with 11 sub-topics; 5) The independent ministry level projects: The adjustment in policy of Japan to Vietnam as a strategic partner; The Japanese viewpoints on North Asian linkage undercircumstances of globalization and international integration; The Japanese fiscal system: Actual situation and recent reforming solutions; The social issues of South Korea; Some basic issues of mordenizing agriculture of South Korea; The social issues of Japan...

  These projects had quite comprehensive analysis and evaluation of the Northeast Asia on the dimensions of security and politic as: In the Northeast Asia, “multi-superpowers" became a fact. China is now the second biggest economy in the world, the first in region, the second largest consumtion market, the second biggest consumption of energy in the world, the no.1 green house emitters, and the second country spending on national defence only behind the United States…  

The confident of economy and politic of the Northeast Asian through 2020 is decided by three main factors: 1) The increasing power and impact of China on the region; 2) The United States “pivots” to Asia; 3) The ability, methodology, and intentsity of region’s reactions to the implication of American and Chinese factors. 

With the concept of “lowland security”, researchers from the Insititute proofed the Northeast Asia is the only region in the world where still preserved perfectly most of litigious and divided heritages since the Cold War. They are the litigiousness between Russia and Japan on four islands belong to Nam Kuril/North Region, the division of Korea including the argument on the Northern Limit Line, … Beside that, there are uncountably potential ligitiousness between Japan – South Korea and Japan – China on the overlap of economic regions, South Korea – Japan on the ownership of Tsushima island, South Korea – China on the Ieodo rock island/To nham tieu/ Socotra Rock,… These matters formed a “lowland security” that contribute to the instability of the Northeast Asian region. 

The Institute’s researches also analyzed in-dept and identified the nationalism trend which is emerging in the Northeast Asia and concluded that: The rise of China and South Korea, re-emerging of Russia, the “normalization” of Japan, the civilization of Mongolia, increasing awareness of Taiwanese identities,  the isolation of North Korea, the “uncompleted sovreignity” status of China, South Korea, North Korea, Japan, and Taiwan, the litigiousness of borders, islands, historical arguments,… are supporting for the emerging nationalism in the entire North Asian. The nationalism trends have the complicated changes depend on the particular conditions of each country, region, they are significant obstacles prevented the regional integration, a key reason to the historical and broder arguments, unpredictable implications on domestic and foreign politics of countries in Northeast Asia.   

Beside that, the findings of INAS considerably contributed to the comprehensive analysis and evaluation on the status of partnership Vietnam – Japan in 40 years and Vietnam – South Korea in 20 years; To evaluate the potential, opportunities of cooperation and the future of these strategic partnerships. To suggest recommendations on polices to improve and make most of the advantages from the strategic partnership Vietnam – Japan.

In the research of environment and sustainable development fields, INAS has significant achievements when given the opinion that Vietnam should be more actively and positively participate in the programs of UNICEF on the climate change. From the research’s outcomes and locational survey, they suggested Vietnam need to launch the National Program of dealing with the climate change as soon as possible. Otherwhile, through the theoretical and practical researches, they also confirmed that Vietnam must have a strategy to satisfy the fast growth of using energy, especially electricity, to serve the industrialization of the country. To save energy, and reduce the fossil fuels (coal, oil, gas), and to introduce the plan on developing clean energy. To implement the green land projects and reduce the burning, defrorestration, and quickly recover the ecosystem has been destroyed seriously to revive the “green lung” for better absorption of CO2 emissions from the operating production and daily life activities...

For the population matters, the researches also identified that: Vietnam is currently in the period of golden population structure. However, according to the estimation of General Statistics Office in 2010, until 2017, the number of old people in Vietnam will be 10 millions, account for 10% of the population. The population structure of Vietnam will only exist in a short period of time and people are getting older quickly. Normally, the population policy is carried out with the 20 years outlook so the formation of dealing with population change policy is not early anymore.

According to the researches: From the experience of Japan and South Korea, Vietnam need to start researching the long – term caring insurance regime in order to improve the quality of living for old people, and reducing the  the burden of caring for family and financial burden for society. Step – by – step socializing the matter of caring for old people, the State should notice to the recuirment and training human resources to be specialzed in caring services, only allowed them to work when a certification is guaranted to ensure the quality of service. At the same time, encouraging the voluteer activities of taking care for old people to link social relationship, to improve spirit and social responsibility. Moreover, encouraging the private sector to build local nursing centers under the strict control of government in service quality to satisfy the various demand of society for taking care of old people.      

To reduce the negative impact of population getting older on the economic development and maintaining social securing fund, there is a need to encourage old people and woman to participate in labour market, increasing the age of retirement with a suitable compensation mechanisim. With the practical conditions of Vietnam today, even though the unemployment rate is relatively high but we still keep the age of retirement for woman 5 years earlier than man which causes the waste of labour and creating the imbalance of gender. In fact, despite of high unemployment rate but many industries are still lack of quality human resources so the importance here is to have recuirting and developing policies which is suitable to the demand of society under the circumstances of global integration and development. 

For the imbalance of gender matter, the researches of INAS also identified that: Nowadays, Vietnam is one of the countries in the world has the biggest different between genders (120 boys/100 girls). Vietnam has 6 socio – economy zones but until 2009, only Tay Nguyen has sex ration at birth is normal. (105), the other 5 zones have the problem of losing balance in gender.  

Beside that, the gender violence, selling woman, and prostitution are properly increasing and if there is no solution for them, it will become disaster for society. Learning from other countries’ experience in these matters is suggested. The researchers of the Institute said that the only contry in the world is able to adjust the sex ration at birth to balance is South Korea which is used to have a very high difference in the rate. By changing some parts of Family Law and working toward the improvement of balance in gender or the campaigns to enhance value of baby girls. Specifically, South Korea strictly regulated in medical law, actively promoted for the switching from “male-prefered” to “female-prefered” in public awareness, introduced the gender equality law and established the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family. South Korea also promoted social services such as caring services for old people as well as prohibiting the selection of sex for abortion and awarded for family in rural areas to have only one daughter, propagated and educated people to change the behavior of gender discrimination through public media… This is considered as a valuable lesson for Vietnam to study and apply into reality.        

About the learning of experience in ensuring social security, the researchers also identified that the Northeast Asian countries, especially Japan always appreciated to positively implement the policies of social security for weak people such as old and disable people, mothers, and babies… From this, Vietnam should pay more attention to people in rural areas, mountains and low-income cities. To consider the unemployment subsidy for those people who are unable to find a job, including wounded soliders and demobilized soliders with no working skills. To fasten the enhancement of medical system and the infrastrure of rural areas, and the improvement of health-checking quality for people. To strengthen the construction of public welfare such as green parks, amusement parks with simple sport facilities for people to work out everyday.         

About the learning of experience in strengthening the soft power of culture, the researchers focused on: there is a need to develop both the soft and hard power of the country at the same time. In which to concentrate on promoting, restoring, upgrading values of traditional culture, step – by – step making the cultural industry to be a key industry. To be effectively making use of country’s soft power in fighting back the penetration and implication of harmful cultural products from outside.  

Beside the programs and projects funded by the State, the Institute also implementd and completed a number of research projects funded by foreign coutries with the total money more than hundred thousands of dollars. The staff of the Institute published more than 500 scientific articles in specialized magazines. Vietnam Review of Northeast Asian Studies becomes the first choice for country and regional studies related to the Northeast Asian region for researchers with more than 1000 important scientific aritcles over the past 20 years. It is a valuable database of countries, people, and regions about the Northeast Asian in Vietnam, serves effectively for researching, training, and spreading scientific knowledge in our country.    

The Institute’s works not only contributed to Japanese and South Korean studíe basically and comprehensively in Vietnam but also opened up the researching objects to the whole Northeast Asian region. To significantly contribute to the teaching and training in Japanese and South Korean study in our top univiersities.

In other side, the researches of INAS not only concentrated on the matters of country study such as economy, politic, culture, religious, and environment… in specific country and area in region but also mentioned about the matters of regional study such as economic integration, the confidence of politic, and general security architecture of the region.

The researches’ comprehensive and in-depth findings, analysis, and forecasts allowed the Institute to be better performing the advisory and policy consultant function for the Party and State, the leaders of Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences as well as offcials in the country.   

Beside that, the bilateral exchange of ideas between leaders and experts of the Institute with representatives of the Embassy of Japan, South Korea, North Korea, and the Office of Economic and Culture of Taipei in Vietnam are regulating and holding annually. These exchange ideas not only contribute to improve the quality of researching activities of the Institute but also open a new channel of communication “1.5 chanel” between foreign diplomats and Vietnamese scholars which helps participants more understand each other and increase the efficiency of their works.  

Beside the publications of books and journals, INAS also has websites of studying Japan and South Korea to provide basic information and update of these countries in a timely fashion to serve a wide range of online readers. This sort of things are significantly contributing to the understanding of Vietnamese people about these countries, especially young generation. Until now, the Insitittue has hold the Japan Studies Workshop three times and the Korea Studies Workshop ten times across the country with the participation of more than 600 teachers from secondary, high schools, leaders and experts of departments and offices of education and training at the local level.

The international cooperation is also very focused, until now, the Institute has the cooperative relations with approxiamiately 20 scientific institutions and international donative organizations, among them the memorandum of cooperation agreements with nearly 10 foreign scientific organizations were signed, for example, University of Waseda (Japan), University of Sensu (Japan), University of Kyoto (Japan), Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research (Taiwan), Academia Sinica (Taiwan), Institute of International Studies (Mongolia), University of Sogang (South Korea),… The numer of in and out groups is increasing quickly – the current annual average number of INAS members sent to research, survey, and study abroad is 10 meanwhile INAS welcomed and worked with a hundred of foreign scholars and diplomats. 

In conclusion, over the past 20 years, the outcomes of INAS achieved, though still modest, has meaningfully contributed to the development of Janpanse, South Korean, and Regional Studies in the Northeast Asia in terms of researching and training; that has made notable contributions in planning the way foreign policy of the Party and the Government, particularly with countries and territories in Northeast Asia; and positivevly strengthened the understanding of Vietnamese people about the countries and territories in Northeast Asia.