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Viet Nam: From an “Universal Country” Representing the Chinese Civilization to a “Regional Country” in Southeast Asia

Tuesday, October 13, 12:00., Moore Hall 319 (Tokioka Room)
Presented by Dr. Furuta, a Professor of Area Studies at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Tokyo

Today Viet Nam is a member of ASEAN. For Vietnamese people, however, this issue becomes a matter of historical questioning from the origin of when they considered themselves members of Southeast Asia. A historical investigation of this circumstance does not provide an immediate answer, but nevertheless it is important. Pre-modern Vietnam was a member of the East Asian World, seeing herself as an “universal country” representing Chinese civilization. This talk explores how Vietnam could become a “regional country” in the Southeast Asian framework.


Dr. Motoo Furuta received a Ph.D in International relations from the University of Tokyo. Dr. Furuta is now Professor of Area Studies at Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the University of Tokyo (from 1995). Dr. Furuta served as the Dean of Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the University of Tokyo (2001 – 2002) and Vice President of the University of Tokyo (2004 – 2006). Dr. Furuta is the author of Vietnam in the Context of World History: From Chinese World Order to Joining Southeast Asia.

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