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【Online Interview Series】No. 4: Tuyen Nguyen Cam, Former Tokyo Bureau Chief, Vietnam News Agency (Vietnam)

post date : 2020.07.14

”How Has the World Been Dealing with the COVID-19 Pandemic?”

~Online Interview Series No. 4: Tuyen Nguyen Cam, Former Tokyo Bureau Chief, Vietnam News Agency (Vietnam)~


The fourth interview of this series was held with Ms. Tuyen Nguyen Cam, the former Tokyo bureau chief for the Vietnam News Agency. During the four years she held that position, starting in 2015, she participated in many of the FPCJ’s press tours visiting prefectures such as Kochi, Iwate, and Tottori, and reported on the realities of Japan from a variety of angles. (See Related Posts below) During the interview, she explained how Vietnam was able to successfully implement measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 within the country, and commented on how she was sure Japan would be able to overcome this pandemic with its advanced medical technology and social systems. 

*Please be aware the video suffers from some feedback issues.



【Full Text of Interview】 

Q.1 How did Vietnam fight with the coronavirus? 


Vietnam is successfully managing the pandemic. Today (July 11, 2020) is the consecutive 87 days Vietnam has no community transmission cases.

We became the first country outside of China to quarantine a large residential area,  north of Hanoi in mid-February after an outbreak was traced to workers returning from Wuhan. Our leaders quickly halted flights from China and closed schools nationwide.

 The Vietnamese government acted early to bring together relevant groups and resources, to instigate widespread efforts. The shared mission of Vietnamese society in responding to COVID-19, combined with the mobilizing capacity of the state, fueled a quick response. The state quickly formulated a shared mission around COVID-19, uniting different ministries, organizations and civil society. These measures were complemented by clear communication from the Vietnamese government and much publicity. Our transparent and proactive response to the COVID-19 pandemic is said to be a milestone in our country’s approach to governance.

Despite being said to be a resource-limited country, Vietnam’s low-cost Covid-19 strategy can manage the pandemic.

To be objective, I would like to quote comments made by oversea experts and journalists that in facing an indefinite unknown COVID-19, decisive leadership, accurate and transparent information and community solidarity empower us to protect ourselves—and each other.

Currently, Vietnamese people have returned to our pre-outbreak state. Agencies, schools, restaurants, supermarkets and public recreation spots have all been reopened. People are still advised to socialize, wear masks and disinfect their hands before entering a building. However, this is not a mandatory measure. Domestic flights are now back in full service. Domestic tours are encouraged and people are being encouraged to increase domestic travels. Crowded sports and entertainment events have been permitted. The biggest difference today in our lives is that international flights are still limited. Activities related to international visitors are still limited. Families with relatives abroad are still worried because their relatives have not returned.


During the entire social blockade, I think we have no special tips for staying home, other than strictly following government guidelines such as ensuring social spacing, wearing a mask, disinfect hands often and if symptoms are found, notify a health care provider immediately.


Q2. How do you view the Japanese response to the COVID-19 pandemic? 

Finally, I would like to talk about Japan. I am very interested in your country because Japan is my favorite place with numerous beautiful memories I got when I was there. I am watching how the pandemic is going on in your country. In comparison with other power nations, Japan is doing well to contain the spread of COVID-19.

I read Japanese history while I was in Japan for approximately 4 years. I also read and witnessed the times Japan overcame many crises. Japanese people have iron will, high discipline, good sense of community. Japan is a developed country with strong medical capacity. The Japanese government also has numerous experiences leading the country to overcome previous crises. I think depending certain situation of each country, governments consider appropriate measures to deal with. With what I have known and witnessed in Japan, I believe Japan will absolutely beat this epidemic crisis. I have a strong believe about that.


Vietnam News Agency

Vietnam’s state-run news agency, established in 1945. 

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