On October 8th, prime ministers Shinzo Abe of Japan and Nguyen Xuan Phuc of Vietnam held a conference announcing the start of a project to train Japanese language instructors in Vietnam. The project will begin this fiscal year, and is part of efforts to strengthen ties between the two countries, starting with a joint declaration made in 2017. It is also a part of the Japanese government’s plan to attract more foreign workers.
As part of these efforts to strengthen ties, government organizations from both countries are also taking steps to prevent problems for Vietnamese exchange students in Japan. During the October 8th conference, government organizations from both countries signed a memorandum to share information about bad study abroad companies and Japanese language schools. The memorandum is between Japan’s National Police Agency, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Education Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology (MEXT), and Vietnam’s Ministry of Education and Training.
Mr. Phuc also requested support from Mr. Abe in areas such as maintaining continued inflation, human resources development, and e-Government.
According to the Japan Student Services Organization, the amount of Vietnamese exchange students in Japan was 61,671 in the 2017 fiscal year, an increase of more than 14 percent compared to the previous year. Vietnamese make up the second largest group of exchange students in Japan, after Chinese students.
Though more Vietnamese students continue to come to Japan, this also comes with an increase in the issues they face. Recently Vietnamese students face problems such as dealing with loans from bad study abroad intermediary companies. This is one of several issues facing exchange students in Japan. It has become a serious societal problem.
The Japanese and Vietnamese governments are sharing information with each other in order to deal with these issues. They want to rid Japan of the bad study abroad intermediary companies and educational institutions. There are high expectations for both countries’ future efforts to improve the lives of Vietnamese students in Japan.