.mw-parser-output .hidden-begin{box-sizing:border-box;width:100%;padding:5px;border:none;font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .hidden-title{font-weight:bold;line-height:1.6;text-align:left}.mw-parser-output .hidden-content{text-align:left}You can help expand this article with text translated from the corresponding article in Vietnamese. (September 2023) Click [show] for important translation instructions. Machine translation, like DeepL or Google Translate, is a useful starting point for translations, but translators must revise errors as necessary and confirm that the translation is accurate, rather than simply copy-pasting machine-translated text into the English Wikipedia. Consider adding a topic to this template: there are already 942 articles in the main category, and specifying|topic= will aid in categorization. Do not translate text that appears unreliable or low-quality. If possible, verify the text with references provided in the foreign-language article. You must provide copyright attribution in the edit summary accompanying your translation by providing an interlanguage link to the source of your translation. A model attribution edit summary is Content in this edit is translated from the existing Vietnamese Wikipedia article at [[:vi:Người Nhật tại Việt Nam]]; see its history for attribution. You should also add the template ((Translated|vi|Người Nhật tại Việt Nam)) to the talk page. For more guidance, see Wikipedia:Translation.

Japanese expatriates and descendants in Vietnam
Japan Vietnam
Japanese red seal ship sailing out of Nagasaki for Annam (Vietnam)
Total population
21,819 (October 2022)[1][2][3]
Regions with significant populations
Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City
Vietnamese · Japanese
Buddhism · Shinto
Related ethnic groups
Japanese diaspora

The community of Japanese expatriates and descendants in Vietnam consist mainly of Japanese expatriates and migrants residing in Vietnam, as well as their descendants who identify their ancestry to be Japanese. As of 2016, there are about 16,145 Japanese residents in Vietnam, mostly around Hanoi.


Early history

Main article: Nihonmachi

Chùa Cầu, a Japanese-built covered bridge in Hội An.

For a brief period in the 16th to the 17th centuries, Japanese overseas activity and presence in Southeast Asia and elsewhere in the region boomed. Sizeable Japanese communities, known as Nihonmachi, could be found in many of the major ports and political centers of the region, where they exerted significant political and economic influence.[4] One of which was Hội An in Nguyễn, Southern Vietnam.[5] The Japanese community there was quite small, consisting of only a few tens of households.[6]

Over the course of the 17th century, the Japanese community in Hội An gradually shrank and disappeared, assimilated into the Vietnamese community. Intermarriage not only within the Nihonmachi, but between notable Japanese merchant families and the Nguyễn noble family, is indicated by contemporary records, grave markers, and various forms of anecdotal evidence. The descendants of several of these merchant families still hold today as heirlooms objects relating the families' connections to Vietnam.[7]

Japanese women called Karayuki-san migrated to cities like Hanoi, Haiphong and Saigon in colonial French Indochina in the late 19th century to work as prostitutes and provide sexual services to French soldiers who were occupying Vietnam since the French viewed Japanese women as clean they were highly popular.[8][9] Images of the Japanese prostitutes in Vietnam were put on French postcards by French photographers.[10][11][12][13] The Japanese government tried to hide the existences of these Japanese prostitutes who went abroad and do not mention them in books on history.[14][15] Japanese prostitutes were also in other European colonies in Southeast Asia like Singapore as well as Australia and the US.[16][17][18][19][20][21][22][23]

World War II

See also: Vietnam during World War II

During World War II, on 22 September 1940, Japan invaded Vietnam and began constructing military bases to strike against the Allies in Southeast Asia. Japanese troops remained in Vietnam until their surrender to the Allies in 1945.

Some Japanese troops from the IJA stayed in Vietnam and were recruited into the ranks of the Viet Minh as NCO's and Officers were needed to train the Viet Minh in modern tactics.

Some also simply assimilated, intermarried with the Vietnamese population and adopted Vietnamese names.

In 1954, the Vietnamese government had ordered the (former) Japanese soldiers to return home.[24] They were "encouraged" to leave their families behind effectively abandoning their war children in Vietnam.[24]

Modern era

In recent years, many natives of Japan have migrated to Vietnam, mostly to Hanoi for all sorts of reasons. According to the Japan Foundation, Hanoi is home to under 5,000 Japanese residents.[25] Chief among the professional lures are construction management, manufacturing and financial services jobs. Japan-owned Toyota, Honda, Panasonic, Yamaha and Canon have large manufacturing plants on the outskirts of Hanoi.

Outside of business, Japanese foreign aid services and management have also been significant. Since 1992, Japan have been the biggest international donor to Vietnam.[26]

A Japan Foundation center in Vietnam was established in Hoàn Kiếm, Hanoi in 2008.[27]

There are about 22,000 Japanese people living in Vietnam in 2023, most of them live in large cities. Hanoi has about 8,700 and Ho Chi Minh City has about 10,600 Japanese people.


There are three Japanese international schools:

There is also the Ho Chi Minh City Japanese Supplementary School, a supplementary programme, is also held in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon).[31]

See also


  1. ^ 海外在留邦人数調査統計 [Annual Report of Statistics on Japanese Nationals Overseas] (PDF). Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (in Japanese). 1 October 2022.
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ [2]
  4. ^ Wray. p8.
  5. ^ Woodside. p162.
  6. ^ A 1642 report to the Dutch East India Company by a Japanese inhabitant of the port describes a Chinese population of 4,000-5,000 and a Japanese population of 40-50. (Laarhoven, Ruurdje (trans.) "A Japanese Resident's Account: Declaration of the Situation of Quinam Kingdom by Francisco, 1642." in Li and Reid (eds.) Southern Vietnam. p31.)
  7. ^ Chuong, Thau. "Bridge of Friendship." in Ancient Town of Hoi An. p209.
  8. ^ Roustan, Frédéric (2012). "Mousmés and French Colonial Culture: Making Japanese Women's Bodies Available in Indochina". Journal of Vietnamese Studies. 7 (1): 52–105. doi:10.1525/vs.2012.7.1.52. JSTOR 10.1525/vs.2012.7.1.52.
  9. ^ Carney, Joey (27 April 2020). "A Brief Primer on Vice and Sex in Colonial Vietnam". Simi Press.
  10. ^ Hoskins, Janet (Summer 2007). "Postcards from the Edge of Empire: Images and Messages from French Indochina". Asia's Colonial Photographies. IIAS Newsletter (44): 16, 17. Alt URL
  11. ^ Hoskins, Janet (January 2007). "Postcards from the Edge of Empire: Images and Messages from French Indochina". IIAS Newsletter.
  12. ^ Yee, Jennifer (2004). "Recycling the 'Colonial Harem'? Women in Postcards from French Indochina". French Cultural Studies. 15 (5): 5–19. doi:10.1177/0957155804040405. S2CID 162718081.
  13. ^ "[Photos] The Japanese Prostitutes Of Colonial Vietnam". Saigoneer. 15 July 2015. Archived from the original on 17 July 2015.
  14. ^ Sartore, Melissa (7 June 2019). "Facts About Karayuki-San, The Japanese Sex Workers Trafficked To The Rest Of The World". Ranker.
  15. ^ Jolivet, Muriel (2005). Japan: The Childless Society?: The Crisis of Motherhood. Routledge. p. 124. ISBN 1134757166.
  16. ^ Hong, Regina (8 July 2021). "Picturing the past: Postcards and the pre-war Japanese in Singapore". ARIscope Home - Asia Research Institute, NUS.
  17. ^ Mihalopoulos, Bill (1994). "The Making of Prostitutes in Japan: The Karayuki-San". Social Justice. 21 (2): 161–84. JSTOR 29766813.
  18. ^ Mihalopoulos, Bill (26 August 2012). 世界か Women, Overseas Sex Work and Globalization in Meiji Japan 明治日本における女性,国外性労働、海外進出. The Asia-Pacific Journal. 10 (35).
  19. ^ Lay, Belmont (18 May 2016). "Thousands of Japanese women worked as prostitutes in S'pore in late 1800s, early 1900s". Mothership.SG.
  20. ^ Isono, Tomotaka (13 May 2012). ""Karayuki-san" and "Japayuki-san"". The North American Post: Seattle Japanese Community.
  21. ^ Yamaguchi, David (2 April 2018). "Karayuki-san in the West". Mothership.SG.
  22. ^ "Karayuki-san: Japanese prostitutes in Australia, 1887–1916 (I & II)" (PDF). Historical Studies. Taylor & Francis Ltd. 17 (68): 323–341. 1977. doi:10.1080/10314617708595555.
  23. ^ Sone, Sachiko (January 1990). The karayuki-san of Asia, 1868-1938: the role of prostitutes overseas in Japanese economic and social development (Master's Thesis).
  24. ^ a b Ian Harvey (6 March 2017). "Japan's Emperor and Empress Meet With Children Abandoned by Japanese Soldiers After WWII". War History Online (The place for military history news and views). Retrieved 6 September 2022.
  25. ^ wordhcmc.com - Little Japan[permanent dead link]
  26. ^ "Japan provides $106 million in ODA for Vietnam - VnExpress International".
  27. ^ "Japan Foundation Vietnam Brief Introduction". Archived from the original on 3 November 2013. Retrieved 6 March 2017.
  28. ^ Home Archived 14 January 2015 at the Wayback Machine. The Japanese School of Hanoi. Retrieved on 13 February 2015. "HAM NGHI, MY DINH 2, NAM TU LIEM, HA NOI"
  29. ^ "JIS Home". Archived from the original on 11 February 2017. Retrieved 28 January 2017.
  30. ^ Home Archived 22 January 2015 at the Wayback Machine. The Japanese School in Ho Chi Minh City. Retrieved on 13 February 2015.
  31. ^ "アジアの補習授業校一覧(平成25年4月15日現在)" (). Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. Retrieved on 13 February 2015.