Nearly 400 Japanese students of varying ages took the country’s first national Vietnamese language exam last month.
Education insiders said the test reflects Vietnam’s rising importance in the region. The test, which reportedly took two years to prepare, was held in Tokyo, Vietnam News Agency reported.
A source from the Japan College of Foreign Languages said more Japanese people are also choosing to study in Vietnam, so learning the language is important.
More Japanese students are expected to travel to study in Vietnam over the next three years, so similar tests are being scheduled.
Pham Quang Hung, first secretary in charge of education affairs at the Vietnamese Embassy in Tokyo, said that ties between Vietnam and Japan are growing, particularly through investments made by Japanese enterprises.
Demand to learn Vietnamese in Japan is rising, Hung said.
Japan is Vietnam’s largest source of official development assistance, its second-largest foreign investor, and its fourth-largest trade partner. At the end of 2016, Japan had more than 3,200 investment projects in Vietnam with total registered capital of more than $42 billion, according to official data.
Japan is also Vietnam’s third-largest source of tourists, with arrivals in the first five months growing to more than 323,000, according to the General Statistics Office.