The increasing number of foreign residents in Japan is a positive factor contributing to the country’s sustainability, but it also poses policy and social challenges arising from inadequate mutual cultural understanding. Notably, with the trends of labor migration and international student mobility, the Vietnamese population in Japan has rapidly increased ten-fold from over 44,000 in 2011 to 450,000 in 2021 (MOJ, 2021), becoming the second most populous foreigner group. In Japan, there seems to be an increased interest in researching about Vietnam and Vietnamese people. We conducted a rapid literature review to investigate this trend by searching Google Scholar using relevant keywords for the period from 1965 to 2023. Our results revealed a clear increasing trend in the number of publications conducted in Japan related to "betonamujinron", or the field of study that focuses on the characteristics, culture, customs, and values of Vietnamese people. We found that the trend has been particularly prominent over the last decade. Our research suggests that there is an increasing interest in Japan in understanding foreign characteristics and culture. This trend can help promote mutual cultural understanding and pave the way for more effective policies that can address the challenges associated with the growing diversity of Japan's population.
HoangNam Tran, Tokushima University, Japan
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