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 2009, there are about 9,468 Japanese residents in Vietnam, mostly around the Hanoi area.
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. One of which was Hội An in Nguyễn, Southern Vietnam. The Japanese community there was quite small, consisting of only a few tens of households.
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.
During World War II, on September 22, 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.
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. 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 are also a draw. Japan is currently the largest international donor to Vietnam. A Japan Foundation center in Vietnam was established in Hoàn Kiếm, Hanoi in 2008.
There are three Japanese international schools: