Vietnam to consider teaching Japanese in schools

Vietnam may start teaching Japanese in public schools because trade between the two nations is booming and demand for language training continues to grow.

English is the most commonly taught foreign language Vietnamese public schools. French, Chinese and Russian is also taught.

But a pilot Japanese program in the Hanoi schools has proved so popular that the Ministry of Education and Training wants to introduce the language in schools across the country, a ministry official said Thursday.

Dang Huynh Mai, the vice minister of education, said the ministry will ask Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung to approve the plan soon.

"Demand for Japanese classes is growing as the two countries expand trade and investment as well as tourism," Mai said.

Japan is one of Vietnam's top trade and investment partners. Two-way trade between the nations grew by 17 percent last year, reaching US$10 billion (euro7.5 billion).