At the competition, the contestants, divided into five groups based on their fluency in Vietnamese, were required to talk about challenges and maturity.
Yoshino Tamako from Tokyo University of Foreign Studies won a grand prize at the category for those with at least two years learning Vietnamese. Her story was about an unforgettable experience when she had to go to hospital while in Vietnam. It could have been a very tough time for her but her Vietnamese friends had come to her bedside to comfort her, giving her strength to become such an optimistic person today.
Meanwhile, Ashida Haruka from Osaka University of Foreign Studies earned the first prize at the category for those with at least three-year Vietnamese education with a presentation about her effort in studying Vietnamese and exploring the Vietnamese culture.
According to lecturer Atsushhi Kasuga, who is in charge of Southeast Asia Department at Kanda University, the number of students enrolling to study Vietnamese in the university has been on the rise since it started to offer a course in Vietnamese studies in 2001.
This year, the university has about 60 students and five lecturers of Vietnamese studies, he noted.