The repatriation of Japanese in Vietnam from 1954 to 1960
Keywords:Japanese, the national resistance war, Vietnamese
The Japanese military presence in Vietnam during the Second World War is well known among academia and has left traces in the history of Vietnam, however, the impacts of the remaining Japanese in Vietnam since the war ended has been somewhat forgotten on an individual and collective level. It is a common thought that there was only a Chinese presence in Vietnam during the 1950s and 1960s, but the real picture was immensely more complex than that. During the First Indochina War, many Japanese and Westerners (German, Austrian, French, Greek, etc.) defected and stood in the same line with the Vietnamese people during the struggle against the French invaders. These people became known as “new Vietnamese citizens” and joined hands with the Vietnamese people to build and defend the newly established Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV). After the end of the First Indochina War in 1954, according to the wishes of these Japanese, the Vietnamese government created policies for favourable conditions for them to be repatriated to their fatherland. Drawing on untapped documents at the Vietnamese National Archives Center III, this article contributes to clarifying the history of the Japanese soldiers that remained in Vietnam after the end of the Second World War.
Received 1 July 2022; accepted 28 September 2022
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