DocCross Asia


Selected documentaries related to "multiculturalism" produced by Japanese broadcasters/Southeast Asian filmmakers.


Kami-san from Vietnam: The Future of an Inclusive Society


46 min. Community Women Elderly Care Hokkaido Vietnam
製作著作 北海道放送 ©Hokkaido Broadcasting Co.,Ltd
On DocCross Asia Channel until December 27 17:00 JST, 2021 / 配信期間:2021年12月27日 17:00 JST まで

Higashikawa is a small town in Hokkaido with a population of 8,400. As part of its revitalization efforts, the local government has been welcoming international students; now 4% of the residents, or more than 300 people, are from overseas. One of them is Pha Thituy Tien, a Vietnamese student hoping to become an eldercare worker with the help of a scholarship offered by the town. Her name means “God” in Vietnamese, so people call her “Kami-san”, or “Ms. God” in Japanese. Such generous support for international students has occasionally drawn criticism, but the community now considers the students to be valuable assets. Meanwhile, seven Vietnamese technical trainees working in Higashikawa were suddenly fired after being forced to live in substandard conditions. Why were these two groups of Vietnamese people treated so differently? We consider how people in Japan can learn to live in harmony with an increasing number of foreign neighbors.


Director’s comment

Fuki Kamai (HBC Journalist at the time of production) / 構 二葵(当時HBC北海道放送記者)

During the interview, Tien, an international student, said she was sad to be called a foreigner, and Fong, a technical intern trainee, said she was frustrated that her boss didn’t even remember her name. Both were dismayed at being lumped together as outsiders. Did anybody in the community realize that these women felt that they were not being treated as human beings and that their identities were being trampled upon? In Japan, where the birthrate is declining and the population is aging, workers from overseas are indispensable partners. But the story reveals a facet of our society that exploits labor force and maintains indifference. The problems are not limited to Higashikawa but exist throughout Japan. What can each of us do to live together with people who come to Japan from Asian countries to pursue their dreams? I hope that this documentary will serve as an opportunity for viewers to become aware of Japan’s policies and consider possible alternatives.


  • Title / タイトル

    Kami-san from Vietnam: The Future of an Inclusive Society

  • Broadcaster / 放送局

    Hokkaido Broadcasting Co.,Ltd

  • Production year / 制作年


  • Duration / 分数

    46 min.

  • Director / ディレクター

    Fuki Kamai (HBC Journalist at the time of production)
    構 二葵(当時HBC北海道放送記者)

  • Informaiton / その他情報

    Narrator: Eiichi Tamura
    Camera: Ippo Tuchiya / Takaya Ouchi
    Sound: Kazuto Shida
    Sound Engineer: Toshiaki Nishioka
    Computer Graphics: Miki Saito / Kyoka Yamamoto
    Editor: Yusaku Yotsukura
    Director: Fuki Kamai
    Producer: Yuji Yamazaki

    撮影:土谷一歩 / 大内孝哉
    CG:斎藤美貴 / 山本恭佳