This is part of a larger project on Japanese language teaching in Southeast Asia, which examines how Japanese language has been taught in terms of historical construct, local language policies and Japan’s immigration policies with particular emphasis on learners’ employability and mobility. Japan’s relationship with Vietnam and Thailand are vastly different, but both countries have signed Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with Japan. One of the schemes of Japan-Vietnam EPA is employment of trainee nurses and care workers in Japanese hospitals and institutions. Compared to the Philippines and Indonesia, which started the scheme earlier, Vietnam has demonstrated stronger interest in providing Japanese language training prior to their employment in Japan. In terms of international students studying in Japanese universities, Vietnamese is the second largest cohort after Chinese, and the number has been increasing. Thailand, which has a relationship with Japan over the last 600 years, has the second largest Japanese language learners in Southeast Asia, and Japan is the major investor and supplier to Thailand. While the ASEAN community has adopted English as the working language, Japanese has been taught as a second foreign language in the region. This study explores the role of Japanese language education at the tertiary sector in terms of learners’ employability and mobility. By examining the data collected through online survey and face-to-face interviews of university students and teachers of Japanese programs in the countries, it argues how Japanese language education in Southeast Asia has adapted to the dynamics in the region.