No more Japanese

October 22, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Reid Rosen

Friday Posts


An NPR article from this week addresses several Japanese companies decisions to move into speaking English. English is not an unfamiliar language to the Japanese they have been taking classes for decades; considering they are the third largest economy in the world they have had to. But, the e-commerce company Rakuten Inc. has required all its employees by 2012 to speak English. This includes in all emails, and meetings. Some people in Japan have been upset over the decision however.  Many young people are against the move and even the president of Honda motors said the move was “boneheaded”. The Japanese government has even made a move to English. It is requiring all English classes to be taught completely in English by 2013.

I found the article to be really interesting because Japan has always had such a distinct culture. To see Japan move more towards English seems somewhat of Westernizing. But, the article does make a good point Japan has moved from manufacturing to service industries. In fact 70% of Japan’s GDP comes from service industry. Just like in the US we have had a backlash in learning even a little Spanish, the Japanese are experience something similar but on  a larger scale. I also thinks its interesting about the media the Japanese are using it to teach English the NPR page had a video link to a hilarious clip.

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