The Globalization of Japan

For Japan’s bright future, English is key to economic growth. Japan has a rich history of innovation that has both secured its leadership on the world stage — and its economic future. However, the country is now facing a situation that can put both at risk. Japan has one of the lowest fertility rates in the world — and the world’s fastest aging population. This combination can have a major economic impact. With fewer young people in the workforce — and more elderly people relying on government services — Japan’s shrinking population today could create a shrinking economy tomorrow. To combat the economic effects of a declining population, leading Japanese companies are seeking new business opportunities outside of Japan, as well as bringing in new talent from around the globe. One tool is making this possible: English. As the language of business, English is critical to communication, which is key to globalization. Many Japanese companies are now using English as their common language, and making English proficiency a priority in hiring and promotion. To help their employees, many companies now include English training and assessment as part of their business strategy. More than ever, English is the tool that helps Japanese companies understand the needs of their global customers and counterparts. English helps them build trust and, ultimately, build business. Special thanks to the Institute for International Business Communication (IIBC).

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