Sunday, April 1, 2012


Rakuten is known as a Giant EC company in Japan but it is not well known in the world. I am an employee of Rakuten.

Two years ago our CEO said "we will use English as a company's official language" when we had a weekly all company meeting on Monday morning.

Very few Japanese companies use English as an official language. Some of hardware manufactures such as Sony and Nissan are using English but their official language are still Japanese.

It is very radical decision. There is no other choice if a company wants to be a global company.

Two years ago many of us were not good at English and still struggled with it.

We have to pass an English examination. I had never took TOEIC (English examination) so I did not know if I had good enough skill. Fortunately I passed the examination.

Many meetings are running in English now and we get used to use English. Average score of TOEIC are increasing in this two years. We use English in our internal SNS. We can exchange our internal information not only Japanese employees but also non Japanese speaking employees in the world.

Last month we had an internal training by Jonathan Rasmusson at Rakuten. No translation was provided but many of us enjoyed it. Many questions was asked in English.

If we can use English, we can learn the leading edge technology.

Learning English is our great opportunities. English is the language of Internet and the global economy. We are learning the business of Internet services and it is very exciting thing.

Our experience of Englishnization will be a good role model of being a global. How do we change our language to English? I'm enjoying this experience.

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