English in Japan


Japan and the UK have a close investment relationship.

The UK is the fourth-largest source of EU investment in Japan (¥765bn in 2010).

The UK is Japan’s second-largest investment destination in the EU (¥3.09 trillion in 2010). [stock; Source: Bank of Japan]

In FY2010, Japan was  the world’s no. 2  source of project-based investment in the UK: 105 projects to be exact. [Source: UKTI].

 The EU is the world’s largest source of direct investment in Japan (approx. ¥6.7 trillion).

Japan is the world’s third-largest source of direct investment in the EU (approx. ¥15 trillion) [2010; Source: Bank of Japan]

UK direct investment in Japan surpassed investment in the reverse direction in 2009 and 2010 but the situation reversed in 2011:

○UK→JPN (¥527.7bn in 2009;  ¥417.1bn in 2010;  ¥146.0bn in 2011).
○JPN→UK (¥204.5bn in 2009;  ¥385.5bn in 2010;  ¥1.12 trillion in 2011).
[Source: Bank of Japan and Ministry of Finance]

As many as 1, 272 Japanese companies are operating in the UK.
[Source: (the number of companies).

Now, English is not only an advantage in Japanese businesses, but it is becoming a standard requirement. Japanese businesses such as the e-commerce corporation Rakuten Inc. demand that employees communicate in English, especially in meetings and e-mails. Those that hadn’t mastered business English by 2012 have been asked to leave the company.  These new English-only policies in the corporate world of Japan continue to increase and the demand for English is officially higher than ever.

Japan-UK business relations centre around the following industries:


Transport (automotive, aircraft and ships)


Engineering (construction)

Retailers (fashion, cosmetics, furniture, architecture and interior design)

Environment / energy

Research and development

Real estate

Marketing communications


Services (catering, education, foreign exchange, other finance services and office rentals)


Social networking

Today, 70% of Japan’s GDP consists of the service industry that requires international contact. Hideki Yoshihara, professor of business management at Nanzan University further explains “The Japanese market is shrinking while overseas markets are expanding.” The increasing use of English as a communication tool is “a natural consequence” as the number of non-Japanese co-workers grows. Alongside Japanese and Chinese, English is one of the world’s top 3 business languages. And to compete in the global marketplace, English communications are a must for Japan. English services are particularly necessary for Japan’s advertising, marketing communications, international media, bilingual media, bilingual advertising, an increasingly common phenomenon in Japanese advertising today, research and development, product launches and promotions.

Gabriella White’s management experience for a range of British, American and Australian clients and corporations have involved working with international teams from around the world.   She has also worked as a PR in the UK government’s Chief Executive Department. Gabriella’s high quality use of English has further extended to her role as a freelance journalist in the British media as well as an Editor for a publishing company. She has also worked as a regional radio broadcaster in the North of England.

Gabriella White knows what makes the English-speaking markets tick across; her in-depth marketing knowledge, branding support and effective promotional techniques combined with her people-skills and linguistic abilities guarantees your projects a highly professional standard, with a truly global reach.

Gabriella currently trains clients from 21 countries in business English and linguistics.

See also:           Dutch in Japan          French in Japan          German in Japan           Japan-Europe

Contact Interpreter’s Island with your requirements.