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無料TOEIC レッスン Lesson 14 : Japanese firms adopt global appearance 




Lesson 14: Japanese firms adopt global appearance / VIDEO Script

Al, what do think of that article in Asahi.com about Japanese companies having to adopt a more international look at home.

Yeah, with declining population and the resulting shrinkage of the domestic market, overseas markets are more and more being seen as Japan’s key to economic survival. Local companies are having to scrap long-held practices in hiring foreigners at their head offices. It seems that foreigners are taking on increasingly important roles in devising strategy for overseas sales.

Well Al. it seems that at least for some large corporations, Toshiba included, Japanese language ability may no longer be a requirement for employment. That’s a huge shift of attitude. Some companies are even recruiting staff who graduated at foreign universities. How does that strike you?

Yes, but I was quite surprised by the comment made by the head of Toshiba’s personnel centre that the people they are looking for would end up as leaders of business divisions after 25 years with the company. Talented employees in the US would expect to attain that goal in less than half the time.

It’s no wonder that there are so many large Japanese corporations, 58 it seems, who that are unwilling to employ foreigners. They claim that skilled staff from other countries are all too willing to change jobs if they are offered better pay and conditions. I can’t say that I blame them. A job for life is one thing; waiting years for promotion is a different matter.

I agree, John. But that wasn’t the only reason given for not opening positions to foreigners. 20 percent of the companies said that they lacked supervisors who could work effectively with foreign employees. I guess if they want to progress in this global environment they are going to have to rethink their strategy. But I see that some of the companies are forward looking: Panasonic Electric Works and Rakuten, the internet shopping site. They’re even holding company meetings in English.

Yes Al. They have both recognized that their futures are global, and are employing foreigners as and when needed.


  1. What did John ask Al?
    1. Did he like the article about Japanese homes.
    2. What he thought about an article in Asahi.com.
    3. Did he like Asahi beer.
    4. If Japanese companies are adopting more.
  2. What did Al tell John?
    1. That Japanese companies are giving more keys to foreigners.
    2. That more Japanese companies are manufacturing rolls.
    3. That the global market is becoming vital for the future of Japanese companies.
    4. That Japanese companies are having more and more strategies.
  3. What did Al tell John?
    1. That Toshiba want to recruit foreigners to be divisional managers after 25 years.
    2. That Toshiba have a head at their personnel center.
    3. That The USA has many talented employees.
    4. That Toshiba should be employing foreigners for half the time.
  4. What did John say to Al?
    1. That he doesn’t think it unreasonable for staff to move to companies that offer better conditions.
    2. There are 58 Japanese companies in Japan.
    3. Staff should not move.
    4. That a job for life is a job for life.