Working in Japan without speaking Japanese?

Working in Japan without speaking Japanese?

If you move to another country it is obvious you need to be able to speak and read the native language. In many situations English might be possible to use, however there are some more exotic languages only in a small part of the world is using. To make the best of your time in your new place you should learn the local language, but what do you do when you don’t speak that language yet and are in the process of looking for a job?

In my case, being able to make myself understandable in Japanese is without a doubt a must in a land like Japan and therefore I study it every day (with pleasure). However only basic language abilities are not always enough to find a job. The employment opportunities are quite limited when you only speak a few words. So how do you go about finding that job in your dream country where most of the citizens hardly speak any foreign language? One way of attacking this is looking for companies were the native language is not required or basic language skills are accepted.

I was fortunate to start working for Rakuten, Inc. last September 2014. Rakuten is a Japanese e-commerce company with global aspirations that decided in 2010 the Englishnization project: to make English the primary language of communication at Rakuten. Although this has created a certain level of stress for the Japanese employee group, it has resulted in the attraction of a lot of foreign talents. To measure the current and target level of English Rakuten is using the TOIEC score as an internal KPI.

Rakuten has started this effort 4 years ago and am wondering which other companies in Japan have started something similar or in which Japanese is not a hard requirement for employees.

As far as I know, the following companies do not need Japanese as their main language (to any level of degree):

What other companies in Japan use English as their main language or in which companies is Japanese less important?

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