Managing for Creativity in Japan Talking with Foreign Executives in Japan

On Learning Japanese

“My advice then to someone who is coming is to take six-months or a year to study the language first and then come into the job. If companies would give people that kind of latitude they would have much more successful executives here. But companies say “I can’t take an executive out of commission for a year just to let them study a language!”
That has been one of the toughest things I’ve had to overcome. As my Japanese co-workers and friends come to recognise who I am they understand that I’m culturally sensitive and I understand the culture and I’ve studied the history and all that stuff but I’m not bilingual and probably never will be.”