With Rakuten and Fast Retailing making English the first language in their offices, the Daily Yomiuri Online says that it has given English conversation schools a much needed boost:
During the April-June period, Berlitz Japan, Inc., an operator of foreign language schools, saw the number of its corporate customers and individual regular students who are company employees jump 50 percent from a year earlier. Its summer short program also has attracted about 2-1/2 times as many students as in the previous year.
Another English school operator, Gaba Corp., enjoyed a similar boost, with corporate contracts up 12 percent year on year in the first half of 2010.
Well, that's good news for two schools, but what about the rest? The article notes that Fast Retailing plans on hiring non-Japanese staff. If they can already speak English, then it won't translate into new business for the eikaiwas. So, are things looking good in eikaiwa or is this article seeing things through rose-colored glasses?