I do not recommend it to my clients. Many teachers recommend newspapers for reading practice, though. This is because the content in newspapers is not always what you are interested in, due to the wide range of information. Also, since the news is basically news, the content is often current affairs and not suited to deepening one’s knowledge.
Many teachers recommend the Nihon Keizai Shimbun that is the most widely read economic newspaper in Japan for students of business Japanese, but I do not recommend the Nihon Keizai Shimbun for the same reason. Of course, reading both regular newspapers and the Nihon Keizai Shimbun is better than not reading them.
But I recommend a more effective method. That is to read industry-specific newspapers.

For example, 日経ソフトウェア for programmers, 日経NETWORK for network engineers, 小売経済新聞 for retailers, 化学工業日報 for chemistry, 日刊自動車新聞 for automotive, 金融経済新聞 for finance, 食品産業新聞 for food and drink, etc. Basically, Every industry has its own industry-specific magazine.
If the topic is related to the industry you work in or the industry of your customers, it will be easier to understand because you will know many of the words. It will also help you to keep up with the latest information and deepen your understanding of the industry. You will also have more topics for conversation.
We recommend that you ask your Japanese colleagues and customers about your industry-specific newspapers.

Yes, there are some. I believe that magazines that are beneficial not only for reading comprehension practice but also for improving your business skills and increasing your knowledge are good. Therefore, I recommend the following four magazines.

No1: DIAMONDハーバード・ビジネス・レビュー (19,033 copies)
The Japanese edition of the Harvard Business Review, composed of a combination of HBR articles and original articles from the Japanese edition. It is composed of a combination of HBR articles and original articles from the Japanese edition, and has timely feature articles with substantial content.
Although it has a smaller circulation in Japan than the next magazine, this magazine is probably the best fit for LinkedIn users, as its content is geared toward executives and business leaders. Also, reading the Japanese version after understanding the content of the original English version will be less burdensome.

No2: 週刊東洋経済(85,833 copies)
In addition to feature articles that are in tune with the times, it also has many features on various companies, allowing you to keep abreast of the seasonality of the Japanese economy.

No3: PRESIDENT (263,383 copies)
This magazine was launched in 1963 as the Japanese edition of the U.S. magazine FORTUNE. It covers a wide range of topics from skill development to lifestyle.
Although it is described as a magazine for executives and business leaders, I have the impression that it is aimed at a slightly younger audience than DIAMOND Harvard Business Review. Be careful not to be misled by the title PRESIDENT.

No4: 週刊ダイヤモンド (85,833 copies)
In addition to economic, financial, and corporate information, it has a wealth of serial articles and columns, but most of the content is aimed at relatively young employees.
It is good for those whose reading comprehension is already high and who want to collect a wide range of information.

The best study materials will vary depending on your current Japanese language level, the environment in which you use Japanese, the nature of your work, your position, etc. We hope this article will be helpful to you.

*This post is based on “10 Japanese business magazines recommended for business Japanese learners!” which was uploaded on July 17, 2018. which is modified for LinkedIn users.
*The number in parentheses next to the title is the average circulation per issue of the most recent issue. (Source: Japan Magazine Publishers Association)
*The links to each magazine are the URLs of the back issues so that the trends can be seen.

For beginner to intermediate level, I recommend that you master the audio material included with the Business Japanese textbook to build basic business Japanese language skills.

For intermediate to advanced level, I recommend using material that is actually being listened to by Japanese businesspeople.
In addition to podcasts, another popular audio medium these days is Voicy. I have collected a number of Voicy channels that cover Japanese business and business news and hope you will find them useful.

Channel of the Graduate School of Management, Globis University, a Japanese business school.
Mainly introduces and explains business skills and the latest keywords. You can easily listen to it for about 5 minutes a day. It is aimed at slightly younger businesspersons. Executives may find much of the content well-known.

Channel of Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Japan’s largest economic newspaper.
Updated every morning with the latest news. You can kill two birds with one stone as you can practice listening with economic news. However, since business covers a wide range of genres, the information tends to be broad and shallow.

[Voicy ITビジネスニュース]
A 10-minute news channel with news about IT and startups.
Many of the topics are news about IT business and venture companies and fundraising.
It is like an IT and venture version of the aforementioned “ながら日経.

Mr. Asakura’s channel mainly invests in startups at the rater stage.
The main topics are startups, VC, and venture investment. Recommended for those interested in Japanese venture business.

This is the channel of Nishino, a comedian, picture book author and film director.
Although most of the topics are related to entertainment, there are also many marketing strategies and IT business topics. As a comedian, his stories are interesting.

Yes, there are many.

These textbooks are mainly designed for business people and include the following types.
Keigo practice, Business conversation practice, BJT preparation, Industry-specific Japanese (e.g. IT business Japanese), For job hunting, For new employees, For business manner, etc.
They also vary in difficulty, ranging from those for people with JLPT N5 or so to those for people with JLPT N1 or higher.

Volunteer members of our Japanese teachers have set up a website to explain the Business Japanese textbooks. On this website, they first divide the textbooks into 10 difficulty levels, and introduce a total of 32 textbooks from 12 publishers. You will be able to choose the one that best suits your level.

http://app.j-os.com/japanesematerial/business-en.html in English
http://app.j-os.com/japanesematerial/business.html in Japanese

*Newer textbooks or revised editions may have already been published. In that case, please refer to the newest information.

It is very difficult to answer what textbooks we recommend. This is because each textbook has its own characteristics, and the best textbook for each person is different.

When I am consulted by a client, I choose a textbook after asking at least the following questions
Learning objectives, learning method (self-study or taking lessons), current level, textbooks used in the past, and other materials and tools available.

If you know a professional Japanese teacher, it is best to consult him or her. However, you need to check how much textbooks he/she can handle. (Please assume that advice from someone with less than 10 textbooks will not be helpful.)

If there is no professional Japanese language teacher you know, you need to be able to judge for yourself. Therefore, we have listed some points that you should understand when choosing textbooks on your own, and we hope they will be helpful.

There are different types of textbooks.
The main types of textbooks for adult learners are as follows
(Comprehensive textbooks / for business people / for short-term residents / reading comprehension / grammar / pronunciation and listening comprehension / notation (kana and kanji) / composition / conversation / preparation for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test)

The “List of Japanese Language Materials” published by Bonjinsha introduces approximately 4,000 Japanese language materials. It is possible to search by the types listed above. Moreover, it can be downloaded free of charge, so if you are interested, please take a look.


Amazon reviews are not helpful.
I often use Amazon for online shopping. However, reviews about Japanese textbooks will not be helpful. This is because most of the people who write reviews are Japanese language learners, and they do not compare the textbooks with other textbooks.

Textbook introduction sites are also not very helpful.
Many textbook introduction sites are affiliate sites. Check if the writers are reliable.
The official websites of publishers may be helpful, but they naturally introduce only their own textbooks, which has the disadvantage of limiting the range of textbooks they cover.

Clerks at general bookstores know very little about Japanese textbooks.
General bookstores sell very few Japanese language textbooks. For this reason, it would be difficult for the clerks working there to compare and introduce Japanese textbooks.
On the other hand, you can trust the staff at stores specializing in Japanese language textbooks because they are very knowledgeable. Bookstores specializing in Japanese language materials include the following bookstores

Bonjinsha: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Sogakusha: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Nihongo Books: Koto-ku, Tokyo

*Please check the official websites of the companies for the latest information as it may not be possible to enter due to covid-19.

Many of my acquaintances are in the Japanese education field, so let me refrain from naming specific schools here (lol). Instead, there are two criteria that can be used as a reference when choosing a regular Japanese school, which I will introduce here.

Please note that what I am about to explain is for regular Japanese schools. It does not apply to schools for residents who are not related to the student VISA or online schools. There are many reputable schools among them.

(1) Must be a publicly notified Japanese school
Notified Japanese schools are Japanese schools that can accept international students for the purpose of studying Japanese under the status of residence Student. In simple terms, it is a school that can issue a student VISA.
In order to be recognized as a “notified school,” a school must clear several regulations set by the Japanese Ministry of Justice, so it is relatively safer than non-notified schools. Of course, there are exceptions.

A list of notified schools can be found here.

(2) Year of establishment is old
Simply put, the older the year of establishment, the better the school is likely to be. This is due to the following changes in the environment surrounding the Japanese education business.
In 2008, the Japanese government created a plan to increase the number of foreign students to 300,000. In response to this plan, an increasing number of companies established Japanese schools as new businesses.
And since around 2015, there has been an increase in the number of cases of Japanese schools being established for the purpose of supporting businesses in recruiting technical intern trainees.

Mainly for these two reasons, the number of Japanese schools has more than doubled, from 308 in 2007 to 774 in 2019.
Source: https://toyokeizai.net/articles/-/275122

Entering into Japanese education as a business is not in itself a bad thing in my opinion. There are good schools among the new schools. However, on a probability basis, I would recommend schools that have been around since before 2015, preferably since 2008.

From the above, my recommendation is to go for a notified school that has been around since before 2015. However, management policies can change, so please use this as a reference only.

Japanese language institutes are divided into four matrices, based on the two axes of lesson type (offline or online) and number of students.

*To be precise, there are group lessons both offline and online, but we omit them here to simplify the explanation.

If we use ABCD, clockwise from the top right, the main educational institutions that fall under each of these categories are as follows.

A: Regular Japanese school
B: Class lessons at online school
C: 1on1 lessons at online school
D: Dispatch of teachers

The general characteristics of each are as follows

Curriculum and schedule are fixed.
Many schools are for international students and class schedules are during the daytime on weekdays.
Some schools offer classes in the evening with small class sizes.
Many schools have changed to “B” because they cannot offer face-to-face lessons due to the COVID-19.
Tuition fees are the second lowest of the four, but long-term courses are usually offered.

There used to be very few, but the number has increased due to COVID-19.
Curriculum and schedule are fixed.
Learners from all over the world can take classes.
Some schools offer classes in the evening.
Tuition fees are the lowest of the four.

You can choose your own curriculum and schedule.
Learners from all over the world can take classes.
Some schools offer classes in the evening.
Tuition fees are higher than B, but lower than D.
Many teachers are familiar with lessons for business people.

You can choose your own curriculum and schedule.
Tuition fees are the highest of the four.
Many teachers are familiar with lessons for business people.
However, outside of large cities, there may be no Japanese teachers available.

Since the price per lesson is inversely proportional to the number of students, class lessons with a large number of students are inexpensive, and lessons with a small number of students, One-to-one is more expensive.

Based on the above characteristics, you should choose the one that best suits your needs.

For qualified teachers, the market price seems to be 2,000~8,000 yen per lesson (1 hour).
For teachers who have the ability to teach business people, the price is usually 3,500 yen or more.

The better the teacher, the higher the FEE may be. But the probability of your success in learning Japanese will be high, so the cost performance may be good. In fact, I know someone who charges 8,000 yen per hour. Her unit price is higher than other teachers, but she has a lot of repeat customers and there are no vacancies in her schedule.

If you want to keep the total cost of learning Japanese low, I recommend that you do what you can by self-study and focus your lessons with the instructor on exercises that you cannot do without him or her.

If it is difficult for you to bear the cost by yourself, your company may pay for it, so it is recommended that you check with your company. In particular, a company that pays for English language training for its Japanese employees may be willing to pay for Japanese language training for its non-Japanese employees.

(1) Face-to-face lessons
It seems that all the teachers registered on this site are qualified.

(2) Online lessons
For online lessons, there is no site that I can introduce with confidence. There are several reasons for thinking that way.

Reason 1: Many of the teachers registered on matching sites are unqualified.
Just as there are qualifications for English teachers such as TEFL, TESL, TESOL, CELTA, DELTA, etc., there are also qualifications for Japanese teachers.

Qualified Japanese teachers are those who meet any of the following requirements.
(1) Pass the Japanese Language Teaching Competency Test.
(2) Have a bachelor’s degree and have completed a 420-hour training course for Japanese instructors approved by the Agency for Cultural Affairs.
(3) Complete either a major or minor program in Japanese education at a university or graduate school.

However, there are many matching sites that do not require them to be a certified teacher. If you are just looking for a conversation partner, it may be good enough, but if you want to take lessons, we recommend that you choose a qualified teacher at the very least. There is a big difference between someone who has systematically studied Japanese teaching methods and someone who has not.

Reason 2: Just having a qualification is not enough.
As I wrote in [What kind of teacher is a good Japanese teacher?], I consider a good teacher to be someone who can provide you with highly effective learning lessons and the know-how and advice you need to achieve your goals. Time performance is especially important for business people. For this reason, just having a qualification is not enough. In fact, I have interviewed more than 1,000 Japanese teachers, and there are not a few who are qualified but have poor teaching skills.

However, these are my personal opinions. If you and I have different preferences that we are looking for in a teacher, there is a chance that you can find a good teacher even on a matching site.

I hope these articles are helpful for you to meet a good teacher.

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