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English to be Honda's official language by around 2020

TOKYO -- Honda Motor plans to make English the official language for international communications within the company around 2020, the automaker said in a report Monday.

     Currently, documents and data prepared in Japanese are translated into local languages by Japanese expatriates and others. But those creating the materials will have to use English for documents and conversation.

     The company plans to beef up English education to employees whose native languages are not English. Language proficiency will likely be added to criteria for promotion to managerial positions.

     For domestic communications in respective markets, local languages will be used.

     Virtual mall operator Rakuten has been using English as its official language since 2012. Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing is also moving to do so, as is tire maker Bridgestone.

     Nissan Motor has been using English when communicating with French partner Renault, but has not made it its official language. 

(Nikkei)

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