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Japan in the Bubble

May 15, 2017American, Canadian, Life&Food, Money

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CONSIDER What do you know about the Japanese bubble?


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Greg O’Keefe: So “cultural fitGreg and José were just discussing Greg’s research into intercultural communication, (0:00)” is more about the balance of applied book knowledge as well as the personality of the person that fits into the community; so what kind of personalities fit in. This is all going to be used for- for example Human Resources could easily use information like this in the future. Uh, international hiring practices are going up in forei- uh Japanese companies. So companies like Rakuten, or Sony, or uh, SoftBank, they’re looking at international um, employees at the moment. So creating some sort of patterns for hiring practices is really kind of- is one goal, and the other goal is to just to help newbies who are coming here. They’re in their second or third year, and they want topronounced, “WANNA” (0:40) know “Will I last? Cou- If I wanted to work here is this a possible thing for me to do?” And maybe there are some signs they should look for If they don’t fit into the community or notGreg says this very quickly (0:51).

José Cruz: There doesn’t seem to be as much of as an- of an inflow of people coming into Japan to find work as I remember from the early and mid-nineties though. I remember through the early mid nineties-

Greg: Oh absolutely. Yeah I totally agree.

José: This was uh- well, I don’t want to **

Greg: Well we had the bubble in America, too.

José: Right right. (So) And and and when I came, we hadn’t realized yet that the bubble had burst in Japan. (That’s right) It took about two years before we figured out, “Oh holy cow! Everything’s just going down the drain (Right) And people were just still (Right) coming and coming and companies were just hiring and hiring (Right right right) Um, uh do you think people actually…

Greg: Well the reason for that- Do you know what the reason for that was? (What?) The reason for that was that all those companies that were cutting people, a lot of people going back to learn English were retraining. And they actually rode that. When the economy gets bad more people study.

José: You mean Japanese?

Greg: Yeah they, that’s what the whole wave was back in the uh mid to late nineties.

José: Yeah but there was always…

Greg: They thought the economy would get better but it never did.

José: No it never did, well it was getting better (Yeah yeah) but it’s like um everybody wanted to study English back in 1992.

Greg: Yeah I think that’s what it was though’ I think that’s – Do you know what it was? There was the “global-kaJapanese for “globalization” (1:51)” push back in the late 80s. I don’t know but, if you know about the global-ka.

José: Sure the global push, but…

Greg: The the the global-ka was what they called it, right? And people were really focused on globalism and there was also like in the late nineties was “I-bunka”, right? Which was like other other countries, uh other cultures. But uh the “global-ka”. Like uh actually if you look at some old uh notes of people who were graduating in the early nineties, is they would say “I want to be an internationalist”.

José: Yeah I was getting that all the time (Um) in my classes, (Uh) “I want to be an (Yeah) international man”. But I think another thing was the actual…

Greg: Like James Bond.

José: Yeah, well, with the necktie and everything else. But yeah it was in their dreams, and it’s not a bad dream. But I think another that was just pushing it was just the amount of money velocity. The money velociPy- the money velocity that was pushing money around. People just had money to literally throw into the sky. (That’s right yeah) And and women were you know, just had all kinds of time on their hands and their husbands were bringing home six-month bonuses, (Oh) you know three month bonuses twice a year. And they’reJosé meant to say “they’re going” (2:49) “may as well study English” And and the funny thing was, I wasn’t getting much of that business, but most of my other, white blond-haired blue-eyed friends were. But I wasn’t getting much of that business, but but it was all over the place. And what it did was it made it possible for me to get more work because these people were doing their work privately. (Uh-huh) Right?


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Greg O'Keefe image

Greg O'Keefe


Boston, Massachusetts

José Domingo Cruz image

José Domingo Cruz


Vancouver, British Columbia


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1 Comment

  1. When the economy goes bad, people start studying because the employment rate decreases. They try to be a person of value even a little so that companies can hire them. Language acquisition is one of many skills that is highly evaluated. The same applies to communication skills. In particular, English is used all over the world, so it is essential for global companies to learn English. Some companies cannot find employment against TOEIC or TOEFL if they do not meet the reference point.
    Recently, the number of people who are active outside of their own countries has increased. I think that international people need not only languages but also education. To be active in the world means that we will have more rivals. We can’t be an international person just by speaking English.
    Many people are now losing their jobs due to coronavirus. In order to get a job in a recession, it is important to acquire knowledge and skills in addition to languages. In addition, improving one’s personality is one of the means to be appreciated by others.


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