Toru Hashimoto, former president of Fuji Bank, and former chairman of the International Christian University
From deep in my heart I applaud the establishment of the Society of Global Business.
As our country’s business activities become rapidly global, there is a pressing need for developing global business talent, and given the current state of our society, the founding of the Society of Global Business to foster such development is very timely.
I would like to emphasize the following three areas that particularly require talent development:
1. Communication skill is a critical force in global business. Since English is now the de-facto international language, global business professionals need to be able to think, express opinions, and participate in open discussions with others throughout the world, using English. So I think it is essential to develop English skills for speaking, hearing, and listening as part of primary education.
2. Being fluent in the international language of English will not be effective if what you have to say is not worth listening to. No mater how well spoken the message, if what is being communicated is of little interest, there will be no effective communication. To win the attention of others, it is essential that ideas and opinions be well considered and expressed with a strong sense of motivation.
3. Cross-cultural understanding is needed, because in global business one must work with persons having the perspective of a variety of cultures. So, if one does not know well the cultural background of others, it is not possible to understand their behavior, causing unnecessary friction, and resulting in work that does not progress smoothly. Thus, in a global setting it is essential to study and to embrace the diverse cultural backgrounds of the persons you are working with.
Although not an expert in this area, I believe we can be optimistic about the prospects. The reason is that the young people, who form the next generation of leaders, now include more and more persons returning with overseas experience. In my heart I hope that through the Society of Global Business this next generation of business leaders will be professionals able to both understand and gain the attention and respect of others in the global business world, while at the same time retaining their identity as Japanese.