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In this study, the author conducted a survey on personnel development at small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Tokyo to determine whether they provide their employees with training on international communication. The author has so far interviewed five company owners in Ota City (Tokyo) about their personnel development programs and on-the-job training for new employees in particular. Analysis of the interview responses suggests that there has been a change in SME owners' attitudes toward global communication. Many SMEs now realize that it is very important to give their employees an opportunity to enhance their global communication skills, including for English language, in order to compete in the global marketplace. The results also indicate that SMEs have been forced to react to circumstances created by the dramatic appreciation of the yen. However, the interviews with the SME owners also reveal that they do not have clear strategies for implementing such training. The author will suggest what types of support may be the most effective for international communication programs at SMEs to be successful, and how such support can be integrated into their personnel development programs.
Date of Conference: 8-10 Oct. 2012