Businessmen in Japan are going back to school - but not to learn the conventional reading, writing and arithmetic.
Businessmen in Japan are going back to school - but not to learn the conventional reading, writing and arithmetic. the businessmen attend a special school in Gotemba, at the foot of Mount Fuji, where they prepare themselves for posts abroad.
The school began seven years ago, and is partly financed by the Ministry of Trade and Industry. The "students" are all from large internation companies, like Mitsubishi, Mitsui, Toyota and Sony.
The idea is to tach the businessmen how to fit in with the customs of their new country.
The course continues for a year, the final month of which is spent abroad.. either in the Unites States, France or the Unites Kingdom. It costs between GBP 4000 and GBP 7000 (9 to 17 thousand US dollars).
The "students" study the language of their new country - usually English or French, and also the local history and economy. Most of the social graces are learnt in the final month abroad.
Only 120 "students" are accepted for each course, which is designed to be as foreign as possible. The businessmen even have to change their eating habits ... chopsticks are replaced by knives and forks. Also they're encouraged to make casual aquaintances - virtually unheard of in Japanese society, where friends are never invited home. That is reserved for members of the family.