Hiroshi Mikitani, CEO at Rakuten, the largest online shopping mall in Japan, said the company's goal of becoming "the number one Internet services company in the world" means "all employees need to communicate in English". Japanese firms are increasingly acknowledging that mastery of the English language is necessary for global success. Rakuten recently acquired Buy.com and PriceMinister and is planning to expand into dozens of countries over the next few years.

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