• Basel, Switzerland


The anonymous author of the July 22 letter, “Rakuten may be asking for trouble,” fears a loss of culture because of Rakuten President Hiroshi Mikitani’s decision to make English the company’s official language by 2012. As a citizen of a country where English is very often used as a business language — even though it is not a national language — I don’t share this fear.

For me a language is mainly a means of communication, and every additional language enriches communication because every language has words that another misses out on because of different thinking. English, for example, has the advantage of being very efficient and concise compared to German.

If Japanese companies really want to be global, then Japanese is clearly not enough. Other Asian companies realized this fact long ago and seem much more open-minded toward different cultures. Maybe the real issue is that some think that their culture is in some way superior to others.

manuel wymann

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