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July 04, 2002

TOEIC - The Secret of My Success

The Shukan Asahi magazine reported that employees hoping to move up the promotion ladder in many major Japanese companies have to achieve high scores on the TOEIC test. The names are familiar and the English connection is usually easy to figure out (JAL, JTB, IBM Japan) though the list aso includes cosmetics maker Shiseido. JAL, for example, gives new employees three years to reach a score of 730, a level also required at electronics maker Pioneer. JTB appeals to a baser instinct, offering ¥50,000 hard cash to workers who score over 950. Actually not that much of an incentive when you think that the max is 990. 650 is considered a strong English "foundation" at Shiseido, while at IBM Japan managers have to aim for 600; 730 for assistant general manager or above.

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