Aeon (language school)

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Aeon Corporation of Japan
Kabushiki kaisha
Industry Language instruction
Founded Tokushima, Japan (1973)
Headquarters Okayama, Japan
Key people
Kiyoshi Aki (Chairman and CEO)
Website (in Japanese)

Aeon (株式会社イーオン, Kabushikigaisha Īon) (/ˈən/ EE-ən) is a chain of English conversation teaching companies in Japan.[1] It is considered one of the historical "Big Four" eikaiwa schools.[2]

The company operates 320 branch schools throughout Japan, and maintains staff recruitment offices in New York City and Los Angeles.[3]

In November 2013 it was reported that Aeon had approximately 100,000 students studying English.[4]


In 1973, university classmates Kiyoshi Aki and Tsuneo Kusunoki founded the company AMVIC. The name was a portmanteau of the phrase "AMbition and VICtory." The company would focus on foreign language studies.

Later,[when?] AMVIC International was split into two divisions. Aki became the head of AMVIC Gaigogakuin (AMVIC外語学院, anbikku gaigogakuin), which provided foreign language training for students. Kusunoki assumed control of AMVIC Eikaiwa (AMVIC英会話, anbikku eikaiwa), which specialized in English language education for non-native speakers.

In 1989, AMVIC International split into two separate companies, as the former partners developed differing visions of the company's future. Aki's company became Aeon, focusing on language learning in Japan. He remains Aeon's chairman as of 2010.[3] Kusunoki's company became GEOS, focusing on global language learning. GEOS and Aeon remained competitors until April 2010 when GEOS filed for bankruptcy protection.[5]

Company structure[edit]

Aeon's corporate headquarters are in Okayama. Its operations are divided into three regions.

Region Areas covered Number of schools Headquarters Regional manager
East Japan[6] Hokkaidō, Tōhoku, Kantō, Kōshin'etsu and Kansai 149 Shinjuku Yoshikazu Miyake
Central Japan[7] Tōkai, Chūbu, Hokuriku, Kyūshū and Okinawa 71 Nagoya Kiyoshi Aki
West Japan[8] Chūgoku and Shikoku 26 Okayama Masashi Satō

Aeon also has a subsidiary named Aeon Amity which offers classes to children and students up to high school age. The Amity group operates 85 schools throughout Japan.[9]

Aeon is a member of the Japan Association for the Promotion of Foreign Language Education (全国外国語教育振興協会, zenkoku gaikokugo kyōiku shinkō kyōkai).[10]

As of December 2010, Aeon held total assets of 28.7 billion yen. Its total revenue for 2009 was 24.8 billion yen.[3]

On 5 February 2010, Aeon announced that it would henceforth be depositing 50% of the lesson fees that students pay up-front into a trust account managed by the Mizuho Trust Bank. These funds would be held on behalf of the students, to be refunded in the event the company could no longer continue operating. The initial amount paid into the trust account was 4.3 billion yen.[11]


External links[edit]