Berlitz Japan

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Berlitz Japan
Subsidiary of Berlitz Corporation
  • Global leadership training
  • Language services
Founded December 18, 1980
Headquarters Aoyama, Tokyo
Area served
Parent Berlitz Corporation

Berlitz Japan, Inc. (ベルリッツ・ジャパン株式会社?) is a chain of eikaiwa English conversation schools in Japan. It is a branch of Berlitz Corporation, which is itself a subsidiary of Benesse Corporation.

As of 2014, it has 1,800 employees[1] and 60 branches located all around Japan.[2]


Berlitz Japan HQ are located in the east (left) tower of the Shin Aoyama building

Berlitz's first branch in Japan was established in Akasaka in 1966,[3] in the midst of Japan's postwar economic boom. The Berlitz School of Languages, Inc's Japanese branch[3] was established as an organization on December 18, 1980.[1]

In 1990 Benesse Corporation acquired a stake in Berlitz International, and in 2001 Benesse completed their acquisition, owning 100% of Berlitz's stock.[1]

In 2009 Berlitz Corporation acquired Phoenix Associates, which specialized in providing business and language training. Effective January 1, 2013 the company, which had 228 staff as of October 31, 2012, was fully merged into Berlitz Corporation.[4]


Berlitz Japan's headquarters are located on the 16th floor of the Shin Aoyama Building (East) in Aoyama 1-chome, Minato Ward, Tokyo.[1]


Berlitz Japan currently (as of 2014) has learning centers located all across Japan. 28 branches are located in Tokyo, nine in Kanagawa Prefecture, five in Aichi Prefecture and Osaka Prefecture, three each in Chiba Prefecture, and Hyogo Prefecture. Kyoto Prefecture has two learning centers as does Shizuoka Prefecture. There are one each in Saitama Prefecture, Miyagi Prefecture, Okayama Prefecture, and Hiroshima Prefecture.[5]

Languages offered[edit]

English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Arabic, Indonesian, Thai, Vietnamese, Dutch and others.[1]

Changes in conditions[edit]

In 1991 Berlitz teachers were required to do 30 lessons a week for a monthly salary of ¥250,000. As of 2013 they were required to do 40 lessons a week for the same salary.[6]


In Japan, teachers at Berlitz are represented by several unions. In the Kansai region they are represented by the General Union,[7] and in the Kanto region they are represented by Begunto, the Berlitz Tokyo General Union, part of the National Union of General Workers.[8] Both unions belong to the National Trade Union Council.

General Union branch[edit]

The GU branch of Berlitz Japan was founded in 1993, and since that time has won a number of improvements for teachers including: Unemployment Insurance and Workers Accident Compensation Insurance enrollment for MG teachers. Health and Pension Insurance (shakai hoken) enrollment for those who work over 30 hours per week. Paid holidays for MG and per lesson teachers. Premium pay of 25% overtime and 35% for work on a set rest day. The right to refuse work on set rest days or national holidays. A pre-consultation agreement with the union before terminating, transferring or changing the working conditions of any union member. Resolving various grievances dealing with dismissals, health insurance, unfair treatment of teachers.[9]

Industrial action[edit]

Union members and supporters hear the details of the Tokyo District Court ruling on February 27, 2012.

While the situation at Berlitz is different from country to country, in Japan there has been substantial industrial action, including the Berlitz Japan 2007-2008 Strike organized by Begunto, which grew into the longest and largest sustained strike among language teachers in Japan.[10] Berlitz filed suit against the union for damages it says it suffered during the strike, but the claim was rejected by the Tokyo District Court on 27 February 2012.[11] Within a week Berlitz had appealed the ruling to the high court,[12] with the first court date being on May 28, 2012. The final hearing was held on December 27, 2012, when an agreement was struck between Berlitz and the union. Berlitz withdrew their high court lawsuit and new rules for collective bargaining were also established. They will again be conducted in English, after the language was changed to Japanese previously. Berlitz also promised to disclose more financial information to the union. The company also agreed to pay a base-up raise to current union members plus a lump sum bonus to the union.[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Berlitz Japan website About us Retrieved June 17, 2014
  2. ^ Berlitz Japan website Location Retrieved June 17, 2014
  3. ^ a b Berlitz Japan website About Us - History Retrieved June 17, 2014
  4. ^ Phoenix Associates website Berlitz Corporation announces merger of subsidiaries Press release October 31, 2012 Retrieved June 17, 2014
  5. ^ Berlitz Japan website お近くの教室を探す Retrieved June 17, 2014
  6. ^ Kennedy, Paul, "Keeping our heads above water March 8, 2012" "The Japan Times" Retrieved June 17, 2014
  7. ^ General Union website Berlitz Branch Retrieved June 17, 2014
  8. ^ Berlitz General Union Tokyo website Homepage Retrieved June 17, 2014
  9. ^ General Union webpage General Union Berlitz Branch Retrieved June 17, 2014
  10. ^ Japan Times "Berlitz launches legal blitz against striking instructors" February 17, 2009
  11. ^ Hongo, Jun, "Berlitz loses suit over union teacher strikes", Japan Times, 28 February 2012, p. 1.
  12. ^ McCrostie, James, "Berlitz court ruling unequivocal on basic right to strike", Japan Times, 6 March 2012, p. 14.
  13. ^ Japan Times Berlitz union wins raise, bonus in suit settlement January 1, 2012

External links[edit]