No.2497
11/04/2020

Language Business Market in Japan: Key Research Findings 2020

Yano Research Institute (the President, Takashi Mizukoshi) performed a survey on the domestic language learning business and found out the trends of market players, the market trend by category and the future perspectives.


FY2019 Language Business Market Size by Category
FY2019 Language Business Market Size by Category

Market Overview

The language business market size (total 14 categories) for FY2019 was 876.2 billion yen, down by 1.2% from the preceding fiscal year, based on the sales at businesses. The demand for acquiring language skills were expanding, due to progressive globalization at Japanese companies, increasing number of foreign tourists (inbound tourism demand), and the reforms of English education, but the COVID-19 pandemic forced the language classes to close for the time being, which led the language schools market size to decline from the previous fiscal year.

All the peripheral categories, i.e., interpretation/translation, overseas-education arrangement, and language exams that had shown favorable conditions for the past few years went below the previous fiscal year. The market started shrinking since around the end of FY2019, as the COVID-19 infections spread, especially affecting overseas-education arrangement and forcing the exams to suspend in order to prevent many examinees to gather.

Noteworthy Topics

Online English Conversation Classes Sharply Expanded in COVID-19 Calamity

As the COVID-19 infections expanded in 2020, many people had to stay home, which increased individual users to take online English conversation classes. Because many providers offered the services free of charge during when the State of Emergency was declared, it generated the opportunity for the people who had never used online English conversation classes before to actually experience it.

Future Outlook

The language business market size (total of 14 categories) for FY2020, based on the sales at businesses, is forecasted to decline by 9.4% to end up with 794.0 billion yen.

Just like in FY2019, the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to continue affecting the markets of language classes, interpretation/translation, and overseas-education arrangement, the entire market is projected to be on the fall.

Research Outline

1.Research Period: February to July 2020
2.Research Object: Foreign language schools, publishers, manufacturers of electronic dictionaries, software manufacturers, online language learning service providers, correspondence education service providers, distributors of language study materials, qualification test operators, and service providers of overseas-education arrangement, and interpretation/translation.
3.Research Methogology: Face-to-face and online interviews by the specialized researchers, surveys via telephone/FAX, and literature research

What is the Language Business Market?

The language business market in this research indicates the following 14 categories of foreign language class markets: 1) Foreign language classes for grown-ups, 2) Foreign language classes for children/infants, 3) Preschools, 4) Deployment of teachers to kindergarten/day-care centers for children, 5) Textbooks, 6) Self-learning language hardware/software, 7) Electronic dictionaries, 8)Textbooks of English conversation classes for children/infants, 9) Correspondence education, 10) Elearning or online learning classes, 11) Software, 12) Language exams, 13) Overseas-education arrangement, 14) Interpretation/translation business.

Note that markets of 12) language exams, 13) overseas-education arrangement, and 14) interpretation/translation business are defined here as the categories within the “Peripheral Business.”

<Products and Services in the Market>

Foreign language classes for grown-ups, Foreign language classes for children/infants, Preschools, Deployment of teachers to kindergarten/day-care centers for children, Textbooks, Self-learning language hardware/software, Electronic dictionaries, Textbooks of English conversation classes for children/infants, Correspondence education, Elearning or online learning classes, Software, Language exams, Overseas-education arrangement, Interpretation/translation business.

Published Report

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