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June 24, 2013
  • Rakuten, Inc.

Rakuten IT School Begins New Classes
on Overseas Sales and English Language

- 15 Schools to Participate in 2013, Boosting the Total Number of Schools to 40 to Date-

TOKYO, June 24, 2013 – Rakuten, Inc. announced the beginning of new classes in FY2013 for selling products overseas  and special English courses to also provide opportunities for students to learn practical English, in Rakuten IT School e-commerce classes.

The Rakuten IT School enters the seventh year since its establishment, and a record number of 15 schools (increased to 167% compared to last year) will take part this fiscal year, bringing the total number of schools that have participated to 40. Rakuten IT School is a one-year program targeting high schools, run by Rakuten as part of its CSR activities. The e-commerce classes are designed to share the knowhow of Rakuten Ichiba, the biggest shopping mall in the country, with high school students. In the latter half of the program, students from all the schools are given opportunities to gain practical experience in e-commerce, including PR activities to promote their local regions.

Overseas sales classes will be held at two schools this time, namely Gifu Commercial High School of Gifu Prefecture and Oita Commercial High School of Oita Prefecture. In addition to the usual classes, students will be given an opportunity to learn methods to recommend products to and handle overseas customers through engaging in sales with Rakuten Global Market, the English version of Rakuten Ichiba which offers overseas sales services to Rakuten members living overseas. Furthermore, at Ritsumeikan Uji High School where they run advanced English education programs, instructors will be dispatched from Rakuten offices in Japan and overseas group companies to run two special classes in English that summarize all six classes of the usual Rakuten IT School programs.

Rakuten launched Rakuten Global Market in 2010, which currently operates e-commerce businesses in 13 countries and regions. The company is further promoting the adoption of English as the official corporate language as it expands globally, and its services and human resources are becoming increasingly globalized. Preparations have been made for Rakuten IT School to run classes on overseas sales and English, and the new program will begin this fiscal year. Demand for such classes is expected to increase in the future, so additional schools will be targeted next year to provide more students opportunities to experience practical communication in English through the e-commerce classes.

Rakuten will continue contributing to the speedy fostering of students by providing them with a variety of experiences and contact with society, through the hands-on classes of Rakuten IT School.

Rakuten IT School List for FY 2013

・Implemented in FY 2013:15 schools (Out of 15 schools, Overseas Sales Course for 2 school & Special classes in English for 1 school)

Towanomori San-ai High School (Ebetsu-shi, Hokkaido)
Iwate Prefectural Morioka Commercial High School (Morioka-shi, Iwate) ◎Operating Jointly with 11 Iwate Prefectural schools
Fukushima Prefectural Fukushima High School (Fukushima-shi, Fukushima)
Nigata Prefectural Shibata Commercial High School (Shibata-shi, Nigata)
Kanagawa Prefectural Shoko High School (Yokohama-shi, Kanagawa)
Aichi Prefectural Okazaki Commercial High School (Okazaki-shi, Aichi)
Mie Prefectural Matsuzaka Commercial High School (Matsuzaka, Mie)
Gifu Prefectural Gifu Commercial High Schoool (Gifu-Shi, Gifu) ※Overseas sales class will be given.
Ritsumeikan Uji High School (Uji-shi, Hyogo) ※special English courses will be given
Hyogo Prefectural Himeji Commercial High School (Himeji-shi, Hyogo)
Hiroshima Prefectural Hiroshima Commercial High School (Hiroshima-shi,Hiroshima)
Yamaguchi Prefectural Shimonoseki Commercial High School (Shimonoseki-shi, Yamaguchi)
Oita Prefectural Oita Commercial High School (Oita-shi) ※Overseas sales class will be given.
Kagoshima Kirishima City Kokubun Chou High School (Kirishima-shi, Kagoshima)
Okinawa Prefectural Nago Commercial High School (Nago-shi, Okinawa)

◎Operating Jointly with 11 Iwate Prefectural schools with Morioka Commercial High School:
Morioka Commercial High School (Morioka-shi), Hanakitaseiun High School(Hanamaki-shi), Kitakami Shonan High School (Kitakami-shi),Mizusawa Commercial High School (Oushu-shi), Ichinoseki Daini High School (Ichinoseki-shi), Daito High School (Ichinoseki-shi), Ofunato Higashi High School (Ofutato-shi),Kamaichi Shogo High School (Kamaichi-shi), Toono Ryokuhou High School (Toono-shi), Miyako Commercial High School (Miyako-shi), Kuze Shigashi High School (Kuze-shi)

・ Start of classes: After May 24, 2013
・ Reports on classes: Reports will be uploaded onto the website below as they come in:
http://global.rakuten.com/corp/sustainability/education/it-school/

About Rakuten IT School

The Rakuten IT School is a program that offers students, who carry the future on their shoulders, opportunities to learn about practical e-commerce through experience in operating an Internet shopping site. It offers a new style of classes bringing Rakuten and local companies and students together, with instructors including Rakuten staff members and local Rakuten Ichiba merchants. The classes are run over a period of around one year per school.

The classes are designed to teach the framework for success in operating an Internet shop and share knowhow, and they are rearranged versions of Rakuten University seminars for Rakuten Ichiba merchants. Students visit workplaces, propose sales strategies for Internet shops, build shopping sites on websites, engage in producing products, and gain experience in actual sales.

In addition, the students from all participating schools wrap up the program by taking part in the IT School Championships held at the Rakuten Shin-Shun Conference (Rakuten New Year Conference), to which Rakuten Ichiba merchants from all over the country gather. There they are given an opportunity to give presentations that are evaluated by merchants who actually operate online shops. This allows the high school students to check each other’s level of knowledge on e-commerce and how much their presentation skills have improved.

[Specific Details of Classes]
・Understanding the main points of advertising products
・Lectures by Rakuten Ichiba merchants
・Planning on marketing
・Visit to a merchant and practical experience at a workplace
・Start of Work on product plans and drafting related page
・Completion of draft of web pages
・Creation of a website, and start of product sales
・Sales monitoring and wen page changes based on the results

What Led to the Beginning of the Rakuten IT School and Its Current Status

The Rakuten Group has strived in business to fulfill its mission of achieving social innovation and enrichment through its own success, based on the corporate philosophy of “empowering” individuals and society through the Internet. The group has launched a variety of initiatives to further promote social contributions and regional revitalization since its 10th anniversary in 2007, and the Rakuten IT School was launched as a part of these CSR activities.

Since establishing the “Empower Japan! Project ‘Machi-Raku’” (http://event.rakuten.co.jp/area/) in 2008 as a Rakuten Ichiba project to revitalize the regions, the group has built ties with 47 prefectures and received many requests from local governments to run Rakuten IT School in their prefectures.

In 2010 the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology announced new government course guidelines for high schools making e-commerce classes compulsory at commercial high schools throughout the country, starting with students entering high school from 2013. Since then, the company has been receiving an increasing number of inquiries regarding Rakuten IT School, particularly from commercial high schools throughout the country. Rakuten IT School is a practical program and ordinary high schools have also been expressing interest in it.

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