The author conducted a questionnaire survey to investigate the international communication needs of small and medium sized manufacturing enterprises (SMEs) in Ota City in Tokyo. One hundred eighty five companies responded to the questionnaire and representative from twenty six of them were interviewed. The analyses of the survey results showed that many SMEs had shifted from operating merely as a subcontractor to the manufacturing of their own in-house products in order to cope with the globalization of the industry. Although their operations were mainly domestic or connected to Asian countries, about half of the companies responded that English is the most important communication language at the workplace. The analyses revealed that SMEs holding a patent had more business with overseas companies and considered communication in English more important than companies without a patent. On the other hand, many SMEs in Ota City expressed passive attitudes toward overseas operations due to their lack of qualified personnel for international communication.