You actually have plenty of time to learn basic Japanese
Many Japanese can read and write English but have trouble hearing it or speaking it. That's mostly the fault of the Japanese education system which emphasizes rote memorization over practical learning, but fortunately for you, spoken Japanese is a wonderfully regular and easy-to-learn language.
Japan only has five vowels, a tiny glottal stop (sort of like stuttering), and no sound that can't be found in the English language. If you're British, you're lucky because the five-vowel sound "A-I-U-E-O" only has the "ah" sound, not the harsh American "a." The grammar is simple and doesn't have any gender bullshit that you find in the Romance languages. You will never have to guess the gender of an inanimate object. A library is a library and not a man or a woman.
There are some things that are interesting about the language and can be tricky. Pronouns aren't required. "Ikimasu" could mean, "I go, you go, it goes, we go." Context will clue you in.
To learn to speak the language correctly, you'll have to accept the Japanese view of the world, which is: we're not equal. Our relationship is going to be defined by age, gender, occupation, job title, and situation. Even the honorifics are going to change according to how I perceive them in the power hierarchy. Those are, in order of respect: -sama, -san, -kun, and/or -chan. People are usually addressed by their last name first. Adelstein being such a long name in Japan, I'm content with Jake-kun.