Perhaps the best ways to learn to speak and read Japanese are to speak and read it. Joining a few tutorials and following the lessons alone will not help, and even if they do, you will not learn the proper accent. This will be something like learning English from the books alone, without interacting with anybody else.
Constant interaction with Japanese speaking people and living in Japanese environment is very much necessary to learn to speak and read Japanese correctly. Try to make as many friends with Japanese people (or at least those who speak it efficiently) as you can. Because it is them from whom you learn the proper usage of Japanese language in day to day life. And once you know the proper usage in speaking, writing is no problem. Then you only need to master a few alphabets. Actually, be it any language, even your mother tongue, you first learn to speak and much later, to write. So, follow the natural path.
Start with the simple greetings, salutations, etiquettes etc. Try to introduce them gradually along with English, or your mother tongue. You may also use them to pull attention among your friends or just to pose off. But remember, you are still benefiting yourself. The more you use, the more you achieve perfection.
Now, the problem is that you won't always find Japanese speaking people around you. So, what to do then? Why not watch Japanese movies, TV serials, cartoons (of course, don't keep the “Mute" button on) etc. Then you may also buy tutorial CDs and listen to them and try interacting with them. Another important thing! This will also help you a lot to learn to speak and read Japanese. Make Japanese way of life your way of life. Decorate your rooms with Japanese decorations, try their paper arts and learn about their culture, drink tea their way and many such things. These will not only add spice to your daily monotonous like, but will help you learn Japanese too. Because, the more you look at them, the more you try to recall their names or the phrases associated with them, in the way remembering them. So, I don't think it is that tough to learn to speak and read Japanese. Till then, Sayonara!
John is a self proclaimed Japanese Language Enthusiast. If you hurry you can get a step by step guide on learning Japanese at his site http://www.learnjapaneseeasily.com and see a secret method to Learn To Speak and Read Japanese Quickly!