I cannot remember a time when I wasn't interested in anything Japanese, whether it be the art, the country itself, anime, music, and the language (both written and spoken). I always had a fascination with the culture, but it wasn't until recently that I have really begun to immerse myself in it (well, as much as you can without actually going there).
I remember back in '96 or so, I was in the 7th grade. We had Japanese exchange students come to visit, and I hosted one girl at my house. Her name was Yoshiko. I remember struggling with the language barrier, and having so much difficulty communicating properly (even with all the little survival Japanese books I bought). But it was a neat experience to have a piece of Japan brought to me, and to witness the fascination that they had with our culture. I have since lost her address, but I still have the gifts she left me, and the paper with her name written in kanji on it.
Anyway, a few years ago I decided that this was a language that I really wanted to learn. I love languages in general, though I speak only English fluently. I had many years of Spanish and my family is Greek, but Japanese was the only language that had any real appeal to me. I love how the language sounds to the ear, and I love the writing (as do many people, I'm sure). It is a challenging language, and learning it is something that I can be proud of. I also plan to visit Japan someday (and hopefully many times), and to be able to speak the language would greatly enhance the experience.
I found out recently that my company is just starting communications with investors in Japan. How wonderful would that be if I could offer my language skills to help in communicating? Or better yet, if my knowledge would allow me to go to Japan on business? Though I'm not sure how possible this scenario is, who knows?
In short, learning Japanese for me is more of a personal goal. I'm motivated purely by my great interest in the language and culture, which subsequently has made the learning very enjoyable!