Publisher May 2013

BCCJ ACUMEN Without Borders

We don’t take sides at BCCJ ACUMEN, whether political, geographical or other. We avoid, of course, favouring England over her close neighbours north and west, as the Scots, Welsh and Northern Irish traditionally accuse the media and others of doing.

So, following the visit of Secretary of State for Wales David Jones, whom we interviewed last month, we welcome John Swinney, the cabinet secretary for finance, employment and sustainable growth for the Scottish government.

While Jones vigorously defended nuclear energy, Swinney advocates wave/tidal power as a safe, sustainable power source. Centre stage, naturally, are politics, jobs and money so we leave you to pick the winner.

It’s not as easy to find suitable stories from north of the Irish border, though. So if you know of any business, lifestyle or culture-related themes that are from this part of the UK and have a strong Japan link, please let me know.

Expect more Alba–Cymru focus this year, as we welcome the Wales national rugby union team—who clash with Japan in a test match on 15 June—accompanied by a Welsh ministerial group scheduled to meet potential investors. Swinney, meanwhile, will bring Scotland’s Offshore Marine Energy Mission here in October.

Go on, ask him
Sorry for not introducing Ian de Stains’ new column in the last issue. If you think his gay marriage curtain raiser featured in “If You Ask Me” would be a tough act to follow, his latest anecdote is an ironic encounter with Lady Thatcher and her handbag, no less.

Speaking of new columns, Dr Tom Lomax joins us this month for a series of occasional pieces on healthcare-related issues, such as holiday vaccinations, cholesterol and, this month, the good and bad of the annual company check-up from an expat’s point of view.

Stronger than ever at 65
A plea, especially to senior members: do you have any memories, photos or other items to help ACUMEN mark the BCCJ’s 65th anniversary later this year? Perhaps your firm has held a special event, hosted a VIP or reached a milestone in Japan during this period?

Sadly, much of the BCCJ archives apparently vanished under mysterious circumstances nearly 30 years ago, so we are short on materials to mark the traditional—but no longer default—British retirement age of 65, which is said to be the new 55 or 45, or something.

And a quick thank you to those who voted me onto the BCCJ Executive Committee (Excom) at the annual general meeting in April.