Leaders February 2019

Behind the scenes

We haven’t had such a great inside source since interviewing straight-talking Scouser Michael Woodford in 2011, as he prepared to reveal the massive loss-hiding scheme that nearly brought down Olympus Corporation.

This latest exposé came from a casual chat about general things that led to my commissioning a writer to reveal all from their recent eye-opening experience at a major Tokyo crypto­currency start-up. As Michelle (a pseudonym) says, if you are a British (or any nationality for that matter) start-up or investor eyeing Japan’s relatively freewheeling—and still mysterious to many of us—blockchain sector, you’d better read this before you speculate on the next bull run.

Business profile

It might not be obvious at first glance, but almost all our pages are strongly business-related. Ship­wrecks found off Okinawa? Julian Ryall discovered at least four are early British trading vessels plying the routes between Europe, Asia and Australasia, some with fascinat­ing and heart­­­warming anec­dotes, but many of their mys­teries remain deep undersea. Having encountered a few sailors over the years, one thing revealed by such sunken ship records in London that bemused me, though, was the onboard ban on swearing and boozing.

Authentic Cornish scones and cakes, anyone? As a fan of The Great British Bake Off television series, perhaps I am biased; but it did seem to be a great business profile. While we love to promote contemporary British cuisine, we also think it’s good to preserve interest in traditional fare, especially if it showcases how young British entrepreneurs taste success here.

And as the British Embassy Tokyo reveals its UK in Japan 2019–20 campaign to promote various industries and business sectors, we continue our series introducing the personalities, destinations and venues behind the 2019 Rugby World Cup and 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, with a focus this issue on Kansai, an Osaka rugby star and a rower from Reading, Berks.

If you’re interested in learning more about sports events around the country, make sure to visit Japan Sports Journey.