Leaders October 2014

Crossing borders for gender equality

Sharing global best practice in Japan

Despite my disappointment at being unable to gain entrance to the World Assembly for Women in Tokyo on 12–14 September, I was delighted to hear this was because it was a standing-room-only occasion.

Attendees heard the thoughts of leading lights from around the world on how Japan might develop a society “where women shine”.

However, BCCJ ACUMEN was lucky enough to get in on some of the action, including a dialogue on the role of women between Cherie Blair CBE QC and Akie Abe, Japan’s first lady (page 16).

Global leaders
Also central to the assembly was Shine Weeks, a series of events supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. I was honoured, on 17 September, to attend the Women in Leadership Workshop organised by global leadership programme Flourish.

The hostess, South African Ambassador to Japan Mohau Pheko, outlined the monumental impact of the women’s movement on social change in the Republic of South Africa following the end of apartheid. She spoke of her belief in the collective determination of women, and the important role of gender in empowering both sexes.

Although attendees agreed there was much work still to be done, the inspirational women of South Africa is a testament to what women can do.

Time for foodies
With fresher weather it’s a great time to enjoy the fantastic British food on offer as part of GREAT Week Japan on 27–31 October (page 27).

Designed to support UK firms in the retail, luxury, creative as well as food and drink industries to enter the Japan market, this event ties in to UK Trade & Investment’s ongoing work to promote food. A number of British businesses based in Tokyo will be showcasing their tasty wares.

Foodies also will be keen to learn of the rising number of top-quality British cheeses available in some of the capital’s bars, shops and restaurants (page 29). Interestingly, it is not only the British who are soaking up this much-sought product, but an increasing number of Japanese customers.

From the publisher
As task force leader of the BCCJ 2014 British Business Awards (BBA)—and one of last year’s winners—it’s great to report very strong interest from sponsors, guests and nominees for the 14 November gala event.

There is still time, however, to book one of the last corporate tables or seats, and the deadline for nominations is 31 October: www.bccjapan.com/events/bba/

In our final teaser before one of the foreign business community’s most anticipated occasions, BCCJ ACUMEN puts the five diverse and experienced judges on the spot (page 20) to see what makes them tick.

And finally, huge thanks indeed to my fellow BBA task force members, the BCCJ office, Custom Media staff, and others who have selflessly helped plan the BBA so far.