Leaders August 2015

Find the gaps

Meeting needs for business success

While the New National Stadium for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games may be a concern for the Japanese government, it is not only the physical infrastructure that has their attention, but the services it will provide, too.

The use of foreign human resources in the field of healthcare to cater for Japan’s declining and ageing population has been discussed for some time. However, as 2020 nears, the idea of foreign doctors treating residents and visitors seems to be gathering pace.

At a forum in February, experts called for the easing of rules that place restrictions on if, and how, foreign doctors practice in Japan. Last month, the Japanese government said it would allow five foreign doctors to practice in selected Tokyo hospitals.

Meanwhile, as the government focuses on training translators to make English-language health services available for the Games, one British firm in Tokyo recognises the move as one that could bring growth in the sector.

Past success, future potential

In trade, Scotland’s strong ties with Japan were boosted further last month with the inaugural visit to Japan by the Scottish Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop.

Seeking to enhance exports to Japan in the food and drink, life sciences, and renewable energy sectors, Hyslop spoke of Japan’s importance to Scotland, both in the past and today.

While Scotland is well known for its long history in providing Japan with high-quality equipment, such as cranes, for heavy industry, its current skills are wide-reaching—and growing.

Thus, using its cutting-edge technology, green power expertise and experience of hosting major events, Scotland has immeasurable potential to meet Japan’s needs.

One only has to take, as an example, the work of Scots such as Thomas Glover—who helped lead the industrialisation of Japan.

Another Scot marks the first of a new entrepreneur column in this issue. Alan Edwards is making his foray into the Tokyo antique sector and shared his hopes for the growth of his fledgling business.

If you know of a firm with an innovative product or service to offer, let us share this success.

Cultural spirit

As people look forward to joining traditional festivals, performers across Japan will no doubt be stepping up their rehearsals. Also perfecting her art will be Jessica Brown, a taiko drummer and former participant of the Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme who has performed throughout the UK.

Her experience in Japan has set her on a journey that enables her to showcase, and foster others’ interest in, Japanese culture.

Good luck!

All the best to the British blind sailing team as they depart for Chicago to take part in the IFDS Blind Sailing World and International Championship 2015. Their 2013 wins in Japan show they have both the skill and determination to succeed.