July 2011

Government July 2011

Fair play for females

Joanna Roper, the UK’s first special envoy for gender equality
Media July 2011

Insuring a Record-breaking Adventurer

Solo adventurer Sarah Outen, 26, has set off from Britain on a two-and-a-half-year journey—via Japan—to kayak, cycle and row around the globe, protected by one of the most complex Lloyd’s of London insurance policies drawn up in 25 years, the London Press Service reported on 21 June.
Media July 2011

The Seaweed-Powered Space Liner

By 2050, seaweed-powered space-liners will fly from London to Tokyo in two-and-a-half hours, at a cruising altitude of 32km and generating no significant pollution, The Independent reported on 20 June.
Media July 2011

New Uses for Graphene

Scientists in the UK and Japan have discovered how to magnetise the wonder material graphene, opening up new opportunities for the world’s thinnest material in the area of spintronics, the London Press Service reported on 15 June.
Media July 2011

Secret Club’s Food to Die For

A secretive members-only supper club serving the deadly and illegal tiger blowfish (fugu) was set to open in the UK, the London Evening Standard reported on 9 June.
Media July 2011

Supermarket’s “World-First” Snack

A strawberries and cream sandwich went on sale for £1 at UK supermarkets on 20 June, according to British tabloids. They called it a world-first, unaware that the snack has been sold in Japan for years.
Media July 2011

Quake Threatens Oldest Inn

Just one month after earning recognition by Guinness World Records as the oldest operating inn, Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan, in Hayakawa, Yamanashi Prefecture, is suffering because of the 11 March earthquake, according to a 28 May Asahi Shimbun report.
July 2011

You Have to Be in It to Win It!

I am delighted to report that nominations are now being accepted for the 2011 BCCJ British Business Awards (BBA). The annually awarded prizes recognise excellence, promote success and innovation across all industry sectors, and acknowledge the important social contributions made by organisations through their commitment to the community, ethical behaviour and environmental sustainability.
Lori Henderson MBE Executive Director
July 2011

BCCJ Visit to Earthquake Zone

The main point of our recent trip to Tohoku, led by disaster-recovery NPO Relief 2.0, was to meet key contacts in the Ishinomaki business community and learn what they need to re-open their firms, and identify measurable and sustainable ways that BCCJ members could support the recovery of the local economy.
Simon Farrell Publisher
July 2011

Welsh Rarebit

One concern I had when launching ACUMEN was how to please natives of the entire United Kingdom, without the magazine being seen as “too English”. Born near the Severn Bridge, of Anglo-Irish parents, with a Highlands link by wedlock and a history of fractious clan gatherings, I shuddered at the thought.
Review July 2011

“World First” Magic Wand

The Kymera Wand is the world’s first motion-sensitive, button-less universal remote control using gesture recognition. It can learn 13 infrared remote-control codes and replay them at your command with the same number of easy-to-learn gestures, giving you power over any remote-controlled device with just a flick or a swish. Codes can be overwritten if you change devices.
Foreword July 2011

Requiem for the Euro?

“The report of the euro’s death was an exaggeration”, Mark Twain might have said. But the famous author, known for his acerbic views on politicians, would also have noted that the current debacle in the eurozone was predictable and the severe problems we—including the major European economies outside the eurozone, such as Britain and Switzerland—face must be laid at the feet of policymakers who have consistently put political fantasies ahead of economic realities.
Cover Story July 2011

Cloud Over BCP

Anyone who was in Japan on 11 March will remember where they were at 2:46pm that day. Anyone in business will equally recall the chaos of the following days—of staff marooned when train lines shut down, of power cuts and the loss of communications, of dealing with concerned head offices and relocating facilities and staff to other parts of the country—or even overseas.
Publicity July 2011

Location and Structure Key to BCP

When our two Nakano Central Park Buildings (NCP Buildings) open in spring 2012, their functional and comfortable design with good access to public transport will represent the birth of a new urban space integrated with 3ha of greenery and an exciting new style of working environment.
Visiting Japan July 2011

Dr Vince Cable

On a four-day visit to Japan, Business Secretary Vince Cable met Tokyo, Kansai and Chubu government and business leaders who play a vital role in UK-Japan trade. Accompanied by a business delegation, he also launched a campaign to encourage bilateral business.
Feature July 2011

The Ever-Evolving MBA

The coveted Masters in Business Administration (MBA) is not a new qualification, but in recent years it has benefited greatly from being reinvented, enhanced and improved upon to make it arguably more relevant and important than ever for getting ahead in business.
Language July 2011

Not Lost in Translation

With Europe’s longest place name—Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogery-chwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch—Welsh can be more like an exercise in tongue twisting than a language. Yuko Nakauchi, however, has got her vocal chords around all those tricky consonants and stray vowels and so was, in May, named winner of the British Council Japan’s inaugural UK Alumni Talent Show for people who had studied in Britain.
Publicity July 2011

JFTC Essay Competition 2011

Since 2005, the Japan Foreign Trade Council, Inc. (JFTC) has sponsored the JFTC Essay Competition to encourage students, young researchers and business people to express their opinions on matters of national and international importance.
Education July 2011

Learning English Earlier

In April, elementary schools started teaching English as a foreign language to 5th and 6th graders, marking a huge step forward for the subject in Japan. This is largely the result of pressure from business, which increasingly wants staff who can use English in practical settings, and who have the international and cross-cultural skills to function well in a global marketplace.
Collaboration July 2011

Pet Products

The usefulness of the British Chamber of Commerce in Japan and BCCJ ACUMEN was recently brought home to me after I had signed a business deal that stemmed directly from having joined the chamber and been featured in its magazine—so I thought I’d share my experience with readers.
Environment July 2011

Cool and Green

Indications are that Japan is in for another long, hot summer—the effects perhaps exacerbated by power shortages—although there is a revolutionary range of new methods of staying cool and green. Unsurprisingly, they come from a British firm that has earned a reputation for innovation, effectiveness and style.
Embassy July 2011

When Things Go Wrong

At the height of concern about the nuclear situation at Fukushima, hits on our Japan travel advice webpage soared. For several weeks, web traffic was more than 100 times higher than usual. The Japan page was recording considerably more hits than the travel advice pages for Libya, Egypt and other Middle East countries facing crises of their own. Interest in our Facebook and Twitter pages also surged.
Mergers and Acquisitions July 2011

Two-Way Trade in IT Firms

While Japanese providers of IT services are searching for growth opportunities abroad, foreign firms are looking to secure a beachhead or expand their presence here by buying local firms. The industry is ready for consolidation, but how important are cross-border transactions?
Industry July 2011

Are You Lean?

Successful firms often talk about focusing on driving growth, maintaining profit, or increasing cost-savings and efficiency. At the same time, they are using antiquated project-management programs focused on document production and rigid project structures.
Industry July 2011

Flavour of the Month

Cloud computing is the industry du jour—and is particularly relevant for the Japanese market, given the impact of the 11 March disasters and the significant restructuring that Japan will have to undertake.
Business Risk July 2011

The Case for Digital Evidence

The flow of electronic information seems to be forever increasing. We now have incredible amounts of data being stored via the internet, cloud computing and hard-drive storage devices. Well over 90% of important business data is stored electronically and email is increasingly being used as a primary form of communication.
Insurance July 2011

Counting the Cost

At magnitude 9.0, the Great Tohoku Earthquake was one of the largest in Japan and, indeed, the world, with the insurance industry taking a major hit. While media attention soon turned to the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, it is the earthquake and tsunami that took not only a terrible toll of human life, but also caused potentially the world’s largest economic loss from a natural disaster.
Media July 2011

News in Brief

Your monthly digest of UK-Japan news.
Media July 2011

Expats “Set to Flee”—Again

A second exodus of expats from Japan appears to have started, particularly among those with young family members, the Financial Times reported on 19 June. As schools prepare for the summer vacation and property contracts approach renewal deadlines, some foreign professionals are deciding to leave Japan, according to recruitment, relocation and property firms.
Books July 2011

Book Reviews

Translation July 2011

『BCCJ ACUMEN』Volume 2 / Issue 7のまとめ

Media July 2011

Sea Veggie Makes Debut