Publisher October 2012

It’s a War Out There

For news, features and chat there’s nothing quite like Japan Today, although there’s often more of the latter than I need. This lively and popular website also carries what Chris Betros, the editor, considers to be the best of BCCJ ACUMEN.

By agreement, Chris picks up to four ACUMEN pieces every month, but he said there were “so many good stories” in the September issue that he’d like six. You’re welcome, Chris.

Reader comments about our pieces on Japan Today often seem quite tame compared with many generated by the website’s other content. It seems about 80% of the forum’s contributors have something positive, constructive or, at least, sensible to say about most of the ACUMEN articles.

Not bad in such a hostile environment, where I recently saw what was as close to a death threat as you could get against one hapless woman who commented on an innocent agency report. Repeated several times, the rabid one-liner was quickly deleted by the moderator.

I recently spoke to Chris about how to handle such colourful language and there appears to be no easy answer, but they are working hard on it. Makes my job look easy.

Despite this questionable use of free speech, we see great value in gaining further online exposure and attracting readers to our website where they are drawn to other stories in ACUMEN. It complements our already extensive hard copy distribution to international airports in Japan, the UK and Hong Kong, as well as to key subscribers of the Financial Times in central Tokyo, and a number of other private and public organisations in Japan and abroad.

Indeed, no other magazine in Japan can claim anything like our varied, global and targeted readership, least of all any English-language publication.

Farewell to a friend
A warm farewell to Ambassador Sir David Warren KCMG, who leaves the diplomatic service very soon and who is interviewed overleaf.

Sir David has been a staunch supporter of BCCJ ACUMEN since its very early days, and he is never slow with offering us encouraging words.

Naturally, Sir David treasures the close ties the BCCJ enjoys with the British Embassy Tokyo and the British Consulate-General in Osaka with ACUMEN noisily beating the drum for all three along with the British community at large.

ACUMEN and Custom Media wish Sir David all the best for the future.