Media August 2013


Leaders in Foreign Investment

Japanese and US firms led the FY2012 increase in foreign investment into the UK, according to a report issued by the UK government on 24 July.

As the UK attempts to revive its economy, the government has cut corporate tax rates to attract foreign firms.

In addition, it has given more resources to UKTI, the organisation that promotes UK trade and investment overseas.

According to the report, financial services, advanced manufacturing and creative sectors attracted most of the investment. And, it states, the number of foreign investment projects started during the period rose almost 11% year-on-year to 1,559.

While the document puts no monetary value on the projects, it does say that they had created 60,000 jobs and protected a further 110,000.

Researchers Make Discovery

International research—including some from the UK and Japan—has confirmed that subatomic particles, called neutrinos, have a previously unseen identity-shifting property, The Daily Mail reported on 19 July.

The findings are further confirmation of Japan’s T2K neutrino experiment. This has shown that neutrinos oscillate in three ways, not just two, as previously had been thought. It is believed that this may, one day, help scientists explain how all the antimatter has disappeared from the universe, leaving only matter.

In 2011, the T2K collaboration—comprising 56 institutes in 11 countries—announced the first indication that there is a third way of oscillation. Now with 3.5 times more data available and a 7.5 sigma level of significance, the behaviour has been established firmly and so can be termed a discovery.

Abenomics Boosts Property Deals

During the first half of 2013, the number of property transactions rose 50% in Japan, but only 4% in the UK, according to a report by global real estate firm Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. released on 17 July.

Sales of offices, warehouses and retail space in Japan totalled $20.9bn for the first six months—the highest figure in five years.

Australia saw a year-on-year sales increase of 10%, and Germany of 43%, while China saw a 20% drop in sales.

Abenomics, it is believed, has helped boost property transactions in Japan.

Milton Keynes to Get Race Base

Honda Motor Company, Ltd plans to build a European racing operations base in the UK, ahead of its 2015 return to Formula One racing, the Straits Times reported on 15 July.

The automaker will return to the sport as an engine supplier to British team McLaren, in a bid to revive their championship-winning partnership after having pulled out in 2008 to cut costs during the economic downturn.

The carmaker plans to build a new facility in Milton Keynes. There it will rebuild and maintain the power units developed at Honda’s research and development centre in Japan.

A recent change in F1 rules that promotes the use of environmentally friendlier turbo engines has helped their comeback decision. Honda can readily transfer its technology to commercial vehicles.

Monument Marks Couple’s Kindness

A monument to University College London (UCL) Professor Alexander Williamson and his wife has been unveiled at a London cemetery, The Japan News reported on 4 July.

Over a century ago, the Williamsons supported young Japanese students at the university. Recipients of their largesse include the Choshu Five, who arrived in the UK 150 years ago, in November 1863.

After studying at the UCL, the five students returned to Japan and contributed to the Meiji government’s modernisation of the nation.

Following the unveiling, UCL President Malcolm Grant read a letter of appreciation from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, in which he praised Williamson and his wife for their contribution to the creation of modern Japan.

Mamachari Bicycles to Be Sold in London

The first shipment of Japanese mamachari bikes has arrived in the UK, Japan Today reported on 22 July.

The London firm Mamachari Bikes imports refurbished second-hand mamacharis, of which they have over 400 in stock.

Prices for the convenient and affordable bicycles range from £100 for a simple, single speed model to £300 for a deluxe model.

Warships Visit Portsmouth

The Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force Training Squadron has visited Portsmouth as part of its global deployment, reported The News on 22 July.

They visited the training establishments of HMS Sultan in Gosport and HMS Collingwood in Fareham, while many of the ship’s officers went into the city to meet civic leaders.

Members of the public were allowed to board one of the ships.

Former Beatle to Perform in Japan

Paul McCartney plans to tour the country for the first time in 11 years, Japan Today reported on 19 July.

McCartney is scheduled to perform at Fukuoka Yafuoku Dome on 15 November and Tokyo Dome from 18 to 21 November. The tour is part of his Out There! world tour that began in May.

McCartney will be the oldest solo artist to have performed at Tokyo Dome.

Celebration Marks Town’s Twinning History

A Japanese children’s choir has visited Derbyshire to perform in a long-standing international twinning celebration, the Burton Mail reported on 19 July.

Derbyshire County Council, Derby City Council and South Derbyshire District Council were officially twinned with Toyota City, Japan, in 1998.

A yearlong programme of celebratory events is taking place to mark this year’s 15th anniversary of the link, Toyota Motor Corporation established its first European factory in Burnaston, South Derbyshire, in the 1980s with help from the county council.