BOE Hopes to Learn from Japan
Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has sworn he will learn from Japan’s long economic stagnation, The Independent reported on 9 August.
Carney said the central bank would commit to keeping policy rates unchanged until unemployment falls to 7%.
He said that, despite the recent positive economic data, it was too early to conclude the economy was growing at a self-sustaining pace and vowed he would not yet withdraw stimulus currently in place.
He believes Japan made two mistakes after having been hit by recession in the 1990s: not implementing sufficient banking reforms, and pulling back its stimulus too early.
Carney swore not to make the same errors.
Tax Tools Used for Sustainability
Japan and the UK are among the top six countries using tax programmes to achieve environmental goals, according to a report by KPMG International Cooperative issued on 14 August.
Japan came second in the KPMG Green Tax Index, which covers 21 major economies’ use of tax incentives and penalties in the second quarter of 2013.
Tokyo led the rankings for tax measures designed to promote the manufacture and sale of green vehicles.
The UK ranked third in the report. The nation received high scores for using tax to encourage firms to pursue activities in the areas of carbon-related issues and climate change.
Firm Faces Fraud Charges
Britain’s Serious Fraud Office will prosecute Olympus Corporation and its UK subsidiary Gyrus Group for allegedly providing “misleading, false or deceptive” material in accounts, media reported on 7 September.
Olympus’s purchase of Gyrus had been questioned as part of a probe into a £1.1bn accounting fraud in 2011.
Three former Olympus executives got suspended prison terms in July, in one of Japan’s biggest financial frauds.
The camera maker and medical devices firm has also confirmed it is still being investigated by the US Department of Justice.
Memo Sent on EU Referendum
In a recent memorandum to the UK government, Tokyo says it hopes Britain will remain in the European Union, The Japan Times reported on 4 August (see page 54).
The communiqué came in response to the UK’s request for views from interested parties on its EU referendum.
Japan’s correspondence highlights the UK as “a champion of free trade” and “a reliable partner for Japan”.
It also says Tokyo expects London will “continue to strive for the completion of the single market”.
Further, the memorandum notes that more than 1,300 Japanese firms have invested in the UK and stresses that Japan views the country as a gateway to the European market.
Polio Jabs Funded
The UK and Japanese governments have contributed funds to support vaccination campaigns against a polio outbreak in eastern Africa, the Sabahi website reported on 7 August.
London has committed $15.4mn to the World Health Organization to cover the cost of vaccines in Somalia, northern Kenya and other countries in the region, according to the UK’s Department for International Development.
Japan, meanwhile, has donated $1.3mn to the United Nations Children’s Fund for the purchase of oral polio vaccines.
The funding provided by both nations will reach more than 8.8mn people.
Trading Firm Forms Alliance
Marubeni Corporation has announced it will make a €100mn equity investment in Mainstream Renewable Power Ltd., The Scotsman reported on 6 August.
The trading firm will assume a 25% stake in Mainstream and receive a seat on the Dublin firm’s board.
The funds will be used to help finance major upcoming projects, such as a planned 450MW wind farm to be built off the coast of Fife, in Scotland.
Marubeni has existing interests in the renewable energy sector, including the UK’s electricity supply industry.
Stolen Renoir Fetches £1mn
A Renoir painting that was stolen from Tokyo 13 years ago has been auctioned in London, Japan Today reported on 6 August.
The National Police Agency confirmed that the artwork, Madame Valtat, had been sold for some £1.05mn in February.
The Japanese owner contacted police after hearing about the sale of his oil painting, which had been taken with five other works of art from his private residence in August 2000.
Football App Launched
News Corporation has launched a new mobile and online service in East Asia, the Wall Street Journal reported on 16 August.
BallBall, launched in Japan, Indonesia and Vietnam, will offer video clips from Europe’s major football leagues.
Up-to-date footage will be available via a mobile application or at BallBall.com, where users can watch clips from England’s Barclays Premier League and Germany’s Bundesliga, among others.
Player and game statistics, as well as coverage from News Corp.’s British newspapers—The Times, The Sunday Times and The Sun—will also be available online in local languages.
Culture Event System to be Analysed
Cross Media has vowed to review its ticketing and queuing processes after complaints were received following its Hyper Japan 2013, Exhibition News reported on 1 August.
This year’s J-culture event was the biggest ever, with a record 62,000 visitors in attendance on 26–28 July.
Many attendees took to flaming on social media websites and accused the organiser of overselling the advance tickets.
Concert Marks Anniversary
The Toyota City Youth Choir was invited to perform at a church in South Derbyshire, England, The Burton Mail reported on 1 August.
The concert on 3 August was held to celebrate 15 years of cooperative ties between the county and Toyota Motor Corporation.
The automaker built a large plant in the nearby village of Burnaston in 1992.