Health care gets all clear
The UK and Japan performed well in a health study of 166 countries by research provider The Economist Intelligence Unit Healthcare, PharmaTimes reported on 26 November.
Japan came top of The Health Outcomes Index 2014, scoring well on life expectancy and overall healthiness of its population.
In terms of health outcomes, the UK was reported to be among the best in the world but, in 23rd place, it spends slightly more than its peers to achieve this degree of wellness.
The report compares 2012 World Health Organization life expectancy figures and adult mortality against health spending per head that year.
Global links sought
A number of Japanese institutions, including Kobe University and Keio University, are interested in developing links with De Montfort University (DMU) in Leicester, media reported on 20 November.
The move follows a visit to the campus by university representatives as part of an annual UK trip to encourage international exchange in education organised by the British Council in Japan.
Ayako Towatari of the British Council in Japan, who arranged the visit, said DMU appeals because of its international experience programme, which aims to enrich students’ cultural horizons.
NHK whisky drama inspires classic drinks
An NHK drama, based on whisky maker Masataka Taketsuru and his Scottish wife Rita Cowan, has caused domestic producers to launch special whiskies, The Yomiuri Shimbun reported on 8 December.
The popularity of Massan, which is set in the early 20th century, has inspired interest in the tradition of domestic whisky production.
In response, big-brand distillers, including Nikka Whisky Distilling Co. and Suntory Liquors Ltd., are to release special blends made using old-fashioned recipes. The products will also feature classic labels based on their original designs.
Royal visit to boost ties
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge KG KT ADCP is to visit Japan in February at the request of the British Government, The Telegraph reported on 27 November.
The royal will spend three days in Japan, attending a number of events in the capital and other areas before going to visit Beijing and Shanghai.
A spokesperson from Kensington Palace said the trip would be “focused on UK–Japan relations, commerce and cultural exchange, and in support of [Prince William’s] interest in combating the illegal wildlife trade”.
Tokyo gongs two envoys of tourism, culture, business
Two Britons received decorations from the Japanese government late last year for their longstanding contribution to building relations between the two countries, media reported in December.
Martin Barrow GBS CBE JP and Hugh Trenchard, 3rd Viscount Trenchard, were presented with the awards at the Embassy of Japan in London.
Barrow received The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon in recognition of his work to promote Japan as a tourism destination and increase awareness of its culture in the UK.
Trenchard was awarded The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star for his efforts, including in the House of Lords, to develop strong bilateral relations in business, culture and politics.