Publisher October 2013

Memory Lane for BCCJ Members

Did you spot a subtle change on the cover?

In a nod to the BCCJ’s 65th anniversary, we dug up the chamber’s retired logo for a brief encore—its first, and probably last, appearance on the cover of this magazine.

The related lead story could only have been written by Ian de Stains OBE, who was BCCJ executive director for 24 years.

He takes us on a fascinating trip back to the founding days, through an era of extraordinary growth in Japan to the present day, with a rare collection of anecdotes and images.

Staying sentimental, Ian’s book review this month is Modernity Britain, which will surely resonate with many readers familiar with the UK in the late 1950s, a time of great change.

That just leaves the future—very fitting considering the words from British Ambassador Tim Hitchens and BCCJ Executive Director Lori Henderson on the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and the important message for BCCJ members from UK Trade & Investment Japan Director Sue Kinoshita and BCCJ President Alison Jambert.

Not all BCCJ events are about business. Of those I have attended, the UK–Japan Defence Collaboration on 2 October was one of the most intriguing.

Although I had to leave the breakfast gathering early, we heard Sir John Scarlett KCMG OBE, director general of the British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) from 2004 to 2009, talk about the terrorism and conflicts he experienced during his 38 year career.

Sir John was in the hot seat for gathering foreign intelligence during some of modern history’s most climactic events, such as the last days of apartheid and the Cold War.

Earlier having been expelled by Moscow in one of those tit-for-tat exchanges, I’m sure he knows a bit about regime change in unlikely holiday spots. From Vladimir Putin, Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi to Pyongyang, Beijing and Washington, he filled in some historical gaps for the full house of 55 guests at the BCCJ event.

I am not sure how much of Sir John’s talk can be shared, but I can’t wait to read our piece on this panel discussion and a related defence conference in next month’s BCCJ ACUMEN.

British Business Awards—last calls
If you’re reading this before 18 October, it’s not too late to nominate, or be nominated, for the BCCJ 2013 British Business Awards on 1 November at the Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo. This is also my last call to book seats or tables before the 25 October deadline.

Another reason I suggest you read the next issue of ACUMEN is that we will feature a full report on the cheers and tears of this annual black-tie night.

See the BCCJ website for details.