Leaders September 2016

New editor

For a new era

I am delighted to introduce the new editor of BCCJ ACUMEN, Christopher Russell. Chris is an experienced journalist who recently moved to Tokyo after nearly five years in China, where most recently he worked as managing editor of a business magazine. I think you’ll agree that it’s great to see some talent coming in this direction for a change, especially one of Chris’s calibre. Chris is also passionate about music, as you’ll see from this issue. Well travelled and an avid football fan, Chris looks forward to meeting you at British Chamber of Commerce in Japan (BCCJ) events to hear what you would like to read in BCCJ ACUMEN. Over to you, Chris.

chrisChris Russell

As I settle into my new post, I look forward to getting to know more of the BCCJ’s secretariat, executive committee, members and volunteers, as well as the myriad organisations that contribute so much to UK–Japan ties. Of course, there is also the much-anticipated British Business Awards (BBA) to look forward to in November, a prime chance to further strengthen ties within the community, as well as recognise the hard work by all concerned over the past year. Incidentally, BBA tickets are selling fast and nominations are being accepted.

Following the momentous EU referendum decision in June, the UK–Japan relationship is undoubtedly entering a new era. I look forward to being at the helm as BCCJ ACUMEN charts the significance of, and opportunities presented by, this event to both countries, as well as the British businesses operating in Japan. In many ways, they are leading examples of the new mindset and approach that their counterparts back home will have to take.

In this issue
Our top story looks at how sport is fostering inclusion and development, and the important role that both the UK and Japan are playing in achieving those goals. Indeed, they have much to learn from each other.

Inclusion is also at the heart of our piece on office spaces in Japan. For all firms, access to a full range of talent is an important goal, and ensuring the work environment accommodates individuals with different abilities and work styles is increasingly a consideration for firms when considering their base of operations.

Music to my ears
From The Beatles’ first Tokyo performance, to collaborations between the likes of Ryuichi Sakamoto and David Sylvian, the musical links between the UK and Japan are long, diverse and enduring.

Fittingly then, in this issue we are fortunate to have not one, but two interviews with stalwarts of the British music scene in Japan— Guy Perryman and Peter Barakan. Both have made a huge contribution to the presence of British music in Japan and, as you will discover, that is just one part of their work here.

I hope you enjoy my first issue, and I look forward to hearing your comments as I work to make BCCJ ACUMEN even better in the future.