In a city such as Tokyo, with its seemingly unrelenting focus on the new and the novel, it is sometimes easy to forget that there is history all around us, often hidden in plain sight. Even the British Embassy Tokyo, which clearly exudes a sense of history, has many things waiting to be rediscovered.
Such was the case when Kate Fahie, an account director at a brand activation agency, met with British Ambassador to Japan Paul Madden CMG and his wife Sarah. That’s because Fahie, who moved to Tokyo last year, is a descendant of Sir Claude MacDonald, the first British Ambassador to Japan. Her arrival in the city has cast a light on this colourful figure once again, and led Sarah Madden to rediscover some of the traces he left at the embassy.
Elsewhere in the magazine we look to the future, with several individuals and firms opening up new chapters in their lives and operations.
We speak with Joanna Roper, who earlier this year took up her new role as the first Foreign & Commonwealth Office’s (FCO) special envoy for gender equality. As she starts the process of defining and establishing this new position, Roper tells us how the FCO works to advance the cause of gender equality around the world and how it relates to Japan.
It has been just over one year since Standard Life Investments (Japan) Limited established itself in the country. It has been an eventful 12 months capped off by the recent announcement of a merger between Standard Life plc and Aberdeen Asset Management PLC, which will go through in August.
Overseeing the new operation is Neil Slater, who explains what these events have meant for his firm and the industry at large. He also tells us how Japan is looking to the UK for lessons in reforming corporate governance, and how Standard Life is using its experiences in Japan to help clients in the rest of the world.
As noted previously in BCCJ ACUMEN, two distinguished members of the British community in Japan were recognised for their great achievements in the queen’s 2017 New Year Honours list.
Marianne Black MBE was honoured for her contributions to British education in Japan, and the outgoing chair of trustees at the British School in Tokyo tells us about her experience with school governance over the past few years.
Then Guy Perryman MBE takes a different tack in his regular “Behind the Mic” column by giving us an insight into what it is like to experience an investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace. The article is packed with lots of fascinating little details, and I’m sure you will greatly enjoy reading it.
KI NO BI Kyoto Dry Gin winner
Congratulations to the latest lucky winner of our competition for a bottle of botanical KI NO BI Kyoto Dry Gin.
Question: KI NO BI Kyoto Dry Gin is made using the water of which area of the city?
Nicola Sawaki, Ernst & Young
“I like BCCJ ACUMEN because it covers a wide range of topics and always has something new and interesting on Japan and related topics. Not just news, but fun!”
And winner of the June book competition for Goodbye, Things by Fumio Sasaki:
Jean-Pierre Stainnack, Airbus Japan