Media November 2012

News in Brief

ICT Firm to Recruit Trainees

Fujitsu UK & Ireland plans to recruit 95 apprentices by December, Japan Today reported on 9 October.

The leading information and communication technology firm believes that expanding its business will help curb rising youth unemployment while fulfilling its own growth ambitions.

School-leavers with GCSEs will earn £7,800 while they undertake a one-year training programme. College leavers with A-levels will receive an annual salary of £14,500 during their two-year course.

Based in numerous locations around the UK, the apprentices will fill a wide variety of roles.

At the end of their programmes, the firm hopes to provide all apprentices who have met performance objectives with full-time positions in the organisation.

Tory MP: “We Must Be Like Japan”

Minister and South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss wants British education to be more like that of Japan, the Eastern Daily Press reported on 9 October.

Most children in Japan study A-level maths before leaving school.

Although studying the subject does boost earning power, the number of pupils in the UK who study maths until the end of high school has declined in recent years, as has their proficiency in the subject.

All-Electric Buses for Milton Keynes

Mitsui & Co. Europe PLC plans to join a project to introduce all-electric buses on a main route in Milton Keynes by next summer, the Japan Times reported on 27 September.

The trading giant will join the Milton Keynes Council, bus operator Arriva, a local power distributor, and other parties in the five-year collaboration.

Eight electric buses will replace existing diesel vehicles.

Gender Equality Survey Results

Japan was ranked 101st and the UK 18th out of 135 countries in terms of gender equality, according to a 2012 World Economic Forum (WEF) survey issued on 25 October.

The poll focuses on the gap between men and women in four categories.

Japan received the lowest score among the Group of Eight countries with the largest economies, down three places from last year.

In terms of economic participation and opportunity, WEF found that women remain a very small percentage of those in senior and highly skilled positions in the workforce.

In the political empowerment category, the survey revealed a decrease in the number of female government lawmakers.

Japan was in 34th place in the health and survival category, but came top in literacy rate and educational achievement.

Group Buys N-Power Firm

A consortium led by Hitachi Ltd. has acquired the British firm Horizon Nuclear Power, Bloomberg Businessweek reported on 31 October.

It is hoped that the deal, worth £696mn, will boost the engineering and electronics conglomerate’s nuclear power business.

Poll Reveals Climate Change Doubts

The UK and Japan are two of the most sceptical countries regarding climate change, according to a survey released in October by Ipsos.

The online poll of 13,500 people in 13 countries found most believe that climate change is underway.

Rising average temperatures, drought and extreme rainfall are the occurrences most cited to support the claim.

Carried out between 5 July and 6 August by a polling firm for the insurer AXA, the survey shows that 65% of the UK respondents agreed that mankind is causing global warming, compared with 78% of the respondents in Japan.

London Fund Beats TSE

An emerging London-based investment fund has outperformed the Tokyo Stock Exchange in its first six months, the Independent reported on 8 October.

The Governance for Owners’ (GO) Japan Engagement Fund has grown nearly 5% since March, well ahead of Tokyo’s benchmark midcap index.

GO has teamed up with domestic investor Tokio Marine Asset Management Co., Ltd. in the hope of changing corporate Japan.

Demand for Scottish Fabrics

Fabrics made in Scotland are becoming increasingly popular in Japan, the BBC reported on 3 October.

More than 40% of all tweed and linen exports from the Western Isles go to Japan.

The Far East market is expected to push this year’s total production of cloth to over the 1mn-metre mark, much higher than the 2009 output of 500,000 metres.

It is believed that the history behind the cloth, as much as its quality, has made a mark on the Japanese market.

Japan is also an important market for Shetland’s knitwear industry.

Welsh Pupil to Be Ambassador

A schoolgirl from Barry is to become a UK and European Union ambassador in Japan, the Barry and District News reported on 28 October.

The 11-year-old and her mum will fly to Kyoto for an all-expenses-paid, four-day trip after winning a UK-wide school Panasonic Eco-diary competition, in which the girl focused on saving energy and water; planting trees; curbing pollution; as well as reducing, reusing and recycling.

The winner will be one of the EU member-state school pupil contingent to take part in a presentation staged by the technology firm.

Teacher Wins Maths Olympics

A Japanese abacus instructor won the Mental Calculation World Cup, while a Briton came seventh, the Guardian reported on 10 October.

The world’s best arithmeticians met in Germany for the bi-annual event and competed in the categories of addition, multiplication and square roots.

Team in Drinks Deal

Manchester United are to have a new three-year partnership with a Japan-based soft drinks manufacturer, the Irish Independent reported on 17 October.

The deal with Kagome Co., Ltd. means the well-known brand will become the club’s official soft drink partner in Japan.

This is the football club’s third sponsorship deal with a Japanese firm since the arrival of Japan international midfielder Shinji Kagawa.

Museum to Buy Hand Scroll

The British Museum has purchased a rare, 15.24m Japanese hand scroll, The Daily Telegraph reported on 22 October.

The scroll illustrates US Commodore Matthew C Perry’s 1854 visit to Japan and his fleet at the signing of the Convention of Kanagawa (31 March, 1854).

Painted by Japanese artists, the detailed scenes on the scroll are the only eyewitness depiction of the event.

Footy Player’s Hotel Mishap

A Japanese football player caused thousands of pounds worth of damage to a Scottish hotel during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Japan Today reported on 14 October.

The player accidentally kicked a football into a sprinkler at the Glasgow Marriott Hotel, causing flooding in several rooms and damage to the tune of £80,000.