Media June 2013

News in Brief

London, Tokyo Top Wealth List

The UK capital topped the list as the city with the most multi-millionaires in the world, while Tokyo was in second place, according to a list issued by Wealth Insight Ltd on 8 May.

London boasts 4,224 multi-millionaires (individuals worth more than £19mn), while Tokyo has 3,525 multi-millionaires.

Singapore came in third (3,154) and New York City fourth (2,929).

As for mere millionaires—those who have net assets of $1mn, excluding their main home—London was in third place (281,000), New York City in second place (389,000) and Tokyo in the top spot (461,000).

The wealth analytics firm believes that the ultra-rich are drawn to London for a number of reasons, including its status as a financial hub, location in a convenient time zone and quality of life.

The US has the most millionaires in the world (5,231,000) followed by Japan; the UK (675,000) is in fifth place.

Media Firms Share TV Content

Japan International Broadcasting Inc. has signed a deal with Virgin Media Inc. to bring the NHK TV channel to Virgin customers, according to a press release issued on 13 May.

The 24-hour channel provides English-language service for viewers worldwide, offering news and a broad variety of programming from Japan, the Asian region and other parts of the world.

Virgin Media will now have full use of NHK’s global network, while viewers of the UK cable TV service will be able to watch Japanese news, music and cooking programmes.

Brum Pupils Make Film on Death Row Man

Two students from Birmingham’s King Edward’s School have made a film about a prisoner in Japan who has been on death row for 45 years, according to a press release issued on 10 May.

The nine-minute film tells the story of Iwao Hakamada, a former professional boxer who was sentenced to death in 1968 for the 1966 murder of four people.

Hakamada is currently waiting to hear whether he will be granted a retrial. He has testified that he was beaten by police and forced to sign a false confession after he had been interrogated.

The film features pupils and staff members of the school talking about notable events that have happened in their own lives, with each of the 45 years Hakamada has been on death row represented.

The student filmmakers are both members of the Amnesty International society at the school. Members of the human rights organisation are helping to publicise the film.

Most Popular Nations Poll

The UK is the third-most positively viewed country in the world, while Japan is in fourth place, according to the BBC World Service Country Ratings Poll, issued on 23 May.

More than 26,000 randomly selected people in 25 countries were surveyed face-to-face and by telephone in the annual poll.

Respondents were asked to rate 16 countries and the European Union on whether their influence in the world was “mainly positive” or “mainly negative”.

Germany took the top spot, with 59% rating it positively, while Iran was, once again, the most negatively viewed nation.

Germany displaced Japan, which saw its positive rating drop from 58% to 51%, and its position fall from first to fourth place.

The UK saw a bigger increase in positive ratings than any other country. It climbed to third place in the table, possibly in part because it had hosted the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Princess Mako: Scots Studies “Fruitful”

The granddaughter of Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko has said that her experience studying at the University of Edinburgh was “very fruitful”, The Japan Times reported on 29 May.

The 21-year-old daughter of Prince Akishiro and Princess Kiko studied art history and other subjects at the university during an exchange programme while she was enrolled in the International Christian University in Tokyo.

During the nine months she spent in Scotland, the princess had “lots of opportunities to speak English”.

In addition, she visited art museums in Paris as part of her curricular activities and travelled around the UK during her free time.

She is planning to travel to Europe again, to increase her knowledge of foreign cultures and peoples before returning to Japan in summer.

Mizkan Deal Secured

Bibby Distribution has signed a three-year contract with Mizkan Group Corporation, the Northamptonshire Telegraph reported on 17 May.

The Japanese food manufacturer has acquired from Premier Foods a series of well-known UK products, including Sarson’s vinegar and Branston pickles.

Under the new agreement, the firm will manage the entire UK warehousing and distribution arrangements for the Sarson’s, Haywards and Branston brands.

The UK firm has employed an additional 100 workers and opened a new warehouse and distribution centre as a result of the deal.

Brewer Exports Craft Beer

The Number One Drinks Company has signed exclusive agreements with several critically acclaimed craft brewers to export Japanese beers to the UK, Talking Retail reported on 10 May.

The managing director of the firm has a keen interest in the local craft brewing scene.

The artisan beers will be available in the UK on a pre-order basis from specialist drinks firm Utobeer.

University Designs Tool to Crowd Source Data

University of Southampton scientists have designed a new tool for use in combining nuclear radioactivity data in Japan, according to a press release issued on 16 May.

The device harnesses the power of crowd-sourced radiation data—an innovative resource that became available after the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and disaster.

The crowd-sourced sensor network, known as the Cosm network, provided relevant data to authorities and local citizens for monitoring the evolution of the disaster.

To help people gain an understanding of crowd-sourcing projects, the researchers have developed the Japan Nuclear Crowd Map (JNCM), which combines sensor readings provided from three main crowd-sourced radiation-monitoring services into one database.

The JNCM is also available as a smartphone application that allows users to see the radiation heat map while data is being collected and the radiation level at their current location.

Group Picked for Manchester Project

The alliance among Hitachi, Ltd., Daikin Industries, Ltd., Mizuho Corporate Bank, Ltd., and Mizuho Information & Research Institute, Inc. has been selected to take part in the Smart Community Demonstration Project in Greater Manchester, according to a press release issued on 23 May.

The project, led by Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization, will see the delivery of Japanese cutting-edge technologies that will contribute to the UK’s transition to a low-carbon society.

The UK is aiming to supply over 15% of its energy demand with renewable energy sources by 2020.

The consortium will conduct a feasibility study, which is expected to be completed by December. Based on the results, the project should move to the demonstration phase by the end of March 2016.