Media June 2014


IT firm sells stake

NTT Docomo Inc. is to make its first investment in Europe with information technology firm CertiVox UK Ltd., according to a press release dated 1 May.

The London-based innovator has secured funding of $8mn from the telecommunications group—and current supporters Octopus Investments Ltd.—to speed up the development and reach of its M-Pin Strong Authentication Platform.

This market-leading technology has the ability to replace password-based authentication without the need for third-party devices.

Nobuyuki Akimoto, senior vice-president and chief operating officer at NTT Docomo Ventures, Inc., told media the UK firm is a great example of the innovation going on in London’s Tech City, and the invention is ideally suited for today’s smart devices.

UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) Minister Lord Livingston said it is one of many high-value Japanese investments UKTI is supporting.

Ad agency focuses on global, digital market

Dentsu Inc. has plans to increase its overseas revenue following its purchase of the Aegis Group plc, reported on 13 May.

The advertising giant bought the Aegis Group in March 2013 for $4.9bn, in the industry’s largest deal to date. Insiders report the recent announcement is a sign of how the firm has become a more global player.

By focusing on international digital business, Dentsu hopes that by 2017, it will earn at least 55% of its revenue from outside Japan—up from 15% before the take-over.

Worcester plant becomes Europe base

A major Japanese manufacturer of metal processing equipment has reopened its UK centre and training facilities following a state-of-the-art upgrade, The Kidderminster Shuttle reported on 11 May.

Amada Co., Ltd. will use the centre as a base for its activities in the UK, Spain and Scandinavia. With an estimated cost of £6mn, and boasting a minimal carbon footprint, the building is designed to showcase manufacturing technologies and provide support to customers.

Government officials from Japan and the UK joined the opening ceremony alongside visitors from across Europe. New facilities include a showroom, a school for technical training, a tooling factory, a seminar theatre and a warehouse.

Taking the lead on education and skills

Japan and the UK are among the countries leading in education, according to a recent report by The Economist Intelligence Unit.

The publication examines the links between education and the development, retention and use of skills. Published by Pearson plc, The Learning Curve studies countries worldwide using quantitative and qualitative analysis. Japan came second in the global ranking, while the UK was sixth overall and second in Europe.

Countries with a supportive culture scored higher in the findings, indicating a causal link between educational success and societal engagement.

Cooperation between principals and teachers, parental expectations and students’ own interests were also key influences on the findings.

Experts team up for at-home health care

A mental wellness programme in Birmingham, West Midlands, is working with Japanese health care experts to develop family-sensitive services, The Japan Times reported on 11 May.

Leaders of the Meriden Family Programme, which provides services in people’s homes, were invited to join symposiums in Kyoto and Tokyo hosted by the National Federation of Mental Health and Welfare Party.

The joint initiative is in response to the high demand for at-home mental health services in Japan, which are rarely available due to staff shortages. A 2009 survey of 4,500 families found that 83% wanted home visits and advice.

The federation plans to send English-speaking nurses and therapists to Birmingham to acquire further knowledge in FY2015.

Sky Blues in Marinos deal

Manchester City has made a deal described as the first significant foreign investment in a Japanese J-League team, The Daily Mail reported on 20 May.

The English Premier League champions bought a 20% stake in the Yokohama F. (YF) Marinos, of Japan’s top football division.

Having not won the title since 2004, YF Marinos bosses hope City can support the team through training methods and coaching. City will also provide medical care in return for additional revenues and a chance to boost their brand in Japan.

Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.—the long-established main backer of the J-League club—told media the partnership will contribute to the growth of the club, the club’s hometown and Japanese soccer.