Editor August 2017

Slow down

But don’t stop

We are at that time of year when the world of work is slowing down, and at the time of writing obon is fast approaching—no doubt many are looking forward to some well-earned relaxation. But the British Chamber of Commerce in Japan (BCCJ) hasn’t been slacking and, among other events, July saw UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson speak at the BCCJ for the second time.

Despite having gone for a gruelling, and apparently humbling, run around the Imperial Palace not long before his appearance at the chamber, Johnson was in good form, with his off-the-cuff quips and remarks often drawing laughter from the 140 attendees. It wasn’t all fun and games though, and Johnson gave some hints as to the government’s thinking on Brexit and what it will mean for future relations with Japan.

Also addressing the topic of Brexit this month is Lady Barbara Judge CBE, who was recently in Tokyo as part of her work with the Nuclear Reform Monitoring Committee at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, Inc. In our exclusive interview, Lady Judge tells us how the UK is contributing to nuclear reform and decommissioning in Japan, what Brexit means for the European Atomic Energy Community (also known as Euratom) and the progress of corporate governance in Japan, where the UK is acting as a source of guidance.

Kick off
In the UK, for many people August means only one thing—the start of the new football season. Although football doesn’t have quite the same cultural hold over Japan, the sport is nonetheless growing in popularity. After all, the women’s national team—Nadeshiko Japan—secured the 2011 FIFA World Cup and the 2014 AFC Asian Cup.

But as home to the English Premier League (EPL)—undoubtedly one of the world’s top competitions in any sport—there is much that the UK can teach Japan. To that end, and in pursuit of commercial opportunities resulting from the EPL’s global success, several clubs have opened up football academies in the country. We take a look at how they are trying to introduce a new generation to the beautiful game.

New kids on the block
“You can’t win anything with kids”, Alan Hansen, the former Liverpool FC defender and Match of the Day pundit, famously once said. But today, firms are having to adapt as a new generation of staff joins the workforce. This group—known as millennials—have inspired no shortage of media commentary, with the cohort having all manner of qualities attributed to it.

Cutting through some of the hyperbole, Robert Walters Japan K.K. spoke to the BCCJ on how best to handle millennials. Based on its research and insights, the recruiting firm offered managers an eight-step plan to get the best out of these employees, while avoiding upsets along the way.

Kick back
Lastly, if you are in need of some holiday inspiration, or are thinking ahead to future trips, this issue of BCCJ ACUMEN has got you covered.

We take a look at Hakuba in Nagano Prefecture. Best known as a skiing destination, the village and resort has much to offer all year round. Moreover, British firms and organisations are playing a role in establishing it as a place to be enjoyed in summer, too. Take a look and you’ll see why.