Editor October 2017

Strong allies

UK and Japan make a good team

Cooperation is the watchword in the UK–Japan relationship, whichever area you look at. This issue of BCCJ ACUMEN showcases several examples.

Defence cooperation between the two countries has been steadily growing over the past few years. This collaboration was taken to another level after Prime Minister Theresa May’s visit at the end of August, when she and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe issued a joint declaration on security cooperation.

But even before that, BCCJ ACUMEN was able to see how this might manifest itself—both in terms of naval operations and the commercial opportunities for firms—at the Maritime/Air Systems & Technologies trade show and conference in June.

Not only were top brass from the Royal Navy present to set out how they plan to engage with the Asia–Pacific region in the future, but at the UK pavilion run by the Department for International Trade’s Defence & Security Organisation, there were firms looking to enter or expand their presence in the country. Both for titans of industry, as well as small and medium-size enterprises, Japan remains a highly compelling market.

Bilateral allies
Strong local partners are often integral to business success in Japan, as our article on the hairbrush brand Tangle Teezer Limited demonstrates. Founder Shaun Pulfrey spoke with BCCJ ACUMEN about the firm’s approach to entering the market and extolled the benefits of the network offered by the British Chamber of Commerce in Japan (BCCJ).

Rounding out the theme, we shine the spotlight on GlaxoSmithKline K.K.’s adoption of the semantic text mining platform created by British firm SciBite Limited. With the technology still very much in a nascent stage, its full power has yet to be revealed. Nonetheless, it looks set to disrupt many areas of the pharmaceutical sector, and the new relationship with GSK Japan will open up SciBite’s capabilities yet further.

Make room
Diversity, inclusion and equality is one of the BCCJ’s key agendas, and a topic that is well represented in the pages of BCCJ ACUMEN. This month, we have two articles on the subject.

First is Baroness Virginia Bottomley DL, who recently spoke at the BCCJ about diversity on company boards. As someone who chairs the board and chief executive officer practice of recruitment firm OB International Search Limited, not to mention her political career (she is a member of the House of Lords), Bottomley has a lot of advice to impart.

Then we have an interview with AstraZeneca K.K.’s Vice President for Commercial Excellence Mari Nogami, who tells us about the insights she gained into empowering women in the workplace based on her time working for the firm in Europe. In particular, she has much to say about what firms can do to help working mothers.

Almost there
The BCCJ British Business Awards is almost upon us, and by the time you receive this issue the nominations will have closed. While you will have to wait until the record-breaking, red-carpet celebration on 2 November at the Grand Hyatt Tokyo to find out the winners, in the meantime you can gain some insight into the thinking of the judges. Discover how they will draw upon their careers in government, business and sport when making their decisions.