The magazine of the British Chamber of Commerce in Japan
Meet the new editor
The World Cup, queen's birthday, economic promise make a buzz.
Winds of change
Truly a readers’ magazine, BCCJ ACUMEN aggregates news, industry insights and cultural reports to both inform and entertain a broad audience of leaders and professionals.
Kaizen in practice
Election reforms, ACUMEN redesign and even Everton show ongoing improvement.
Inside the mind of a magazine designer
I’m delighted to welcome our gifted Creative Director Cliff Cardona to share with us his wisdom on the much-anticipated redesign of BCCJ ACUMEN.
Room for a View
Our newest columnist is an eloquent and informed female Japanese resident of London, Ginko Kobayashi.
Great Year for Great Causes
We are proud to have won the award for “Best Charity & Fund Raising Cookbook–Asia”, for producing Flavours Without Borders.
First for Firsts
A list, from A-Z, with some of my favourite firsts BCCJ ACUMEN featured in 2013.
And the Winner Is …
An excerpt from my partner Robert Heldt's acceptance speech for the 2013 Company of the Year award.
Memory Lane for BCCJ Members
Not all BCCJ events are about business. Of those I have attended, the UK–Japan Defence Collaboration on 2 October was one of the most intriguing.
BBA: You Judge the Judges
In case you needed more reasons to nominate a candidate for one of the six BBA awards, or attend one of the foreign community’s most prestigious events of the year, here is a list of the diverse and expert luminaries who will serve as judges.
British Business Awards: Artist, Judge, Nominations
With violinist Diana Yukawa’s British Airways ticket from London to Tokyo confirmed for her performance at the BCCJ 2013 British Business Awards (BBA), it’s also a pleasure to announce that Michael Woodford MBE, the whistle-blower, has kindly agreed to be a judge at the annual black tie event, on 1 November at the Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo.
Helping the Other Half
Partner has become a popular word, with many couples, sponsors, firms, friends, colleagues, countries and ideologues preferring this warm and fuzzy term to “the missus”, “comrade” or “collaborate”.
Never Too Early to Plan the BBA
With a full season or two before the sixth British Business Awards (BBA), it feels strange as we plan—the aircon running—the BCCJ’s flagship event, traditionally held closer to winter.
BCCJ ACUMEN Without Borders
We don’t take sides at BCCJ ACUMEN, whether political, geographical or other. We avoid, of course, favouring England over her close neighbours north and west, as the Scots, Welsh and Northern Irish traditionally accuse the media and others of doing.
A Year to Remember
As we compiled features in this issue about the UK and Japan marking their 400-year relationship and a tourism campaign by VisitBritain and British Airways, I was intrigued to learn about a number of other important anniversaries in 2013.
Fighting—and Cooking—for a Cause
There are just 10,000 foreign refugees living in Japan compared with over 200,000 in the UK, the eighth-largest recipient of asylum seekers in 2011, according to the most recent numbers I could find.
Please Help Middle-aged Men in Lycra
I used to presume that Brits at Lunch was just a boozy excuse to shorten Fridays, attended by nostalgic expats getting misty eyed over their green and pleasant land, accompanied by chicken tikka masala and spotted dick with lashings of custard. Sorry, I was wrong.
Happy New Year!
We at Custom Media are proud to enter our fourth year of publishing BCCJ ACUMEN for the British Chamber of Commerce in Japan and wish loyal readers, members, advertisers, the Executive Committee and Secretariat the very best of British for 2013.
Looking Back ... and Forward
In January 2012, Custom Media vowed to showcase in BCCJ ACUMEN a diverse array of subjects, industries, people and things related to UK–Japan business, culture, sport, lifestyle and more over the following 12 months.
Only Winners at the BBA
Best wishes from BCCJ ACUMEN to the winners and organisers of the fifth annual British Business Awards (BBA) on 2 November at the Conrad Tokyo. We postponed printing ACUMEN to cover this special event, which is splashed over seven pages of this issue.
It's a War Out There
For news, features and chat there’s nothing quite like Japan Today, although there’s often more of the latter than I need. This lively and popular website also carries what Chris Betros, the editor, considers to be the best of BCCJ ACUMEN.
… We Can Depend on You
When I first came to Tokyo, in 1987, I thought: is this place obsessed with America or what? US flags and other icons were ubiquitous. There was a love hotel built to look like the Statue of Liberty and daily I walked past something called American Boulevard, next to Seibu Shinjuku Station, selling what was considered cool US stuff.
It's Only Rock 'n' Roll?
For decades, one of Britain’s greatest exports and attractions has been music. The Fuji Rock Festival seems to become more UK-centric every year and 2012 was no exception, so we sent along photographer Chris Willson to capture the atmosphere for BCCJ ACUMEN readers. We also profile—and borrowed some images from—Mikio Ariga, who is living the dream as the only official photographer in Japan of what is perhaps the UK’s most proficient export in the rock industry, The Rolling Stones.
To Be Gonged Is to Be Great
Great for recognition, motivation, careers and business, an award is something everyone loves. Personally, I haven’t had one since a campfire-cooking badge at Boy Scouts, but I do enjoy learning how people—especially the lesser known—richly deserve their gong.
A Smoker's Last Stand
Health concerns tipped the balance and encourage the publisher to kick his smoking habit.
Warm Welcome and a Wet Farewell
It’s not often that both an incumbent and a former prime minister visit Tokyo within a month or so of each other, as was the case in April and May. David Cameron arrived first, accompanied by a number of defence manufacturers, and we explore why.
Not everyone will find allure in our striking cover shot of a snarling punk rocker; but then we can hardly be accused of being predictable and staid.
Building the UK-Japan Partnership
Knowing the English language is dominated in Japan by the American model, I was relieved to be handed a free copy of the Financial Times on a recent flight with a US airline from Tokyo to Saipan, a US territory.
Welcome New Additions
Greetings to Mark Schreiber. Mark and I had previously worked together at another publication and I am delighted that he has agreed to offer his exclusive translations to our media pages. Unless you are intimate with Japanese-language weekly and monthly publications, you probably have not read—or even heard—the news he will cover, be it business or lifestyle related.
ACUMEN’s Growing Readership
Custom Media would like to wish BCCJ members, our readers, advertisers and friends a happy, healthy and prosperous 2012, and we hope
you enjoy the first issue of the year. With circulation, readership and
recognition greater than ever, the editors, writers, designers and other staff at Custom Media believe that our decision to go monthly has been vindicated. We hope you agree.