Leaders August 2016

Thank you

Farewell thoughts on UK–Japan ties

In much of Japan, the sweltering heat and humidity of August usually causes residents to experience a decrease in appetite. But perhaps this issue will have readers salivating instead, as they read about the British food and drink it showcases.

In March, more than a dozen UK firms seeking a foothold in Japan showed their wares at Foodex, an international food and beverage exhibition in Chiba Prefecture. From sweet to savoury to alcoholic, the products were a hit with attendees, whose expectations were greatly exceeded.

Others working hard to change the perceptions of British cuisine are the food and drink artisans we feature in this issue. Knowledgeable in authentic techniques and recipes, they are using their entrepreneurial skills to bring to Japan a taste of the UK.

These efforts build on the British Embassy Tokyo’s campaign, A Taste of Britain. In September, embassy chef Frederik Walther is scheduled to showcase the best of the nation’s cuisine at a British Fair in the Imperial Hotel, Tokyo. For details of the latest UK-related food and drink activity in Japan, visit: www.facebook.com/oishii-igirisu.

Know-how for Japan
Since the liberalisation of Japan’s electricity market, in April 2016, opportunities have opened up for businesses. With experience gleaned from the domestic market, British firms are seeking to make their mark in Japan in smart energy technology, energy storage and renewables.

Similarly, in sport, UK entrepreneur Neil Levett is preparing to welcome experts with valuable global sporting event expertise to Yokohama, in September.

People insights
In our HR special, we explore innovations and issues in the field, including the role of modern HR and coaching, support for working mums and new flexitime initiatives at Unilever that will allow staff to work anytime, anywhere.

Thanks and farewell
This issue is bittersweet as it is my last as editor. As I prepare to move on to pastures new, it is with delight that I look back on the past couple of years—26 issues published during my tenure.

Without a doubt, BCCJ ACUMEN would not be the relevant, thought-provoking and innovative publication it is without the unwavering backing of the British Chamber of Commerce in Japan (BCCJ). I would like to thank the dynamic secretariat, dedicated volunteers and engaged membership for all they have done.

From big business to entrepreneurs and individuals, members are the backbone of BCCJ ACUMEN—and there has never been a shortage of interesting activities undertaken by them to feature in its pages.

The same can be said for those activities in the wider UK–Japan ecosystem. Commercial, political, academic and cultural bilateral ties are stronger than ever, reflected in the wealth of stories we have covered to date. My thanks to the British Embassy Tokyo and VisitBritain, as well as other organisations too numerous to mention, for their support.

It has been my absolute pleasure to get to know so many of you, the members. I hope the magazine continues to go from strength to strength, and I look forward to catching up again at BCCJ events in September. In the meantime, thanks again and all the best!