Publisher July 2012

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.

In this issue are a number of fine examples of those who, head down, sort out issues for great causes.

A traditional source of these stories is, of course, the queen’s new year and birthday honours lists. Every year, people from all walks of life are honoured—from the seemingly ubiquitous lollipop ladies, civil servants and academics to politicians, inventors and actors.

And former BCCJ President Andy Mankiewicz, appointed OBE last year for his services to British business in Japan, told me how he was humbled to stand next to an Afghanistan war veteran and a fire officer before receiving his honour from Prince Charles.

For Britons in Japan, this year is the turn of two BCCJ Executive Committee members and a dedicated dog lover, whose achievements you can read about.

Further, the Japan Market Expansion Competition (JMEC) reached its annual climax in June, with the 18th awards ceremony.

Unilever—long a beacon of progressive workplace practices worldwide—has just been recognised in Japan with a coveted Gender Diversity Award. Then there’s the Tokyo businessman who was last month stunned to win a top award from the Royal Institute of British Architects. And finally, there is Sir Bobby Charlton, who in May received an Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette at the Embassy of Japan in the UK.

This page would be incomplete without the BCCJ British Business Awards (BBA), which recognises excellence, promotes success across all industries, and acclaims key social contributions made by organisations committed to the community and ethical behaviour.

I can reveal that this year’s BBA will showcase UK–Japan business relations against the backdrop of the government’s impressive GREAT Britain global campaign.

It may seem a way off yet, but now is the time to start thinking about which organisation or individual you believe qualifies for a BBA trophy. Now in its 5th year, this annual black tie event, which attracted a record number of guests and nominations in 2011, is scheduled for 2 November with information on submissions, categories and other details to be announced in July. Should you need help preparing a document to impress the judges, please contact Custom Media which has substantial experience in this area.