BBA JUDGES: PART TWO
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
SPIRITS OF THE SEASON
October 2013 | ¥900
The Magazine of the British Chamber of Commerce in Japan
65 PLUS INDUSTRY & A-LIST: —MICE, Travel & Leisure —Wining & Dining Book review | British Business Awards Embassy | Anniversary | CSR | Community And much more
Strength to Strength Sixty-five years of diversity, charity and business make the BCCJ better than ever Page 22
VOLUME 4, ISSUE 10
CHARITY Shaken, not Stirred
CUISINE Food for Thought
34 ANNIVERSARY Pomp, Circumstance and the Quest for Peace Military band balances traditional and modern roles
7 PUBLISHER Memory Lane for BCCJ Members Simon Farrell 9 FOREWORD Olympic Bid a Stimulus for Growth Ambassador Tim Hitchens CMG LVO 10 MEDIA UK-Japan News 13 EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Strategic, Emotional Impact of the 2020 Tokyo Games Lori Henderson MBE 14 MEDIA What you missed in the Japanese press 17 UKTI Eye on Expansion 19 PRESIDENT Opportunity Knocks Alison Jambert 20 BRITISH BUSINESS AWARDS You Judge the Judges: Part Two What it takes to be a BBA winner
EMBASSY Batting for Recovery
22 LEAD STORY Strength to Strength Sixty-five years of diversity, charity and business make the BCCJ better than ever 26 CUISINE Food for Thought Campaign aims to improve image of UK fare 28 TO THE EDITOR For the Love of Country 29 EMBASSY Batting for Recovery 31 CSR Precious Lives
INDUSTRY MICE, Travel & Leisure 42 A-LIST Wining & Dining 44 Spirits of the Season 46 A-LIST 48 EDUCATION Fostering Scientists of Tomorrow 50 ARTS UK Events in Japan Roppongi Crossing 2013: OUT OF DOUBT, The Stone Roses: Made Of Stone, Pygmalion, Franz Ferdinand, William Morris: Beauty of Living, BUNNY SMASH– Design to Touch the World
33 CHARITY Shaken, not Stirred
52 COMMUNITY Visit, Embassy, BCCJ, Exchange, Education, Launch, Anniversary, Film, Art
34 ANNIVERSARY Pomp, Circumstance and the Quest for Peace
54 HEALTH Common Questions, Misconceptions about the Flu
37 INTERVIEW Pierre de Villeméjane
55 IF YOU ASK ME Worth Every Yen
39 DIVERSITY D&I: Where to Start?
56 BOOK REVIEW Modernity Britain
The British Chamber of Commerce in Japan
BCCJ Mission To strengthen business ties between Britain and Japan, promote and support the business interests of all our Members, and actively encourage new business entrants into the Japanese market as well as Japanese investment into the UK. Leaders President: Alison Jambert Eat Creative K.K. Vice-president: Suzanne Price Price Global Executive Staff Executive Director: Lori Henderson MBE Operations Manager: Sanae Samata Executive Committee Paul Atkinson | Individual Member David Bickle | Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Ray Bremner OBE | Unilever Japan Graham Davis | The Economist Group James Dodds | KPMG Simon Farrell | Custom Media K.K. Philip T Gibb OBE | Individual Member Anna Pinsky | Canning Professional K.K. Suzanne Price | Price Global Reiko Sakimura | Clifford Chance Law Office Yayoi Sogo | Individual Member Richard Thornley CBE | Rolls-Royce Japan Co., Ltd. James Weeks | Kreab Gavin Anderson Ex Officio Sue Kinoshita British Embassy Tokyo Jeff Streeter British Council Japan BCCJ ACUMEN Editor in Chief Simon Farrell British Chamber of Commerce in Japan 12F Ark Mori Bldg. 1-12-32 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-6012 Tel: (03) 4360-8361 Fax: (03) 4360-8454 firstname.lastname@example.org www.bccjapan.com BCCJ ACUMEN is the magazine of the British Chamber of Commerce in Japan
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Tim Hitchens CMG LVO was appointed British ambassador to Japan in December 2012 and has previously been posted to Pakistan, Afghanistan and France. Tim served as assistant private secretary to the queen for four years and was Foreign & Commonwealth Office director for Africa for three years.
Publisher Simon Farrell President Robert Heldt Creative Director Cliff Cardona Art Director Paul Leonard
CONTRIBUTORS Alison Jambert, a founding director of Tokyo-based branding agency Eat Creative K.K., became BCCJ president in April. Alison has over 20 years’ experience in marketing for premium brands and manages key accounts as well as business development.
Lori Henderson MBE has been BCCJ executive director since February 2011.
Graham Davis is a member of the BCCJ Executive Committee.
Ian de Stains OBE, a former BBC producer and presenter, has been based in Japan since 1976. From 1987 to 2011, he was BCCJ executive director. Ian now focuses on writing, consulting and coaching and is the executive director of TELL. email@example.com
Sue Kinoshita is director of UK Trade & Investment Japan.
Suzanne Price is the president of Price Global, a change agent specialising in diversity and inclusion for Asia-Pacific and based in Tokyo. Visit www.priceglobal.com or send direct comments or questions by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Julian Ryall is Japan correspondent for The Daily Telegraph.
Client Services Manager Sam Bird Account Managers Leon van Houwelingen Kieran Quigley Account Executive Jody Pang Client Services Executives Megumi Okazaki Gamma Siregar Media Co-ordinator Rui Sarashina
Editor Brandi Goode
Custom Media Publishers of BCCJ ACUMEN for the British Chamber of Commerce in Japan. Specialists in bilingual brand strategy/visual communications, corporate bespoke solutions. Producers of Business in Japan TV. Akasaka Palace Bldg. 1F 1-4-21 Moto-Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-0051 www.custom-media.com Warning/Disclaimer Custom Media and the BCCJ will not accept liability for any damages caused by the contents of BCCJ ACUMEN, including, but not limited to, any omissions, errors, facts or false statements. Opinions or advice expressed in BCCJ ACUMEN are not necessarily those of the BCCJ or Custom Media.
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Brandi Goode is an editor at Custom Media K.K. with journalism experience spanning three countries.
Mark Schreiber is an author and translator who has been based in Tokyo since 1966. He was employed as a media analyst in market research before turning to freelance writing.
Nina Oiki is an economics graduate student at Waseda University and an intern for the BCCJ and the British Business Awards Task Force.
Nicola Yeboah is a British doctor who graduated from the University of London in 1999. She has a Japanese medical licence and is currently working in Tokyo as a general practitioner.
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OCTOBER 2013 | BCCJ ACUMEN | 5
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Memory Lane for BCCJ Members
id you spot a subtle change on the cover? In a nod to the BCCJ’s 65th anniversary, we dug up the chamber’s retired logo for a brief encore—its first, and probably last, appearance on the cover of this magazine. The related lead story (page 22) could only have been written by Ian de Stains OBE, who was BCCJ executive director for 24 years. He takes us on a fascinating trip back to the founding days, through an era of extraordinary growth in Japan to the present day, with a rare collection of anecdotes and images. Staying sentimental, Ian’s book review this month is Modernity Britain, which will surely resonate with many readers familiar with the UK in the late 1950s, a time of great change (page 56). That just leaves the future—very fitting considering the words from British Ambassador Tim Hitchens (page 9) and BCCJ Executive Director Lori Henderson (page 13) on the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and the
important message for BCCJ members from UK Trade & Investment Japan Director Sue Kinoshita (page 17) and BCCJ President Alison Jambert (page 19). 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. Although I had to leave the breakfast gathering early, we heard Sir John Scarlett KCMG OBE, director general of the British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) from 2004 to 2009, talk about terrorism and the conflicts he experienced during his 38 year career. Sir John was in the hot seat for gathering foreign intelligence during some of modern history’s most climactic events, such as the last days of apartheid and the Cold War. Earlier having been expelled by Moscow in one of those tit-for-tat exchanges, I’m sure he knows a bit about regime change in unlikely holiday spots. From Vladimir Putin, Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi to Pyongyang, Beijing and Washington,
he filled in some historical gaps for the full house of 55 guests at the BCCJ event. I am not sure how much of Sir John’s talk can be shared, but I can’t wait to read our piece on this panel discussion and a related defence conference in next month’s BCCJ ACUMEN.
British Business Awards—last calls If you’re reading this before 18 October, it’s not too late to nominate, or be nominated, for the BCCJ 2013 British Business Awards on 1 November at the Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo. This is also my last call to book seats or tables before the 25 October deadline. Another reason I suggest you read the next issue of ACUMEN is that we will feature a full report on the cheers and tears of this annual black-tie night. See the BCCJ website for details.
Simon Farrell Custom Media firstname.lastname@example.org
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Olympic Bid a Stimulus for Growth Like London 2012, Tokyo 2020 Games can revive optimism, investment
rom London’s legacy to Tokyo’s future, the UK joins Japan in looking forward to the benefits of being an Olympic and Paralympic host nation. As Tokyo celebrates the International Olympic Committee’s announcement that the capital will host the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, I would like to extend a message of congratulations to Japan and the successful Tokyo 2020 Olympic Bid Committee. On behalf of the British Government in Japan, I am delighted to join Prime Minister David Cameron and Foreign Secretary William Hague in congratulating the city of Tokyo on its selection as host of the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Just as the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games showed people around the world the very best that Britain has to offer both on and off the track, I hope that Japan will reap similar long-term rewards, with the 2020 Games becoming a catalyst for regeneration, growth and optimism in Tokyo, and across Japan. The news of Tokyo’s selection comes just over one year on from London 2012. London’s legacy planning was hailed by the International Olympic Committee as a “blueprint” for future Games and this legacy continues to have a positive impact on every aspect of British life— whether it be changing the face of East London, changing attitudes to disability, deploying greener technologies inspired
By Graham Davis BCCJ Executive Committee Good things can happen before, during and after the Olympics. For a start, it should be a great event and a fantastic time to be here. And in the run up, there are going to be a myriad of different projects and investments by the organising committees. Let’s hope foreign businesses have a fair chance to compete. And thinking about afterwards, can the Olympics change Japan for the better over the long term? I hope that we long-term residents (and taxpayers) can be part of that conversation, too. It was a pleasure to work with the bid committee; the organising committees need to take up the baton now.
by Olympic venues or boosting the number of international tourist visitors to the UK by 3% this year alone. It has also been estimated that since the London 2012 Olympic closing ceremony, the associated economic benefit to the UK totals £9.9bn, far exceeding initial expectations. Preliminary figures also show an initial £2.5bn boost to foreign direct investment as a result of the Games, bringing with it more than 31,000 new jobs. Hosting the Games brings the world to the host city, but it also helps take talent and businesses from the host city to the world. I am delighted that this sharing has already begun in Japan with British architect Zaha Hadid chosen to design Tokyo’s new National Stadium. I look forward to the continued opportunities for exchange and collaboration that this Olympic connection will now bring our two countries, and I look forward to cheering on Team GB in Tokyo 2020.
Tim Hitchens CMG LVO British Ambassador to Japan
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LATEST UK–JAPAN REPORTS
Ministry Okays Lung Drugs In a sign the pharmaceuticals market is opening up, Tokyo has approved three new lung drugs from Western firms, two of them British, media reported on 22 September. Among the drugs approved by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare were GlaxoSmithKline and Theravance’s inhaled lung drug Relvar Ellipta, SkyePharma’s Flutiform treatment and Novartis’ Ultibro Breezhaler inhalation capsules. Japan has the world’s secondbiggest medicine market and is quickly becoming an important source of growth for international pharmaceutical players. The Relvar Ellipta lung drug
UBS Bank Fined The Tokyo subsidiary of UBS bank has been ordered to pay $100mn over a recent London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor) scandal, Sky News reported on 19 September. The penalty levied on UBS Securities Japan Co. Ltd. is part of a larger settlement agreed by the parent firm last. The US Justice Department said starting in September 2006, UBS Japan made false and misleading Libor submissions to the British Bankers Association, which publishes Libor. It said a senior trader at UBS’ Tokyo office “orchestrated a sustained, wide-ranging and systemic scheme” to manipulate yen Libor to gain a favourable position.
Support Higher for N-Power: Poll A survey jointly conducted by an Ibaraki body and Cardiff University reveals that British people support nuclear power slightly more than they did in 2005, the Solar Panels UK website reported on 20 September. The survey, “Public Attitudes to Nuclear Power and Climate Change in Britain Two Years after the Fukushima Accident”, was conducted by the National Institute for Environmental Studies in Japan and the university. The poll also shows that fewer people thought there had been changes in the climate than when a similar survey was conducted in 2005.
New Forex Hub A recent survey shows that Japan has been overtaken as Asia’s largest foreign-exchange centre, while the UK retains second place, media reported on 7 September. Singapore has risen above Tokyo in the rankings, based on a poll by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). The higher ranking places Singapore behind only the UK and the US in the worldwide currencies trading market, according to BIS. The Forex market in Singapore is one-seventh the size of that in the UK and one-third that in the US. The BIS survey also cites the yen as having the biggest jump in recent trading activity among major currencies.
Ig Nobel Prizes Go to Studies on Opera and Cows A Tokyo researcher and a team of scientists from Scotland were among the winners of the 2013 Ig Nobel prizes, The Guardian reported on 13 September. Masanori Niimi of Teikyo University won the medicine prize. He found that mice that had been given heart transplants survived longer when they listened to classical music rather than other types of music or none at all. On average, the mice lived seven days, but those that had listened to Verdi’s La Traviata survived 27 days. Animal scientists at Scotland’s Rural College received the probability prize for their findings on cows’ propensity to stand up after lying down for an extended period.
Central Japan Railway Co. has resumed trials for the world’s fastest magnetic levitation (maglev) train, while the UK is reconsidering its own high-speed rail projects, media reported on 29 August. The maglev train will transport passengers between Tokyo and Nagoya in 40 minutes, compared with the current 95 minutes, according to JR Central. In the UK, projects such as a link between London and Birmingham have been derailed due to cost and demand concerns. However, JR Central has displayed no such worries, as the firm has the highest cash flow of any railway operator in the world.
10 | BCCJ ACUMEN | OCTOBER 2013
CENTRAL JAPAN RAILWAY CO.
Maglev Train Trials Back on Track as Soon as April
JR is going ahead with the maglev train despite concerns over a shrinking population and diminishing demand.
Rower Reaches Alaska
First Inflatable Venue
Sarah Outen has become the first person to complete a solo row from Japan to Alaska, NBC News reported on 25 September. The British adventurer had not seen another human being in 150 days when she landed on the Aleutian island of Adak on 23 September, following an arduous 6,035km journey. An expert at the Ocean Rowing Society said Outen was the first woman to have completed a mid-Pacific row from West to East, known as a dangerous crossing.
Ark Nova, a giant mobile concert hall designed in part by a British sculptor, began a tour of the regions hit hardest by the 2011 disasters on September 27, The Telegraph reported on 25 September. The inflatable structure was designed by sculptor Anish Kapoor and architect Arata Isozaki. Ark Nova’s public debut took place in Matsushima, Miyagi Prefecture. Events at the roving new venue will include orchestral concerts, performances by local artists and cultural workshops.
Suntory Buys Ribena, Lucozade from GSK The Suntory drinks group has bought the iconic Lucozade and Ribena brands from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) for £1.35bn, the BBC reported on 9 September. The Japanese group already owns drink firm Orangina Schweppes, and has said it sees an opportunity to expand the two brands’
annual sales of over £500mn. The deal should help Suntory enter and grow in new markets. GSK decided in April 2013 to sell Lucozade, first made in 1927, and Ribena, dating back to 1938. The firm said it is refocusing its strategy to rely more on its consumer healthcare business, namely pharmaceuticals.
Kobe-based Udon Chain Set to Open in London Toridoll Corp. has announced it will open the first British outlet of the Marugame Seimen udon noodle chain in London next year, The Asahi Shimbun reported on 12 September. The firm said it plans to have 30 restaurants in Britain within five years, on the back of the success of its first restaurant opened in Russia this year. Executives believe UK consumers will take to the firm’s Sanuki udon dishes.
A British sculptor and architect were among the five recipients of Japan’s Praemium Imperiale award, The Independent reported on 18 September. Antony Gormley won in the sculpture category and David Chipperfield was named a laureate in architecture. This is the 25th year of the award, known as the Japan Nobel. Each recipient will get a cheque for £100,000. Gormley, an admitted fan of Japan, said Britain could learn from the culture of corporate giving to the arts that is practised in the nation.
Two Brits Receive Japan Nobel Award
Antony Gormley’s Angel of the North
Cat Café Gets Green Light Permission has finally been granted to open Britain’s first cat café in East London, The Independent reported on 12 September. Once Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium is built, the owner will select her “feline overlords” from rescue homes. Cat cafes, where customers can pet their favourite feline while enjoying a coffee, originated in Japan and are also popular in Austria.
Sony Pays Jilted Intern A 25-year-old intern at Sony Computer Entertainment in Cambridge has been paid £4,600 after filing a complaint with an employment tribunal, the BBC reported on 2 September. New graduate Chris Jarvis began an unpaid internship with Sony in 2012 to gain experience. He was only to receive reimbursement of his travel expenses. However, when payment of those expenses was “delayed”, Jarvis asked for the minimum wage, saying he was working the same hours as regular employees. Sony disagreed, saying he did not have to work the hours he did.
Scouser Eyes Guinness Record A British man says he broke a world record while in Japan for making his eyeballs bulge from their sockets, The Daily Mail reported on 2 September. John Doyle, from Rainhill, near Liverpool, first displayed his talent on YouTube and immediately became an online sensation. He has since appeared on US and Japanese TV programmes. Now, he is seeking official recognition from Guinness World Records. He believes he broke the current eye-popping record of 12mm while in Japan, but it was hard to record due to language barriers.
OCTOBER 2013 | BCCJ ACUMEN | 11
Strategic, Emotional Impact of the 2020 Tokyo Games
e were truly delighted to see Tokyo announced as the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games host city on 8 September. Combining the appearance of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, members of the Imperial family, and a roll call of popular sporting stars, including Paralympian long jumper Mami Sato, Tokyo’s final presentation was moving and uplifting in equal measure. “What we have seen is the impact of the Olympic values as never before in Japan. And what the country has witnessed is that those precious values—excellence, friendship and respect—can be so much more than just words”, Sato said. I enjoyed soaking up the historic news over a 5am pint at BCCJ member pub the Hobgoblin in Shibuya. With the Japan Olympic Committee having worked with the British consultant who advised London and Rio de Janeiro, and the new National Stadium to be designed by a British architect, the successful bid had more than a hint of a UK flavour. The Olympics will now become an important element of the UK’s trade strategy, and we hope the Games will offer high-value opportunities for BCCJ member firms across a variety of sectors.
UK Trade & Investment at the British Embassy Tokyo confirms: “UK companies are already positioning themselves to play a role in the planning and delivery of the Games in three broad areas: Security, Safety and Resilience; Communication, Broadcasting and Information Technology; and Sustainability and Low Carbon. Design services of all kinds are also likely to be a fruitful area. London 2012 enabled UK companies to amply demonstrate their world-leading capabilities in these areas as well as ticketing and event management”. English language education services are also expected to experience a boost, as Tokyo moves to embrace the concept of global jinzai (talent)—already a hot topic in Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Japan. The British Council, which went with the Keidanren’s education committee to the UK earlier this year, is currently in talks with the Japanese government regarding the adoption of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), the UK’s English language testing framework for university and public service entrance exams. Taro Kono from the House of Representatives was one of the keynote speakers at the British Council’s Choshu Five anniversary event on 26 September, highlighting
the strong relationship between the two countries. On Saturday, 7 September, just hours before Tokyo was chosen as the 2020 host city, we were very pleased to collaborate on a cricket match with the British Embassy Tokyo and the Japan Cricket Association in support of local communities in Fukushima. The day out was particularly educational for this Scottish lass, as I received a tutorial from Julia Longbottom, deputy head of mission, British Embassy Tokyo, whose daughter Natalie Sciver played a crucial part in winning the Ashes for England in August. And, just as we are going to print, I have been accepted to run the 2014 Tokyo Marathon. The next BCCJ Golf Day will be held on 15 November at Tsutsujigaoka—a member course affected by the March 11 disasters— in Tochigi Prefecture. This event will be sponsored by the Royal Bank of Scotland, and players of all levels are welcome. www.bccjapan.com
Lori Henderson MBE BCCJ Executive Director
WHAT YOU MISSED IN THE JAPANESE PRESS
BY MARK SCHREIBER
Website Targets South-East Asian Tourists Thanks to relaxed requirements for tourist visas, the government expects the number of visitors from South-East Asia to surpass 1mn in 2013. The rules were changed following a recent decline in the number of visitors from China and South Korea. According to the Nikkei Marketing Journal (8 September), the government and the private sector have jointly created an online campaign to attract visitors from six countries in the South-East Asian region. The newly launched website is multilingual, with text in English, Thai, Indonesian and Vietnamese. During the campaign, running from 2 September to 27 December, the site will offer discounted admission tickets and other special deals at participating theme parks. These include Universal Studios Japan, Sanrio Puroland, Nikko Edo Wonderland, Toei Kyoto Studio Park, Huis Ten Bosch, the Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum, Hakone Kowakien Yunessun Spa Resort and the Shimoda Floating Aquarium. The website will also link to social networking sites, enabling visitors to post and view photos and videos uploaded by foreign tourists. According to the Japan Tourism Agency, visitors from Thailand and Malaysia spent ¥130,000 per head on average, some 80% more than South Koreans. The government projects expenditures by all foreign visitors to rise from ¥1.86trn in 2012 to ¥4.7trn by 2030.
Sanrio Puroland is offering foreign visitors discounted admission through the new website.
It is hoped that these revenues will help compensate for the projected decline in domestic travel demand resulting from Japan’s shrinking population.
Business Travellers Rank Favourite Hotels Shukan Diamond magazine (7 September) has published the results of its survey on the best business accommodation, in which it asked for responses to the following: “Name a business hotel where, in the past three years, you enjoyed a satisfying stay that you paid for using your per-diem travel budget”. The survey included deluxe hotels, resorts and business hotels, and results were based on data received from 10,000 travellers. These days, business accommodation facilities manage to deliver more amenities than ever at a reasonable cost, although a room shortage in Tokyo’s 23 wards has led to price increases of ¥500–¥1,000 since last year. Many of these hotels provide internet access or Wi-Fi in guest rooms, as well as womenonly floors. The 10 highest-rated business hotels in Tokyo were: the Shinjuku Washington Hotel; Tokyu EX Inn Shinagawa Ekimae; New Otani Inn Tokyo; Tokyo Bay Ariake Washington Hotel; Hotel Monterey Hanzomon; Hotel Sunroute Ariake; Hotel JAL City Haneda; Ours Inn Hankyu (Oimachi); Villa Fontaine Shiodome; and Keio Presso Inn Otemachi. The article also notes that two new towertype business hotels are under construction
14 | BCCJ ACUMEN | OCTOBER 2013
runs the Washington Hotel chain. The other, tentatively named the APA Hotel Shinjuku Kabukicho Tower, will have 620 guest rooms. Fujita Kanko’s Akira Kitahara, general manager of the Shinjuku Washington Hotel, notes that the supply of Shinjuku accommodation cannot keep up with current demand. Kitahara has observed a trend for business travellers to prefer accommodation on the west side of JR Shinjuku Station and leisure travellers on the east side, where Kabukicho is located. Meanwhile, the top three business hotels in five other regional cities covered by the survey are:
The Shinjuku Washington Hotel was top in the survey.
and slated to open in 2015 in Shinjuku’s Kabukicho entertainment area. One, yet unnamed, will have 970 guest rooms and be operated by Fujita Kanko Inc., which also
• Sapporo: Hotel Monterey Sapporo; JR Inn Sapporo; Sapporo Tokyu Inn • Sendai: Richmond Hotel Sendai; Dormy Inn Sendai Ekimae; Comfort Hotel Sendai Nishiguchi • Osaka: Osaka Shin-Hankyu Hotel; Hotel Monterey Osaka; Osaka Tokyu Inn • Nagoya: APA Hotel Nagoya Sakae; Nagoya Tokyu Hotel; Daiwa Roynet Hotel Nagoya Ekimae • Fukuoka: Nishitetsu Inn Hakata; Canal City Fukuoka Washington Hotel; and Comfort Hotel Hakata
Trading Raises for Recognition In the past, the prevailing method for improving employee motivation was simple: boost the salary and/or fringe benefits of staff. A former worker at Panasonic Corporation put it this way: “In the old days, if you had become a division head or above when you retired, a company car would pick you up at the door to drive you to a ryokan [Japanese-style inn]. All your subordinates—several dozen people—would see you off and remain in a horizontal bowing position until the car had vanished from view. When I was young and saw this, I said to myself, ‘For this kind of treatment, Toyota President Akio Toyoda (right) often makes a surprise I wouldn’t need a salary,’ and was appearance at award ceremonies. motivated to work as hard as I could”. But Nikkan Gendai (3 September) reports that times have changed. For one thing, implementing wage increases isn’t as easy as it used to be. And perks such as entertainment budgets, company cars and personal secretaries are being slashed to the bone. So, more firms have come up with their own in-house awards system, a practise that is said to have been catching on over the past two or three years. Nippon Telegraph and Telephone East Corporation (NTT East), for example, has adopted a Maintenance Master award for its linemen. While some 6,000 such workers are employed by the firm at present, NTT East has been finding it difficult to attract newcomers to fill positions vacated by retirees. The new system is said to have realised a 1.8-fold rise in productivity. It seems the secret to the success of this programme is to flaunt the award recipient’s achievement before rank-and-file staff. Toyota Motor Corporation is said to have successfully adopted a similar system. Since initiating its awards in 2009, the firm has scheduled surprise appearances by President Akio Toyoda which has had a huge psychological impact on recipients. Further, instead of President’s Award, the firm chose to call it the Mori Zou Award, using the name of the president’s chauffeur. All Nippon Airways’ Excellent Service Award is said to bolster the morale of staff who, among other duties, must bear the brunt of customer complaints. While no monetary rewards are involved, a company director attends the awards presentation ceremony and recipients are treated to a meal. Other organisations with similar schemes include the Kyoto Century Hotel and the Beauty Salon Moriwaki Co., Ltd. chain.
Omotenashi Push for 2020 Games In addition to bolstering Englishlanguage instruction programmes beginning in primary school, Japan’s pledge of omotenashi (hospitality) for the 2020 Olympics is expected to include a budget for a dedicated government sports agency. The Sankei Shimbun (14 September) interviewed Hiroyuki Yoshiie, a former schoolteacher, who currently serves in the House of Councillors. He is from Nagano Prefecture and also holds the post of vice-minister at the Ministry of Education, Sports, Culture, Science and Technology. Yoshiie said he hopes to reinforce English education at the primary school level in preparation for the Games, so that young people will be able to “provide information and explanations about Japan”. “We want them to be able to talk with foreigners about the spirit of hospitality that characterises Japan”, he said. Yoshiie said that were a sports agency to be set up, it would dispatch instructors overseas and “take a leading role in funding anti-doping activities”. The agency would include Japan Olympic Committee members and various Tokyo individuals.
McDonald’s Nabs Top Spot in Poll Fast food in Japan is served at Western-style restaurant chains and those chains that provide local alternatives, such as the beef bowl served by Yoshinoya food outlets. The results of a July fast food survey, conducted by Macromill Inc., that polled 1,000 consumers between the ages of 20 and 70, were reported in the Nikkei Marketing Journal (28 August). The largest group of respondents, 23.6%, said they patronise such places once a month, on average. This was followed by 21.3% who go to fast food chains two or three times a month. Younger people, not surprisingly, tend to dine at such establishments more frequently than their elders. The most popular chain among both men and women was McDonald’s, selected
by 79.7% and 80.4%, respectively, of the pollees. Among men, in second and third place were beef-bowl chains Sukiya (45.6%) and Yoshinoya (36.1%). Women, meanwhile, said they preferred Westernstyle fast food, specifically Mister Donut (55.2%) and KFC (39.6%). The average outlay per visit was ¥611. About 62.1% of the respondents in their 20s and 54.4% of those in their 50s said they usually dined at such places alone. Of the respondents in their 30s and 40s, 42.9% and 42.2%, respectively, said they tend to make dining at fast-food establishments a family affair. The most common reply by diners in their 60s, given by 42.9% of respondents, was that they dined with their spouse.
McDonald’s is the fast-food chain visited most by men and women.
OCTOBER 2013 | BCCJ ACUMEN | 15
Eye on Expansion Japan chosen for second wave of UK export programme By Sue Kinoshita Director UKTI Japan
he BCCJ has been invited to join wave two of the UK government’s new Strengthening Overseas Business Networks programme. Sue Kinoshita, director of UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) Japan, describes the background and opportunities this presents for the BCCJ. The economists tell us that at a time of government cutbacks and tentative consumer spending, the only way for the UK to achieve growth is through trade and investment. Sounds like a job for the eponymous UKTI! Jointly “owned” by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the Department for Business, Innovation
forging partnerships with others whose networks and expertise can complement and augment our own. British chambers of commerce in the UK and overseas have always been among UKTI’s most important partners. But in line with this new national challenge, UKTI is now exploring options for even closer collaboration with chambers. Inspired by German, French, US and Japanese models, where chambers of commerce play a more prominent role in delivering export services, Prime Minister David Cameron in November 2012 launched a programme to enhance overseas business networks. The programme aims to build the capacity of the UK’s overseas business networks, mostly chambers of commerce, to provide a wider range of high quality business-tobusiness (B2B) support to UK small and medium enterprises. Success will be a simple, seamless customer journey connecting firms
In the BCCJ’s 65th year, this is a chance to review its role and the value it can add for both members and firms seeking to enter the market for the first time. and Skills, UKTI’s mission is to help UK exporters succeed globally and assist overseas firms to bring high-quality investment to the UK. Last year my team of 50-plus in Tokyo and Osaka helped some 2,250 UK firms develop their business in Japan, and we played a significant role in securing 110 investments into the UK by Japanese firms, thereby creating or safeguarding over 7,400 jobs. For the third straight year we achieved record performance levels, despite a shrinking staff complement. But we need to do more. Ministers have set UKTI the challenge of doubling the number of UK firms it helps by 2015. The government also has fixed 2020 targets of getting 100,000 more firms to export, and doubling exports to £1trn. With resources static at best, the only way for UKTI to achieve that is by working more smartly, particularly by delivering services digitally, and by
locally, nationally and internationally and offering practical business support at least on a par with that on offer to competitors from other nations. The first wave of the programme was backed by £8mn in seed funding, and focused on 20 emerging and high-growth markets. Sadly, Japan doesn’t quite fit that description at the moment, despite Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s best efforts! The size and capacity of the respective chambers varied hugely, from nothing in Qatar to the highly sophisticated, wellstaffed operation in Singapore. Each chamber is now taking its own approach to developing services for exporters, from simple networking opportunities, as the BCCJ does, to fullblown business centres, like the one opened last month in Gurgaon, India. The programme is still in its infancy. But early feedback is positive, and that has emboldened the government to bring
into the programme 21 more markets— including Japan. We have some interesting bedfellows in this second wave, including Kazakhstan and Angola. But Minister for Trade and Investment Lord Green was keen to see how the B2B model might work in a sophisticated developed market, and Japan is the place he has chosen to pilot the approach. I received news of Japan’s inclusion just as everyone was departing for summer holidays. Intrigued by the challenge, the BCCJ Executive Committee nevertheless began putting together a taskforce to start considering the implications, opportunities and risks. In the BCCJ’s 65th year, this is a chance to review its role and the value it can add for members and firms seeking to enter the market for both the first time. Newcomers need legal, financial, marketing, logistical and HR support and, therefore, represent a new potential client base for many member firms. And the experience that chamber members have in doing business in Japan, in turn, represents a hugely valuable resource for first-time exporters. The new Export to Japan digital platform developed by UKTI in partnership with the BCCJ, British Airways, Business Link Japan and many other BCCJ members is a first step towards harnessing members’ services and knowhow for the benefit of firms new to the market (more details in the next edition of BCCJ ACUMEN). However, taking on a whole new role has potentially far-reaching implications for the BCCJ’s membership, staffing and resources. The BCCJ has, therefore, elected first to bid to UKTI for funding for a scoping study to understand the nature of the market and the demand for export services, and to compare possible business models and the impact they might have on the chamber’s tax status, constitution and member services. At the time of writing, we are waiting to hear whether this bid has been accepted. If it has, you can expect to hear more soon about how you can be involved, including how to feed into the consultation with members. In the meantime, UKTI continues to offer its own full range of services to all UK firms. Do get in touch with us if you think we can help.
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Opportunity Knocks BCCJ and its members could greatly benefit from new initiative
ollowing the fantastic news that Tokyo will be hosting the 2020 Olympic Games, member firms are already positioning themselves to play a role in key areas as the project develops. The chamber wholeheartedly supports this and will be playing its part to ensure British business has the maximum opportunity to contribute. Our core mission has always been to support our members and their firms, from making connections to creating new business opportunities. Therefore the invitation to the BCCJ from UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) to join the government’s Strengthening Overseas Business Networks (SOBN) programme has created a great deal of excitement. If the initiative moves forward, it could provide a host of new opportunities and additional value for our members. But such an undertaking should not be taken lightly. We have the interests of the chamber, of members and their firms, and of course potential clients to consider. I want to make sure we move forward in a transparent and open manner, and that we make decisions based on a full understanding of what it will take to succeed and what it will mean for you, our members.
What is this all about? The government has tasked UKTI with doubling the number of UK firms it helps by 2015. A core strategy for achieving this is to forge partnerships with entities, such as the BCCJ, with complementary networks and expertise. We were therefore invited to apply for grant funding under the second wave of the SOBN programme. This funding could potentially allow the BCCJ to provide relevant business services and, ultimately, take over certain UKTI responsibilities in Japan. The BCCJ has responded with an expression of interest subject to interim funding for an independent scoping study to assess how this would work in practice.
What would be the benefits for the BCCJ and its members? Members could potentially benefit from an expanded BCCJ business operation,
new opportunities to provide services to UK market entrants into Japan, and new member services. The viability and extent of such benefits will be determined by the scoping exercise, including any impact on services already provided by member firms and the private sector.
What is the purpose of the scoping study? This will be a comprehensive, independent study that will identify benefits and risks for the BCCJ and its members, and for UKTI. This study is indispensable to determine if the BCCJ is in a position to go ahead, or indeed, should do so. There are three fundamental questions: Is the BCCJ in a position to take advantage of this opportunity? If so, what are the benefits? And what business model might work best?
What happens next? If funding is approved, the study will be commissioned as soon as possible.
And then? If the study demonstrates the BCCJ is qualified and able to take on designated UKTI responsibilities, the BCCJ Executive Committee (Excom) will vote on whether to proceed. If the Excom votes in favour, the full BCCJ membership will be asked to vote at an Extraordinary General Meeting. If the membership votes in favour, the BCCJ will submit a full grant application to UKTI for the programme. This application could be submitted as soon as early 2014. UKTI approval of the full application would then allow a buildup of capability and gradual transfer of responsibilities from UKTI to the BCCJ.
What UKTI responsibilities would be transferred to the BCCJ? UKTI in Japan provides a broad range of support services and solutions for British exporters and investors, including reports, research, event management, trade missions and set-up support for firms. With the second wave of grant funding, the BCCJ could gradually begin to assume responsibility for some of these services, based on the outcome of the feasibility study. UKTI would remain responsible for larger-scale strategic campaigns and
anything with a policy dimension, such as nuclear power programmes and defence and security collaboration.
What would be the risks? There are a variety of risks to be examined. These include whether the service can be run on a commercial basis, the funding risks associated with a change of government in the UK, and competition from the private sector, including from member firms. Again, the scoping exercise will determine whether identified risks are manageable.
How would the BCCJ find the resources to manage these responsibilities? Approval of the full application could lead to a re-organisation of the BCCJ. This new structure would depend on the results of the scoping exercise and the consent of chamber members.
Where can I learn more? We will provide members with updates on all key developments. In the meantime, you can email requests for further information to the chamber secretariat. However, as BCCJ members will appreciate, there are a number of moving parts to this exercise, thus definite answers may not be immediately available. And finally, with the chamber’s annual British Business Awards fast approaching on Friday 1 November, I ask that you reflect on the achievements that British business continues to make in Japan and nominate a fellow member firm (or yourself!). Join us on the day in raising a glass for the chamber’s 65th anniversary.
A full description of the Strengthening Overseas Business Networks programme and the implications for UK firms doing business in Japan, as well as the BCCJ and UKTI, can be found on page 17.
Alison Jambert BCCJ President @BCCJ_President VICTORIACAZZOLIPHOTOGRAPHY
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BRITISH BUSINESS AWARDS
You Judge the Judges: Part Two Awards panellists tell us what it takes to be a winner
ith just days to go before the 2013 British Business Awards (BBA) on 1 November, BCCJ ACUMEN put the six judges on the spot to find out what matters most in nominations. There’s still time to promote deserving members and firms, with nominations being accepted until 18 October via a written application or even by phone. BBA winners will be announced at a glittering gala, bilingual for the second year running, at the Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo. Flavours from the kitchen at the British Embassy Tokyo and a photo booth will be some of the special new touches at this year’s event.
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The judges, who cumulatively bring to the table vast experience in business, finance and the arts, were each asked five questions: 1. What will you be looking for in nominations? 2. What advice can you give nominees about presenting? 3. Which three words would you use to describe the ideal candidates? 4. Why do you think you were asked to be a judge? 5. What do you anticipate will be the hardest part of this task?
BRITISH BUSINESS AWARDS David Bintley CBE Artistic director (ballet and dance) New National Theatre, Tokyo Birmingham Royal Ballet
Danny Choo Producer Culture Japan brand
1. I will be looking for the entries that most inspire others to achieve what they have done in the Japanese market.
1. I suppose that coming from an arts background, it will surprise no one when I say creative innovation is what I’m always attracted to, allied with technical mastery, in whatever way that might apply to the different nominees.
2. Keep it simple and punchy! I feel pretty busy myself but am immensely humbled to be a judge. We’re all going to be juggling our time and will probably appreciate clarity above all.
3. Innovate, break barriers, inspire
3. Innovative, honest, substantial
4. As a British national working in the creative industry in Japan, I can offer some insights and share experiences in a field in which I have been working for many years. Also, I am a member of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry’s Creative Industries Internationalization Committee.
4. I run two ballet companies on opposite sides of the world. Am I a bit of a wild card? 5. I’ve never done anything like this before and I’m a financial idiot.
3. Visionary, committed, customer focused 4. My current employer, UKTI, assists some 30,000 firms each year to break into overseas markets, and previously I headed up Virgin Atlantic in Japan. So I like to think I can bring an understanding of the challenges of doing business abroad, and of the Japanese market specifically.
5. Running a business in Japan is no easy task and I think all entries will already have succeeded on this note. However, I do feel there will be entries that inspire more than others—and that’s what I will be looking for.
5. Probably trying to make judgements about the relative merits of entries in completely different sectors. I know British business in Japan covers everything from heavy industry to software, from consumer goods to financial services. I’m sure each entrant will have excelled in their field, but comparing the challenges and competitive environments they’ve each had to contend with is going to be pretty challenging. 5
Nikki King OBE Chief executive officer Isuzu Truck (UK) Ltd. Chair Auto 22
Ernfred Olsen Country executive Royal Bank of Scotland, Japan
Michael Woodford MBE Managing director Michael Woodford Associates, Ltd.
1. I will be evaluating submissions based on the BBA’s values of success, innovation and ethics.
1. I shall be looking for outstanding nominees who have made visible efforts to understand the culture of Japan and integrate both Japanese and UK cultures into their business. I also want to see a strong customer service ethos and some “blue sky” thinking.
2. It is always a smart idea to read the instructions and ensure that your nomination covers all the key points.
1. I’m looking for a firm that provides a product or service that Japanese want to buy now and in the future. Japan has the most discerning consumers in the world and, in this respect, ultimately it will be the quality of the offering that will bring sustainable success.
2. Keep your application short with lots of back-up information and customer and staff feedback. 3. Entrepreneurial, empathetic, passionate 4. I am extremely honoured to have been asked to be a judge. I started Isuzu Truck in the UK in 1996 and have learned to love Japan, its culture, its history and its people. My home in the UK has a Japanese garden and a tatami room and I also have a Japanese dog. I am known by Isuzu as henna gaijin and by the people in my home village as “the strange woman who thinks she is Japanese”, so I guess I have done something right. 5. Assessing the applicants on paper only, without the opportunity to visit and get a feel for them myself. I also anticipate there will be many different firms covering various disciplines, so it will be a challenge to compare “apples with oranges”.
3. Successful, innovative and ethical 4. I’ve been in Japan for many years and have been involved in starting a number of businesses, as well as starting up several firms from scratch. 5. This will be my first time to participate in this role, and I expect it will be very hard to decide between a number of strong candidates.
1. I will be looking for clarity of vision, hard work and a spark of creative flair. The winners could be major corporates or small start-ups. Every day I see SMEs with amazing technologies or products that have captured a niche market, and those are the backbone of any economy.
2. I personally prefer photos of my food on a menu rather than text, which leaves the decision to the customer. I would recommend including visuals to complement the presentation, helping the audience to visualise the business strategy and achievements.
2. Eye-catching presentations are always good, as is energy, but neither can mask a lack of substance.
Jon Harding OBE Chief operating officer UK Trade & Investment Non-executive director UK Export Finance
2. Keep it simple and avoid business speak! Focus on real strengths and don’t try to spin. 3. Innovative, entrepreneurial and tenacious 4. While I’m best known for my role in exposing the Olympus Corporation scandal, I’ve run successful businesses around the world and have a reputation for looking behind the rhetoric for the substance of things. 5. Seeing the wood for the trees—it’s often difficult to see things clearly because you’re looking too closely at the smaller detail. I will simply be looking for a firm that offers a quality product or service that consumers or businesses are prepared to buy and keep buying. In considering the individuals behind such businesses, what is equally important to me are their ethics and values, which should come through in the applications.
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Strength to Strength Sixty-five years of diversity, charity and business make the BCCJ better than ever
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By Ian de Stains OBE
n the early months of 1948 a handful of British businessmen—early post-war pioneers—met in Tokyo to discuss ways in which they might help each other take advantage of the clear business opportunities that peace and the Occupation afforded. Among them were the late William Salter and the late Douglas Kenrick, two men who essentially spawned the idea of creating a British chamber of commerce here. Towards the start of my executive directorship, I learned about the BCCJ’s beginnings chiefly from Kenrick. Though founded in 1948, it wasn’t until 1955 that the then Ministry of Trade and Industry permitted the use of the name British Chamber of Commerce in Japan. This granted the organisation Foreign Juridical Person status under Article 36 of the Civil Code. The Treaty of Commerce, Establishment and Navigation between Japan and the UK ratified that status in 1963. Only then did the chamber set up a permanent secretariat. Sadly, much of the chamber’s archive was lost during a move, so we can only speculate about the sorts of issues that prevailed at the time. It would be fascinating to know, for example, what
Though founded in 1948, it wasn’t until 1955 that the then Ministry of Trade and Industry permitted the use of the name British Chamber of Commerce in Japan. We will give a bottle of Berry Bros. & Rudd premium No. 3 London Dry Gin to the reader who identifies the most people from photos on the cover and in this article. Winner will be picked at random. Email your entry by 31 October to: firstname.lastname@example.org
the BCCJ’s position was with regard to the 1964 Olympics, which was a catalyst for the rapid development of the capital. A similar effect is expected as a result of Tokyo having won its bid to host the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, which should generate renewed investment and growth in the nation.
1964 Olympics–1970s Britain did take advantage of the knock-on effects of the 1964 Olympics. The British Embassy Tokyo’s former Commercial Counsellor Ben Thorne recalls: “In 1968 I was posted from the British Trade Commissioner’s Office in Hong Kong to the embassy in Tokyo as director of the newly conceived Office of the British Week in Tokyo, which was to be held the following year. That was my first contact with the BCCJ. “Among the key members at the time were trading houses I recognised from Hong Kong, such as Jardines, Butterworth and Swire, Dodwells and so on, all of which made me feel very welcome”. The British Week was considered a success, and the BCCJ featured prominently in the outcome of the event. But shortly afterwards, the Japanese prime minister commented that British business was not trying hard enough in the Japanese market.
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The British Marketing Centre (BMC) was set up in Aoyama-itchome as a result. Thorne was appointed director, concurrently serving under Ambassador Sir Fred Warner as commercial counsellor, in which capacity he was co-opted onto the chamber’s executive committee. Also working at the BMC was Mrs Kazuko Kon, who spent her entire career with the British Embassy Tokyo. “The BCCJ and the Commercial Section of the embassy were always extremely close. The British Market Council was also a key partner. I have happy memories of our collaboration on such things as the Opportunity Japan, Priority Japan and Action Japan campaigns that ran through the ’90s”, Kon said. Martin Barrow, who for many years headed Jardines in Japan, was president of the chamber from 1979 to 1980 and he, too, remembers the close connection with the embassy. “Of course we had very good connections. But at the time we had few links with the relevant people in the Japanese government—with MITI, the Gaimusho [Ministry of Foreign Affairs], the Ministry of Finance and so on. So we set out to build those links, as at the time there remained several barriers to trade and investment that we needed to bring to their attention”, Barrow said.
1980s: pivotal years Through the 1980s, the chamber went from strength to strength, with important figures such as Ray Giles, then of Beecham Group plc, playing a key role in creating what would eventually become today’s European Business Council. The year 1987 was particularly significant. The BCCJ Executive Committee made the decision to hire an executive director with a media and communications background. At the same time, thanks to the generosity of Robin Maynard, then of Sedgwick & Co Ltd, the chamber office was moved to a central location with improved office space and a large meeting room at its disposal. “My enthusiastic support for the BCCJ was based on what is known in the treaty reinsurance business as a reciprocal trade. Particularly during my extended spell as the Lloyd’s of London general representative in Japan, speakers
The BCCJ produced several publications throughout the 1980s and 1990s.
at chamber events delivered helpful new business concepts and direction sourced from outside the financial services sector. My reciprocity was to have successive Lloyd’s chairmen, who were no longer simply selected from the insurance and reinsurance market, lift the shrouds on the workings of the city”, Maynard said. In 1987, the chamber’s current operations manager, Sanae Samata, joined the BCCJ. She recalls that, “There was no PC, so our executive director brought in his own machine from home so I could work on an internally produced directory of members”. By far the longest-serving employee, Samata is certain about the chamber’s greatest strength: the generosity of members. “I think the volunteer spirit of our members, especially the contribution by the Executive Committee, is incredible. I have learnt such a lot from their attitude to service in the community”.
1990s: expansion and the BIC The 1990s were years of great expansion. The chamber produced a number of publications such as Japan Posting, Research and Development in Japan, Seihinka, and Gaijin Scientist. These were the result of initiatives such as the Science and Technology Action Group and the Small and Medium Business Initiative. The London Club, later renamed the UK Kai, was formed to involve more Japanese members. Sukeyoshi Yamamoto of NSK
Ltd. was the first Japanese to be asked to join the Executive Committee. “I thought about my contribution and decided to prepare a monthly economic report from the perspective of the manufacturing sector. These are on-going, even though I have now stepped down from the committee”, Yamamoto said. A significant development came with the establishment in 1997 of the British Industry Centre (BIC) in Yokohama. This initiative was designed to encourage British firms to set up and do business in Japan, by helping reduce set-up costs and potential difficulties. The BIC was the result of collaboration among the BCCJ, the City of Yokohama and Nomura Real Estate, with the support of the British government and the British Embassy Tokyo. It was formally opened in January 1998 by then Prime Minister Tony Blair. Mike Ingle, formerly with Sedgwick in Tokyo, was appointed to promote and market the idea. “Initially, the centre had bilingual staff on hand to assist tenants. We could even answer telephones on their behalf. We set up in the prestigious Yokohama Business Park. Rents were heavily subsidised, there were grants to be had from the City of Yokohama and, of course, the BCCJ was there to support. The BIC attracted a huge amount of attention; other countries wondered if they might emulate it. It was without doubt a huge success”, Ingle said.
2000s: first female president As with Yamamoto becoming the first Japanese member of the BCCJ Executive Committee, the time at last came for the BCCJ to elect a woman as president. In 2004, Alison Pockett, then of Magellan Financial Planning K.K. was that woman. “I was very proud, but I was particularly conscious of meeting the expectations of so many different organisations so closely connected with the chamber; not because I was a woman, but because I ran my own small firm as opposed to being the head of a large British corporation”, Pockett said. Now, the chamber is once again headed by a woman, Alison Jambert. We can be proud of the fact that the BCCJ is more active and involved today than it ever has been before.
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Food for Thought
Campaign aims to improve image of UK fare By Julian Ryall
or many years, British cuisine has had a reputation for being, if we’re completely honest, something of a joke. Culinary crimes ranged from bad bangers and chips-with-everything to warm beer and the infamous arteryclogging deep-fried Mars Bar. But our critics increasingly are becoming silent. The Great Britain edition of the Michelin Guide 2013 awarded stars to 138 establishments across the country, including 60 in London, while the editor of the foodies’ bible warned that London is close to overtaking Paris and New York for starred restaurants. Anyone who has spent time in the UK recently will agree that huge strides have been made across the board in the quality of food being served. The task is to get this message across to more people, so they can go to the UK without fearing that they will find something unrecognisable and inedible on their plate. This would also give British firms that produce
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quality food access to the market here in Japan. To help achieve the second of these aims, the trade team at the British Embassy Tokyo recently launched the Food is GREAT: A Taste of Britain campaign, which aims to bring together UK firms with clients in Japan. Firms on the campaign website range from The London Cuppa and Badger Ales, to Ipswich-based James White Drinks, Moo Free Chocolates and York Speciality Foods.
The campaign includes a number of events at which Japanese consumers can experience English food and drink. Partners include retailers, hotels, cooking schools, recipe websites and firms that produce cooking programmes. “We are helping about 240 companies in the food and drink sector that want to come to Japan, and those numbers are increasing”, Mariko Hasegawa of UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) told BCCJ ACUMEN. “[UKTI is] trying to set out various platforms for UK companies to introduce their products and to create opportunities to enter the market here, as well as helping others to expand their business”, Hasegawa said. The 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games and the birth of Prince George have piqued interest among Japanese consumers, while the trustworthiness of Japanese partner firms is seen as a big plus for British firms. There have already been some notable successes, such as Westaways Sausages Limited. Based in the West Country, the firm signed a contract earlier this year to supply Japan with up to three tons of sausages every month. “Japan is traditionally a difficult market for selling sausages”, owner Charles Baughan told the Western Daily Press. “[Japanese] are very protectionist, very suspicious about foreign food, but we managed to get our products in there”. Westaways is the only European meat firm to get a foothold in Japan and is now in talks with a major Japanese producer about a contract that could be worth £1mn per year to the Devon firm. “[UKTI] have a tremendous number of schemes that you can use, as well as a trade show access programme that gives you one long-distance flight per year”, Baughan said. Firms already established here have seen interest in the British brand steadily
The British Embassy Tokyo launched the Food is GREAT campaign on 28 August at the ambassador’s residence.
CUISINE increase, which translates into greater sales. “The continuing emergence of Britain and the Union Jack as a recognisable symbol, the quality of the products and their uniqueness have all helped with this increase”, said Simon Thomas, manager of the Kobe branch of Hobgoblin British pubs. Thomas is delighted that the UK is slowly managing to distance itself from the image of “greasy, tasteless food served up with warm beer”. “I’d be lying if I said all British restaurants are great now, but the range and quality of the products have improved as the population’s tastes have clamoured for more”, he said. “To cook British food well is an art. And with the introduction of guest beers in many pubs, brewers have to be diligent in their production and careful of their product”. David Croll, chief executive of Whisk-e Ltd., agrees British food and drink has “laboured under a certain stereotype for a long time”. However, he believes his business is benefitting from a number of factors fuelling growing appreciation of our culinary heritage. According to Croll, these include travellers to the UK having a better-thanexpected experience; an explosion in the number of small artisan producers with niche, high-quality products that appeal to the Japanese palate; and the combined efforts of UK exporters, Japanese importers and various trade promotion bodies to make more of the products available here, ensuring they are showcased in a suitable fashion. Croll has seen a sharp increase in demand for his niche products since the turn of the year. “There are any number of boxes that must be ticked, including, for example, pricing, flavour, packaging, provenance and back story”, he said.
“Then there’s the sometimes-notinsignificant factor of the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare—one of our soft drink products took two-and-a-half years to gain approval—and, finally, the complicated distribution system. “[Japan] is not a market for the faint-hearted or those lacking will, determination and buckets of patience. But, if all of this can be got right, it offers tremendous opportunities”, he said. Steven Drewery, general manager for food and beverages at Giorgio Armani Japan, expressed “incredible frustration” at the perception of British food here—and has some potential solutions (see page 28). “I think it is vitally important to associate well-known British brands in a push to impress the Japanese people”, Drewery said. “Having worked in the food and beverage business in Japan, I am well
From left: Embassy Chef Tatsuki Yoshida, British Ambassador Tim Hitchens, and Goodwill Ambassador for the Food is GREAT campaign Harry Sugiyama at the campaign launch on 28 August.
used to the blinkered view we have here of food in Britain. “Changing perceptions is difficult without spending millions of yen in the media, but I truly believe that word of mouth is the most powerful tool in Japan today”. Drewery advocates opening a number of small delis in central locations that sell the very best British produce to make “a big splash”. He believes a well-known name, such as Fortnum & Mason or Jamie Oliver, would help the campaign. “A great British deli in Shibuya would help us to target the young people, and one in Ginza would certainly help the perception of the high-net-worth individuals who shop in the area [and] who would be the market to hit for potential tourism to the UK”. And it is this sector on which VisitBritain has set its sights. “Curiosity about British food and drink has increased as famous British chefs become known here—Jamie Oliver, Gordon Ramsay, Heston Blumenthal”, said Katsue Takeshima, public relations manager at VisitBritain. “Since the food scene in the UK started to change, we have promoted modern British cuisine and high-quality gastro pub food”, Takeshima said. “Many Japanese visitors have started to travel to areas beyond London and have come back with good experiences of local and seasonal food. “The stereotype about British food is simply not deserved today”.
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TO THE EDITOR
For the Love of Country (and Fish & Chips)
ne approach to improving our national cuisine’s reputation would be to completely change the perception in Japan of our national dish. Fish and chips is an aberration in Tokyo. I have not once seen a great example of it. The overwhelming image this represents of British food is the single most important factor in the overall perception of our national cuisine. Some of the “fish and chips” I have been served here makes me want to cry. We need to set up a campaign for real fish and chips in Japan. We have an abundance of great fresh fish, and we have a plentiful supply of potatoes, yet we are subjected to possibly the worst fish and chip products in the developed world.
Being there, or being ‘there’ Crown’s people are always with you. Preparing you before you go, and helping you settle‐in when you arrive.
I think we should get an expert operator from the UK to open a small shop selling amazing fish and chips, cooked in proper lard and wrapped in newspaper. Preferably this should be a firm from the coast, not London—from Cromer, Grimsby, Scarborough or Cornwall, for example. We can get plenty of press coverage from this kind of operation. As long as the product is consistently fantastic, we can make an immediate impact. I was born in Grimsby, so I am passionate about this dish. If we can support a small UK shop with marketing, translation, equipment and products, we can ultimately improve the image of our food in the eyes of potential tourists. This would, therefore, improve tourism from Japan into the UK.
Crown service offerings include: • International & Domestic Shipment • Immigration & Legalization • Pre View Trip Services • Home & School Search • Settling-In • Intercultural Support
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In Singapore, Smith’s Fish and Chips consistently deliver a product that is the closest to the dishes back home I have ever seen outside of the UK. They could be a candidate to open here, as the firm has a successful operation with three or four chippys that are all doing well. Getting top-notch British products on the shelves of food halls in local department stores would also be a big step in the right direction. The Japanese are willing to pay for quality, even in these difficult economic times.
Steven Drewery General manager for food and beverage Giorgio Armani Japan
Batting for Recovery Embassy holds Tohoku cricket match to quell safety fears By Julian Ryall
team from the British Embassy Tokyo played a match against a team drawn from Tohoku in the town of Minamisoma, Fukushima Prefecture, on 7 September. The match was played on the town’s baseball field approximately 25km from the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant. “We wanted to come because the people in places like this are being forgotten”, said British Ambassador Tim Hitchens. “Obviously there is a question of safety, but the British government has from the start been led by science in its response to the situation at Fukushima. “The place where we have played today is perfectly safe”, Hitchens said. “I come from Devon and there is a lot of granite that has greater background radiation levels than there are here”. Tests carried out on the pitch shortly before the game showed that the radiation level was 0.6mSv per hour, similar to naturally occurring radiation in places such as Aberdeen and Cornwall. “We are not playing down the problems that exist at the Fukushima plant or for the people who are having to deal with the situation here”, he said. “But we are one of the leading nations helping Tokyo Electric Power Co. tackle this problem”. Just days before the nation marked two-and-a-half years since the Great East Japan Earthquake and the massive tsunami that it triggered, new questions had been raised about the circumstances at the power plant. The British Embassy Tokyo, however, is keen to quell unfounded fears of radioactivity. It wants to emphasise that radiation levels outside the exclusion zone are largely within permissible levels, and that life goes on as normal for the residents who have decided to remain in their communities. The cricket teams were greeted by four local men dressed in traditional clothing and blowing a tune on giant conch shells. Katsunobu Sakurai, the mayor of Minamisoma, said that efforts
1. The Friendship Cricket Match was held in Minamisoma, Fukushima Prefecture. 2. Ambassador Tim Hitchens helps Minamisoma Mayor Katsunobu Sakurai with his batting technique. 3. Teams were welcomed by local people in traditional dress blowing a tune on huge conch shells.
are continuing to rebuild the lives and livelihoods of residents. “The people of Minamisoma, Fukushima Prefecture, and the whole of Japan are very grateful for the support that you are showing us here today”, Sakurai said. Alex Miyaji, head of the Japan Cricket Association, echoed those comments. “The worry is that people are starting to forget, and there is just not enough information from reliable sources out there to say whether a place is safe or not. Japanese towns don’t get the British ambassador stopping by all that often”, Miyaji told BCCJ ACUMEN. Miyaji, a Japanese-Scottish player, has been recognised by Scotland’s parliament for his contribution to promoting the sport in Japan. “This is a chance for all of us to be reunited and I hope we can build on this”. The impact of the triple disaster of earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident is still evident in Minamisoma. Workers in protective clothing operate bulldozers and diggers in fields on either side of the main road, scraping off the top layer of soil and collecting it in huge bags that are then covered with blue tarpaulins.
Some homes are obviously inhabited, but just as many are derelict and being reclaimed by undergrowth. Vehicles sit outside homes with flat tyres. Farms have fallen into disrepair and shops and restaurants have been abandoned. “There is much misunderstanding about the situation and that is in large part due to the fact that most people are simply unfamiliar with the concept of radiation”, said Dr Keith Franklin, who is captain of the embassy cricket team and has been seconded to the British Embassy Tokyo since September 2011 from the National Nuclear Laboratory. “I have been to the plant three times so far and I have been very impressed by the progress they have made on the large-scale construction tasks that needed to be tackled”, Franklin said. “The more technical stuff is harder to do, but they have got a roof on one of the reactors, constructed a gantry to take the fuel rods out of one of the reactor pools and they have done that incredibly fast. “We wanted to have this match today just to demonstrate that it is safe to be in Fukushima Prefecture”, he said. The embassy team lost the limitedovers match by 34 runs.
OCTOBER 2013 | BCCJ ACUMEN | 29
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Precious Lives Pharmaceuticals firm partners with non-profit on global healthcare initiative By Julian Ryall • GSK to match funds raised; goal £1mn/year • Simple yet effective innovations rewarded • Project link with Tohoku recovery
laxoSmithKline (GSK) plc has teamed up with nonprofit organisation Save the Children to help 1mn of the world’s poorest youngsters survive by improving their access to healthcare and nutrition, as well as by investing in healthcare workers. Announced in London in May, the ambitious new partnership aspires to maximise innovations for tackling child mortality. An estimated 6.9mn children under the age of five die every year from preventable diseases. The collaboration will take many forms. For example, Save the Children will help GSK research and develop child-friendly medicines and be given a seat on a new paediatric research-and-development board. The two organisations will work closely to identify ways of ensuring the widest possible access to medicine throughout the developing world. A key feature of the partnership is inspiring GSK’s global workforce to help raise awareness through volunteering and fundraising. The goal is to raise £1mn a year, which will be matched by GSK. The initiative is being strongly supported by the Japan unit of the Brentford-based global leader in pharmaceutical products, biologics and vaccines. GSK K.K. will also support the participation of children in the reconstruction of communities in northeastern Japan that were devastated by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami. The visionary Speaking Out From Tohoku (SOFT) project is designed to incorporate the opinions of children into recovery plans at all levels, from plans within individual communities to national government programmes. “To raise funds to support the Save the Children project, GSK Japan formed a task force that liaises with other divisions and organises annual internal events, such as plenary meetings and events involving employees’ families”, said Mayuko
Roger Connor, president of global manufacturing & supply at GSK, and GSK President Philippe Fauchet took part in a donation ceremony on 13 July at the firm’s Imaichi factory in Tochigi Prefecture.
Hashimoto, coordinator of GSK’s Orange United project in Japan. “At these events, we sell products made by developmentally challenged people, such as confectionary and handicrafts, in collaboration with various divisions, such as production, research and development, and our sales force”, Hashimoto said. “These goods are then sold to our employees at an additional margin and donated to children who have been affected by the disaster. This means that we are able to contribute to the people who made the items and the children”. Philippe Fauchet, president of GSK Japan, expressed his enthusiasm for the new partnership. “We are very proud that our team has proposed a way to participate in the global programme and also connect to the recovery effort in Tohoku simultaneously”, Fauchet said. “In addition to our other on-going programmes, we wish to continue to revise and improve our approaches to find ways of supporting Japanese people in need, with a specific focus on children”. The first joint initiative to be launched by GSK and the charity is the Healthcare Innovation Award. For the award, organisations from across the developing world have been asked to nominate examples of innovative healthcare approaches that have resulted in tangible improvement in survival rates among children under the age of five. Projects nominated should be sustainable and have the potential to be replicated and scaled-up. The judging panel is jointly chaired by Sir Andrew Witty, chief executive officer
of GSK, and Justin Forsyth, head of Save the Children. A prize of $250,000 will be awarded to the most impressive project. An additional $750,000 is being provided for runners-up. “Often the best solutions to a particular challenge come from those living and working closest to it”, Witty said. “We recognise this and we are committed to supporting those working in the world’s poorest countries to improve health outcomes. “This award will identify the most effective ideas being put into practice in developing countries and, by providing much-needed funding, will enable these innovations to be scaled-up to reduce childhood deaths, and will inspire others in the process”, he said. The impact of simple, low-cost innovations can be illustrated through the example of Kangaroo Mother Care, which has been effective in reducing the number of infant deaths in developing countries. Originally developed by Colombian paediatrician Edgar Rey, Kangaroo Mother Care is a simple technique that promotes early skin-to-skin contact between mothers and their premature and newborn babies. Mothers act as human incubators, keeping their babies warm and regulating their heartbeats. This technique is now widely promoted by Save the Children and other healthcare organisations. GSK has a long tradition of engaging with non-profits, including initiatives to develop and deliver groundbreaking vaccines against polio, fight against malaria, eliminate lymphatic filariasis and reduce infant deaths.
OCTOBER 2013 | BCCJ ACUMEN | 31
FOR A DIFFERENT...
PERSPECTIVE ON JAPAN
WALKJAPAN Pioneers of tours to the great places of Japan you never knew existed.
Shaken, not Stirred James Bond-themed fundraiser raises millions for sick children By Brandi Goode Photos by Ansel Marsh
he eighth annual extravaganza from Shine On! Kids was held on 28 September at the Tokyo American Club. Inspired by the international man of mystery James Bond, the event drew over 250 guests—called agents for the night—from a range of foreign and domestic firms. More than ¥23mn was raised to benefit Shine On! Kids’ innovative patient care programs, which empower children with cancer and other serious illnesses to live their lives to the fullest. Speakers included Shine On! Kids President Kimberly Forsythe, Dr Jean Baruch, executive director of Beads of Courage, Inc., and two young patients of the Beads of Courage® and Facility Dog programmes. In addition to casino-style games and plenty of dancing, the gala’s entertainment included an opening duet from Tokyo Comedy Store’s Donna Burke and Phil McQueen, a performance by illusionist Fraser Gould, an interlude from the Tokyo International Players’ upcoming musical Avenue Q, and a show from the Tokyo Flashsong Group. The evening was one to remember, thanks to the efforts of sponsors such as British Airways, United Airlines, Four Seasons in Denver, Vail and Lana’i, Hertz, Pieroth, Amandari, Garuda Indonesia and Infinity Diamonds.
5 1. Dr Jean Baruch, executive director of Beads of Courage, Inc. 2. Shine On! Kids co-founder Mark Ferris 3. Shine On! Kids co-founder and President Kim Forsythe (right) and volunteer Cris Hernandez 4. Long-time Shine On! Kids extravaganza planner Rasah Gonzales (second left) and this year’s Bond event planner, Kristen Butler (second right) 5. Tokyo Comedy Store’s Donna Burke and Phil McQueen
OCTOBER 2013 | BCCJ ACUMEN | 33
Pomp, Circumstance and the Quest for Peace Military band strives to balance traditional and modern roles
0 The Coldstream Guards Band has 49 members and seven different ensembles within the group.
Named after the town of Coldstream in the Borders district of Scotland, the band was formed to support the oldest regiment in the British Army.
34 | BCCJ ACUMEN | OCTOBER 2013
By Brandi Goode
s Japan and the UK celebrate 400 years of ties, a stalwart force in Britain’s musical culture is observing over 200 years of service to the Crown. Founded in 1785, the Coldstream Guards Band is considered one of the most famous military bands in the world, perhaps in part due to the iconic bearskin caps worn by its members. With only 12 roving musicians at its inception, today the group is 49-strong. Over the past 20 years, the band has travelled to Japan many times. Most recently it was set to give honorary Japan400 performances between 5 and 14 October across the nation. “The band is extremely fortunate to have a long-standing relationship with Japan”, said Major Darren Wolfendale, the current director of music. The group last visited the country two years ago, to give a post-disaster memorial performance in October 2011.
Asked if there was any hesitation about coming to Japan in the wake of the catastrophe, Wolfendale said, “It was decided that the band should not cancel its visit but, instead, contribute to the recovery from that terrible event in whatever small way it could”. This was not the only occasion in which the Coldstream Guards Band has shown solidarity with a nation in crisis. The musical troupe was invited by the mayor of New York City in 2001 to perform in Times Square following the 9/11 tragedy that struck the US. Named after the town of Coldstream in the Borders district of Scotland, the band was formed to support the oldest regiment in the British Army. Under the leadership of founder General George Monck, the first Coldstream Guards were instrumental in restoring the monarchy after Oliver Cromwell’s demise. Today, the band’s role is largely ceremonial. It has a higher profile than others of its kind, as it makes regular television appearances and performs at state events, such as the Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
1. Bearskin caps are an iconic element of the band’s uniform. 2. The band’s performance at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Concert in 2012, held at the Victoria Memorial, featured Robbie Williams as a guest singer. 3. Coldstream’s military marching band regularly performs at the Changing the Guard ceremony. 4. Director of Music Darren Wolfendale has been with the British Army for over 30 years.
Wolfendale said choosing and writing the music for, and then performing it at, Trooping the Colour last year was a career highlight during his 30 years of service. The work of military bands, however, goes beyond official state functions. “I believe that the armed forces represent their country. They are made up of the people and are directed by the government of the day. Military bands are a public manifestation of the armed forces, and when they appear at an event, they represent their country, its government and its people in a professional capacity”, he said. “Music can also bridge gaps that language often cannot”. The latter seems particularly evident from the reception the band has received in Japan, a nation renowned as a centre of music production and consumption. “The Japanese people are very knowledgeable about music and culture, and seem to enjoy our blend of traditional British and military musical style.
“Coldstream Guards Band musicians ardently believe in their history and culture, and devote themselves to maintaining the standards of a worldclass musical performance. My experience with Japanese musicians leads me to believe that we have a shared passion for high-quality performances”, he said. When planning the score for a performance here, the band considers what “musical flavour” is the trend at the moment, according to Wolfendale. He also credits the group’s sponsor in Japan for advice on assembling the repertoire. Bagpipes always seem to be popular. For the October show, the band plans to feature numbers from Les Misérables, which recently enjoyed success at the box office. It has been said that Japan is trying to modernise its military bands, primarily those of the Self-Defense Forces (SDF). Though Wolfendale has not had the opportunity to perform with the SDF, he mentioned that he would love to do so. “Musicians in Japan are of a very high standard and I think we would work well together”, he said.
The Coldstream Guards Band has an eye on the future, a stance that must be closely balanced with the troupe’s historical role. In fact, the Corps of Army Music has just rolled out a plan for the next generation of British Army performances. In it, the military band authority recognises that its bands currently are multifunctional, but must be repositioned for a more specific role. “State ceremonial is one [role], whilst performing rock and pop music is another. Specialisation is the key driving strategy behind the latest plan”, he said. In addition to their duties at popular concerts and state-sponsored events, Wolfendale believes many people may not realise that all army musicians are volunteer soldiers as well. “Our musicians care deeply about their country and what it is trying to achieve in the fight for peace. Several have been to Afghanistan in a non-musical role, often in very dangerous circumstances and for six months at a time. I salute these individuals for their bravery and commitment”, he said.
OCTOBER 2013 | BCCJ ACUMEN | 35
The following companies join BCCJ ACUMEN in celebrating four centuries of Japanâ€“UK ties.
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PERSPECTIVE ON JAPAN
WALKJAPAN Pioneers of tours to the great places of Japan you never knew existed.
GVA Law Office Our six lawyers provide a range of highquality professional legal and advisory services. In addition, we have more than 60 advisor companies. Please contact us if you would like to come to Japan to expand your business or if you have any problems concerning a particular legal matter here.
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Pierre de Villeméjane Chief executive officer WWRD Custom Media
What products does your firm provide? In Japan, we concentrate on the iconic Wedgwood and Royal Albert brands. Created in 1759, Wedgwood is a luxury, dynamic and distinctively English brand. It combines heritage and timeless design for today’s discerning aspirational consumer. Royal Albert is a quintessentially English floral brand. Inspired by English gardens for over 100 years, it offers a wide collection of young, fun and romantic teaware and giftware products. We are very excited about the recent launch of the Waterford brand here. Founded in Ireland in 1783, Waterford is one of the most prestigious brands of crystal in the world. It is dazzling, opulent and luxurious. This exciting launch brings to the Japanese market some of our most iconic crystal stemware, barware and giftware collections such as Lismore and Mixology. We will also introduce the stunning new Contemporary collection. This includes crystal desk accessories, such as iPad/ iPod docks, bookends and desktop bars; as well as boudoir products, such as jewellery boxes, hand mirrors, make-up brushes and perfume diffusers.
Who are your competitors here? We compete with Noritake Co., Limited and Narumi Corporation, as well as international brands such as Lladro S.A. and Baccarat. But, ultimately, we compete with any company that offers luxury products, from firms providing fashion goods and jewellery to companies selling writing instruments and watches.
Why did WWRD invest in Japan? Waterford Wedgwood Japan Ltd was established in 1983.
Wedgwood’s Snake Handled Vase
The Japanese market is a perfect match for Wedgwood’s core values. In addition to a strong gift-giving tradition, Japanese consumers have a deep knowledge of, and affinity for, ceramics. They also appreciate heritage and craftsmanship. These are the key values upon which Wedgwood has built its world-class reputation over the past 250 years.
What has been your greatest challenge? Wedgwood has always been very successful in Japan because it represents English elegance and design. However, we also want to expand our business by responding more specifically to Japanese eating and gift-giving habits. The key challenge is always maintaining the right balance between responding to marketspecific needs and staying true to our English DNA.
Have your firm’s operations changed much since setting up in Japan? Not really. Wedgwood in Japan has a very focused positioning that is well understood by consumers. Our products are sold in premium department stores around the country through Wedgwood shop-in-shops, attended by our qualified staff. This has been a very successful model throughout the years.
What do you believe is the greatest asset British firms can offer the Japanese? English design and craftsmanship are strongly valued in Japan. In addition, there is a fascination with, and respect for, heritage. These are the key assets of most long-standing British brands.
How might foreign and Japanese firms benefit from each other? In our industry, Japanese consumers rely on international brands for new trends and new designs. We know our consumers expect inspiration and innovation
Pierre de Villeméjane sees the launch of Waterford in Japan as an exciting new challenge.
from Wedgwood. These expectations drive the organisation to develop exciting new products. Given the importance of quality and craftsmanship, as well as the attention to detail here, we consider the Japanese market a benchmark for new product introductions. It is a fantastic asset to have a market like Japan, which is solid, responsive and loyal.
What are the chief opportunities for foreign firms in this economy? Today, taking advantage of the Japanese economy’s rebound is key. A stronger economy fuels consumer spending, which is absolutely critical when you rely, like we do as a luxury brand, on discretionary spending. Particularly for WWRD, we see the launch of Waterford in Japan as a massive opportunity. We will bring in a special and exciting product line that features the perfect combination of iconic heritage pieces and innovative luxury crystal gifts. It will be a totally new and modern way to enjoy crystal!
Do you foresee any changes in UK–Japan business relations? In our sector, UK–Japan relations are extremely solid. I am more concerned about the recent drastic weakening of the yen. This is putting a lot of financial pressure on foreign brands that export their products to Japan. If the trend continues, you will undoubtedly see price increases to mitigate the impact of this currency fluctuation.
OCTOBER 2013 | BCCJ ACUMEN | 37
Diversity and Inclusion— Where to Start? By Suzanne Price President Price Global
he idea that diversity and inclusion (D&I) is a business imperative has finally hit home. Firms appreciate the competitive advantages to be gained by diversifying their talent pool. Global jinzai (talent) is one example of the opportunities that come with D&I. Recruiting Japan’s most underused resource—women—is another priority now being supported (in theory) by Abenomics. Other minority groups are also on the radar, including people with disabilities. The pay-off of sourcing the best people with different perspectives is increased creativity, innovation and an improved ability to meet the needs of clients. Research shows us that diverse groups outperform homogeneous groups. It should be noted that diverse teams can potentially under-perform, as they are more complex. The secret to ensuring high-performing teams is managing inclusion and leveraging diversity.
Accountability and ownership D&I is a long-term and active investment in organisational, intra-personal and interpersonal change. D&I begins with compelling and sincere messages from senior executives stating the business case and vision. First, establish a D&I council to guide strategy and measure results with the head of firm as the chairperson and other executives in active roles. The mistake I often see is to outsource D&I to human resources or to a diverse employee, such as a senior woman. While HR can provide several vehicles to facilitate the D&I goals, such as training programmes and policies, recruiting strategies and so on, ownership and accountability ultimately belong with senior management. Diverse employees may serve as role models and leaders of grassroots initiatives, such as employee resource groups. Still, it should not be assumed these staff have the expertise or influence to lead the entire D&I strategy.
Engage a D&I expert Creating a role for a D&I professional makes a statement about an organisation’s commitment to the concept. No headcount available for this role? An external D&I consultant can work with your internal resources to assess and fast-track your organisation to get effective plans and programmes in place.
Get managers, middle managers involved Middle managers are the hardest nut to crack. Typically, they say they are not clear about the business case for D&I and, even if they agree with inclusion as a value, they don’t know what exactly they are supposed to do differently.
The pay-off of sourcing the best people with different perspectives is increased creativity, innovation and an improved ability to meet the needs of clients. Additionally, unless they can see their peers and own leaders actively demonstrating inclusive behaviours, they are unlikely to want to experiment with new strategies, especially in a culture where people shy away from being “the protruding nail”. Senior management needs to repeatedly model and cite inclusive attitudes and behaviours. Expect middle managers to take responsibility, whether that be a role in the D&I council or an employee resource group, or sponsoring a member of a minority group.
Reward inclusive management formally, by tying it to performance objectives and compensation, or by granting informal appreciation awards. Ultimately, what gets measured gets done.
Deliver a menu of D&I training Without resources and programmes in place to support D&I goals, it’s hard even for managers who value diversity to quickly acquire the skills needed to lead more inclusively. Have various training programmes focused on raising awareness, cultivating inclusive behaviours and skills, and mitigating unconscious bias. Some programmes can cover inclusion in general, while others may target specific topics such as people with disabilities, cross-cultural competencies, managing flexible workers and diversity of thought. Take a systemic approach and provide developmental programmes for people to manage their own diversity and the biases they might be experiencing. Leadership programmes for women are an example of this approach. You need at least 30% critical mass to impact a change in culture. Well-designed training programmes that partner with managers to be more effective can change mind-sets.
Metrics and benchmarking Relate D&I to the bottom line. Showcase examples of when D&I has been a factor in securing a deal, a key hire or an innovative solution. If you really want to get people to wake up, talk about a lost opportunity for failing to consider D&I, such as losing out on talent or a bid for a proposal. Decide with your D&I council what you want to measure and whether you will use targets or quotas. You may consider tracking gender and multicultural balance at all ranks. You also may want to know how your organisation compares with competitors and clients. Take part in benchmarking surveys and employer-of-choice awards to identify improvement areas and showcase your strengths. Ultimately, the goal is having diversity and inclusion become sustainable and seamless parts of your organisation’s DNA.
OCTOBER 2013 | BCCJ ACUMEN | 39
Your gateway to old and new Asakusa
In historic Asakusa, a new hotel has opened in the prime area of Kaminarimon which boasts the Tokyo Skytree and traditional old town ambience and hospitality. It is difficult to imagine the bustling city from inside The Gate Hotel Kaminarimon by HULIC. All our staff are aiming to be “Asakusa Concierges” to provide personal service and clear communication to make guests happy. The Gate Hotel Kaminarimon by HULIC has opened a new door to bond with the town of Asakusa and preserve the old and new cultures.
2-16-11 Kaminarimon Taito-ku Tokyo 111-0034 Tel: 03-5826-3877 | Fax: 03-5826-3871
Tokyo Metro Ginza Line Asakusa Station Exit 2
Toei Asakusa Line Asakusa Station Exit A4
The Sky’s the Limit Turkish Airways voted best in Europe for third year
his city needs an airport that runs 24 hours. Then maybe prices would go down. It would not only help the airlines but the Japanese economy and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism; many things would be affected positively”. Halil Gunay, general manager of Turkish Airlines in Tokyo, believes airports in Japan need to consider operating on a 24-hour basis in order for the country to be competitive on a global scale. Gunay’s firm has been chosen as the “Best Airline in Europe” for the third year running by Skytrax World Airline Awards. The operator also won Skytrax’s 2013 title for “Best Airline in Southern Europe” and has been awarded “Best Business Class Catering”. Many changes are in store for the airline industry with the announcement of Tokyo as the host city for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, including a potential extension of airport hours. The Japanese government has also discussed expanding the departure and landing slots at both Narita and Haneda airports by 70,000 in the run up to the Games. Turkish Airlines has plans to increase the frequency of its Narita flights to two a day, starting from 4 November. “We saw great potential not only from Japanese consumers, but also due to increased demand from inbound foreign travellers”, Gunay said.
In August, Turkish Airlines announced the introduction of new luxury amenity kits made by Porsche Design.
“Hosting the Olympics will force Japanese airports to further develop to accommodate international flights. For now, the flight times are limited and it is difficult to get slots at the times we want”, he said. Turkish Airlines is planning to launch regular flights from Haneda and other Japanese cities in the near future, but it is first hoping for some regulatory and other changes to make things easier.
Partners in quality Earning the Skytrax award and other accolades has been achieved in part through exclusive partnerships with highprofile brands and individuals. The operator had consistently been recognised as a top provider in the Business Class category. In August, Turkish Airlines announced the introduction of new luxury amenity kits made by Porsche Design, a firm whose founder can also be credited with the concept for the original sports car of the same name. The amenity kits contain products made by premium Italian skincare brand Acca Kappa. The focus of the design, Porsche’s first collaboration with an airline, was on functionality and premium quality. During the design phase special attention was given to post-flight use; the hardshelled container now in use can provide storage for computer and mobile phone accessories or toiletries. Until June, Turkish Airlines was also associated with sport clubs that are well known across the world such as Manchester United and FC Barcelona. Brand recognition increased dramatically with these two partnerships, according to the firm. This May, Turkish Airlines
Halil Gunay is general manager of Turkish Airlines in Tokyo.
announced an agreement with Borussia Dortmund (BVB), past champions of German football’s top league, Bundesliga. “Our headquarters saw big potential with BVB as they played in the final of the Champions League last year, and the team agreed on the sponsorship”, Gunay said. The airline will carry the team to international matches and use players in their promotional material as part of the deal. However, Gunay feels sponsorship must go deeper than a simple financial or barter transaction. “We need to understand why we need to use sponsorship. Nobody wants to spend millions of dollars on marketing if you have nothing to back it up; you need to have the potential to make the most of it”, he said.
Local talent for the local market Saori Kimura, a Japanese volleyball star who rose to fame for her performance in the London Olympics, recently moved to Turkey to join the VakifBank TT team. Since then, Turkish Airlines has initiated a partnership with the athlete. “In Japan, sometimes international players are not well recognised, so we chose a Japanese player who was widely known in her home country”, Gunay explained. Kimura’s appearance in ads has so far had a positive impact on the airline’s business in Japan. It seems the sky is truly the limit for this ambitious, growing brand.
OCTOBER 2013 | BCCJ ACUMEN | 41
THE A-LIST OF MICE, TRAVEL & LEISURE
Axispoint Co.,Ltd was founded in 2006 to assist customers with web development and property management in Japan. Our portal website has so far connected over 10,000 tenants with apartment and guest house owners. Our mission is to match property owners in Japan with tenants from all over the world, including those from within Japan. We will soon also offer property rental and sales.
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Panoramic views from the Tokyo Skytree to the Marunouchi business district await guests on the all-inclusive 27th floor of Shangri-La Hotel, Tokyo. With all our ornate function rooms located on one floor, basking in ample daylight and situated above Tokyo Station, our location, as well as our business and hotel facilities, are unparalleled. Shangri-La Hotel, Tokyo has been recognised by international event organisers for its ability to provide insider tips and industry essentials for business customers. US-based Successful Meetings recently selected Shangri-La Hotel, Tokyo as a winner of its Pinnacle Awards 2013.
Shangri-La Hotel, Tokyo
Marunouchi Trust Tower Main 1-8-3 Marunouchi Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8283
FACILITIES AND SERVICES The sleek Shangri-La Ballroom can accommodate up to 270 guests theatrestyle, while three additional function rooms and The Pavilion are available for smaller gatherings. Each elegant function room comes equipped with built-in projectors, and WiFi is free throughout the hotel. Guestrooms have a technology kit, stationery and generous space, with each room 50 square metres or larger.
Located in Asakusa, an elegant area of Tokyo where traces of Edo culture linger, this recently established hotel is close to Kaminarimon of Senso-ji Temple, the symbol of Asakusa. Boasting spectacular views of the popular Tokyo Skytree, this hotel allows you to experience heartfelt service and a harmony of contemporary and traditional Japan in an area overflowing with culture. From the first-floor entrance to the 13th-floor lobby, The Gate Hotel Kaminarimon by HULIC is a dynamic structure. The lobby is completely surrounded by glass windows, offering stunning and expansive views. For accommodation in Tokyo, look no further than The Gate Hotel Kaminarimon. Company Name:
The Gate Hotel Kaminarimon by HULIC
2-16-11 Kaminarimon Taitou-ku, Tokyo 111-0034
42 OCTOBER 2013 2013 42 || BCCJ BCCJ ACUMEN ACUMEN || OCTOBER
FACILITIES AND SERVICES • • • • •
Good access to sightseeing and business areas Spectacular views of Tokyo Skytree and Asakusa 24-hour restaurant for guests Slumberland beds High level of hospitality
FOR A DIFFERENT...
The Westin Tokyo is surrounded by abundant greenery in the “Yebisu” area of Tokyo, which is characterised by a luxurious European classic/empire style. Our property features The Westin Garden, a green oasis in the heart of Tokyo. Our experienced team offers personalised, Japanese hospitality and welcomes guests from around the world. Every aspect of the Westin is carefully designed to reflect “wellness”, a concept at the core of our business, whereby we strive for guests to feel better upon departure than when they arrived. With 438 guestrooms, 12 restaurant and bars, and 12 multi-purpose function rooms, The Westin Tokyo is a leading destination for meetings, conferences and events.
The Westin Hotel
1-4-1 Mita Meguro-ku, Tokyo 153-8580
PERSPECTIVE ON JAPAN
WALKJAPAN Pioneers of tours to the great places of Japan you never knew existed.
Walk Japan Limited
529-1 Matamizu Ota Kitsuki 879-0941
FACILITIES AND SERVICES • • • • •
12 banquet and meeting rooms 438 guest rooms and suites Eight restaurants and bars “Le Spa Parisien” 24-hour in-room dining
Walk Japan is the pioneer of off-the-beaten-track walking tours in Japan. Beginning in 1992 with our innovative and best-selling Nakasendo Way tour, we were the first to successfully introduce the real Japan—geographically and culturally—that often remains inaccessible to many. Since then, Walk Japan has created more original tours and has been recognised for its work, including selection by National Geographic as one of the 200 Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth. Walk Japan’s tours bring this fascinating country up close by mixing in with its people and their way of life. We use public transport, delightful local inns and family-run restaurants. All our tour leaders are proficient in the Japanese language and have an intimate knowledge of Japan and its people. Our customers and many travel writers rate us highly for our enthusiasm, friendliness, knowledge of Japan and professionalism.
FACILITIES AND SERVICES Scheduled and custom tours throughout Japan for individuals and groups
A calm place amid the city’s hustle and bustle, the Yokohama Bay Sheraton Hotel & Towers is only a one-minute walk from the Yokohama train station. Our thoughtfully designed meeting and banquet rooms offer a spacious feel—five to 450 guests can be accommodated for formal dining events and 1,000 guests for standing functions.
Yokohama Bay Sheraton Hotel & Towers
FACILITIES AND SERVICES
1-3-23 Kitasaiwai Nishi-ku, Yokohama Kanagawa 220-8501
From casual parties, formal dining to international conferences, we offer an extensive, experienced and thorough service for all your MICE needs.
OCTOBER 2013 | BCCJ ACUMEN | 43
INDUSTRY | WINING & DINING
Spirits of the Season Fresh tipples, glasses and venues bring vigour to Tokyo wine scene
Berry Bros. & Rudd’s original champagne was a hot item this summer.
The Glenrothes Speyside Single Malt is new to the Japan market.
By Julian Ryall
ith the change of season—and the Christmas and New Year festivities on the horizon—wine-lovers’ tastes are shifting to champagne, the regular Beaujolais boom and heavier burgundies. The key considerations on how best to enjoy top-quality wines have not changed, however: the what, the how and the where. “When we look at our first-half sales, the sparkling wines and whites moved well—especially the white burgundies— and we believe this was due to the hot and muggy weather”, a spokeswoman for high-end wine importers Berry Bros. & Rudd told BCCJ ACUMEN. Berry’s own champagne, the United Kingdom Cuvee, a Grand Cru, was one
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of the most sought-after tipples this summer, benefitting from being aged four years in barrels from Chateau Margaux. New on the wine experts’ list for the autumn are the 2009 Bourgogne Rouge, Camille Giroud, a pinot noir with a lightto-medium body; and a similarly dry pinot noir 2009 Côte de Nuits Villages, Aux Montagnes, Sylvain Loichet. A slightly more expensive new arrival is the 2008 Volnay, Les Taillepieds, 1er Cru, Domaine de Montille, which is known for its rich and round strawberry fruit and extra length. Based in St. James’s Street, London, Berry Bros. & Rudd is Britain’s oldest wine and spirit merchant and has been trading
from the same premises for more than 310 years. The firm is looking to the future and, this year, started selling its own fine spirits in Japan. The new arrivals include The Glenrothes Speyside Single Malt, No. 3 London Dry Gin, The King’s Ginger Liqueur and the Pink Pigeon Single Estate Mauritian Rum. “The reputation of our original, premium gin—No. 3 London Dry Gin—is growing in Japan, and we hope this will contribute to increasing awareness about the spirits industry, including among professional bartenders”, a spokeswoman said. The taste and flavours of a wine, however, are not solely about what emerges from the bottle. “We are trying to increase the understanding of the importance of the glass when drinking”, said Roberto Pleitavino, president of Zwiesel Japan Co. “The aesthetic and the functionality of a glass will make the drinking moment more enjoyable. Consequently, we put all our efforts into providing the best products to people who will set the trends for what people drink”. As a glassware supplier to luxury hotels and restaurants, Zwiesel Japan relies on an important network of chefs, sommeliers and bartenders, according to Pleitavino. “Talking to, and listening to the advice and suggestions of those people gives us the inspiration for the development of new items that match new trends”, he said. “Actually, one of the company’s mottos is ‘Inspired by professionals’ ”. In late 2012, Zwiesel launched the innovative Sensa range of glasses. The line has been cleverly designed to leave more room for the wine to breathe in the glass, reduce the acids and fully emphasise the fruit in a Riesling, a Pinot Bianco, Chardonnay, Merlot or Tempranillo. Specially developed for sommeliers, wine growers and wine merchants,
The taste and flavours of a wine . . . are not solely about what emerges from the bottle.
WINING & DINING | INDUSTRY
Sensa glasses are also perfect for wine connoisseurs who enjoy trying different varietals, Pleitavino said. “Zwiesel has put efforts into improving and developing new items throughout its history”, Pleitavino said, adding that recent collections have been introduced with a more square shape and champagne glasses with bigger bowls. “At Zwiesel, we consider new trends, but we care most about the functionality of our glasses”, he said. “We want people to enjoy wine from our glasses and not see them only as trendy glasses that are to be left on the shelf”. After selecting the beverages to be enjoyed and the best way to enjoy them, all that remains is finding a venue at which to share your wine and spirits with good company. “We opened as we perceived a gap in the market for a European or Westernstyle wine bar, meaning an international selection of wines served in a lively ambience at decent prices, with New York’s wine bar Terroir being a source of inspiration”, said Richard Dawson, who set up the Parabola wine bar in Nishiazabu with three fellow wine lovers. “We have been organising pop-up events such as wine and sushi or wine and ramen to challenge preconceived notions about matching wine and food”, said Dawson, who is originally from Edinburgh. He holds a Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) diploma and lectures at the Academie du Vin in Tokyo. “Japanese people have a deeply entrenched notion that, if it’s wine, it must be French. So we thought that persuading people to go off-piste would be difficult and take time. However, our customers have been very adaptable to date”, he said. Parabola has set out to build on the trend for low priced wine in Japan “by scouring the world for value and proving that good wine does not have to be expensive”. The other two partners in the venture are Julian Stevens, who is originally from New Zealand and spent five years in London working for Berry Bros. & Rudd; and Ian Tozer, the chef mastermind behind Roti, T.Y. Harbor Brewery, West Park Café and Farm Grill.
By sharing their knowledge and contacts, Parabola’s owners have been able to bring some of the most underrated gems of the wine world to Japan, such as the mineral-laden whites from the cooler climes of Australia or wines of incredible value from France’s Languedoc Roussillon region and the Rhone Valley. Parabola also serves by the bottle a range of craft beers, an eclectic mix of single malt whiskies, and more than a dozen artisan gins. True gin lovers can indulge in what is surely the rarest gin in Japan: a bottle that dates from the late 1870s and was unearthed in the cellar of British Prime Minister William Gladstone. At ¥749,000, it is certainly one of a kind. Dawson, Stevens and Tozer are also keen to have the dining side of the operation be as attractive as the drinks selection. The menu features modern tapas-style dishes with influences from the Mediterranean to the Middle East. The extensive cheese board brings together cheeses from around the world, including a selection from craft producers in Hokkaido. For late-night cravings, sandwiches are made with generous slices of juicy bacon.
Parabola organises wine and sushi nights to encourage new notions of pairing.
“We are trying to challenge preconceptions regarding British food and offering a modern tapas-style menu as well as British cheeses”, Dawson said. BERRY BROS. & RUDD www.bbr.com; www.bbr.co.jp ZWIESEL KRISTALLGLAS www.zwiesel-kristallglas.com PARABOLA7 www.parabola7.com
GIVEAWAYS Five lucky ACUMEN readers will each receive a bottle of Berry Bros. & Rudd’s No. 3 London Dry Gin, a premium spirit just released in Japan.
We are also giving away three pairs of Schott Zwiesel’s SENSA Bordeaux wine glasses. Elegantly crafted in robust Tritan crystal, the unique design of the glass aerates the wine and quickly unlocks its full flavour.
To apply, simply email us by 31 October: email@example.com Winners will be picked at random.
OCTOBER 2013 | BCCJ ACUMEN | 45
THE A-LIST OF WINING & DINING
Extraordinary wines from an extraordinary wine merchant Founded in 1698 in the heart of St James’s, Berry Bros. & Rudd provides you with the ultimate fine wine experience and a range of extraordinary wines. Berrys’ fine wine experts specialise in buying and selling the world’s finest and rarest wines, offering you expert advice and up-to-date wine investment news. Our Japan Sales Office offers many of the services customers have come to expect of Berry Bros. & Rudd worldwide, including fine wine sales to private individuals via telephone or online as well as a full range of wines to trade and corporate clients.
For further details, please contact Berry Bros. & Rudd Japan: Tel: 03-5220-5491 Fax: 03-3201-5141 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Global Website: www.bbr.com BB&R Japan Online Shop: www.bbr.co.jp
Established in 1926 in Milan, BiCE is an authentic Italian restaurant serving traditional cuisine. The spacious 600m2 restaurant is filled with a sophisticated, warm atmosphere. Enjoy astonishing views of Tokyo for a true dining experience.
Open: 11:30-15:30 (LO 14:00), 17:30-23:30 (LO 22:00) Sat, Sun & Holidays 17:00-23:00 (LO 22:00) Tel: 03-5537-1926 Website: www.bicetokyo.com Caretta Shiodome 47F, 1-8-1 Higashi-Shimbashi, Minato-ku, Tokyo 105-7047 Lunch courses from ¥3,675 Dinner courses from ¥9,450 A La Carte menu is also available
The Westin Tokyo is surrounded by abundant greenery in the “Yebisu” area of Tokyo, which is characterized by a luxurious European classic/empire style. Our property features The Westin Garden, a green oasis in the heart of Tokyo. Our experienced team offers personalised, Japanese hospitality and welcomes guests from around the world. Every aspect of the Westin is carefully designed to reflect “wellness,” a concept at the core of our business, whereby we strive for guests to feel better upon departure than when they arrived. With 438 guestrooms, eight restaurant and bars, and 12 multi-purpose function rooms, The Westin Tokyo is a leading destination for meetings, conferences and events.
MEETING SPACES GALAXY BALLROOM Nearly 11,000 square feet of space to accommodate up to 1,200 guests. Decorated in the classic European style seen throughout the hotel, it can easily be adapted to a variety of occasions. STAR BALLROOM (4,349 SQ. FT.) This space has opulent touches such as Austrian glass chandeliers. KAEDA (4,952 SQ. FT.) Decorated with a Louis XVI motif, this room evokes the atmosphere of a royal salon at Versailles.
Galaxy ballroom (1,200 guests)
Kaeda (442 guests)
SAKURA (2,605 SQ. FT.) Equipped with its own extensive kitchen, this room specialises in catering fine Japanese cuisine. KUSUNOKI (1,206 SQ. FT.) Can seat up to 108 guests for a theatre-style presentation KIRI (1,076 SQ. FT.) Can seat up to 54 guests for a banquet SIX INTIMATE, WELL-APPOINTED BOARDROOMS Can accommodate gatherings of up to 15 executives
Star (440 guests)
Fostering Scientists of Tomorrow Tohoku, UK students partner in fourth Cambridge workshop By Julian Ryall
hirty students and teachers from nine high schools in areas affected by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami have taken part in a science workshop at Cambridge University, thanks in large part to support from firms such as Rolls-Royce Japan Co., Ltd and Barclays Bank PLC. The students were given a research project to complete at the end of the five-day Young Scientist Workshop. During their time abroad, they lived together at Murray Edwards College. The Japanese were partnered with British students who are also focusing on science, technology, engineering and maths in their studies. Dr Eric Albone, director of the Clifton Scientific Trust, has been organising science workshops for young people from Japan and the UK since 2001. He has worked with schools in Kyoto since 2004 and the Tohoku region since 2011. The goals of the programme, according to Albone, are fostering international ties and promoting valuable new skills in the sciences. He said the projects had been “a tremendous challenge for the students, but also a lot of fun”. “We do things on a shoestring, but we do the programme because it is so rewarding in terms of seeing how the students change”, Albone told BCCJ ACUMEN. “In just one week, they have been transformed”. Over 100 students from the Tohoku region have participated in the four Cambridge workshops since 2011, with past projects including Tohoku-specific science subjects such as the effects of radiation. The students are accompanied by their teachers who, while not taking part in the
Richard Thornley (left), president of Rolls-Royce Japan, joined the group of 24 students from the Tohoku region who took part in the Young Scientist Workshop at the University of Cambridge.
projects, return to their schools with new international experience to offer. This year, students worked on projects involving 10 departments of the university. One team, for example, worked in pharmacology and used electron force microscopy, while another focused on genetics and the study of chromosomes. Yet another team was assigned a chemistry project on gold and silver nanoparticles. “The students were working in small teams with front-line scientists at Cambridge on real-life science projects, with the requirement to give a presentation on their findings at the end of the week”, he said. Richard Thornley, president of Rolls-Royce Japan, said he was deeply impressed by the students’ achievements in such a brief amount of time, and by their ability to overcome linguistic and cultural differences. “These projects involved some quite difficult research, and they had to give their presentations in both English and Japanese. So, I was really impressed by
“ I was really impressed by their level of understanding in a short space of time, and how they were able to work in multicultural and multinational teams”. 48 | BCCJ ACUMEN | OCTOBER 2013
their level of understanding in a short space of time, and how they were able to work in multicultural and multinational teams”, Thornley said. “Science and engineering make magic happen in the world”, he said. “We will continue to need talented scientists, researchers and engineers with unique and varied skills. “That is why we are delighted to support the programme and we hope that the experience will benefit them throughout their careers”. Rolls Royce—a partner of Japan’s IHI Corporation in Soma City—has a long history of supporting studies in the sciences. The firm has been investing time and funds since former Chief Executive Officer Sir John Rose said there are only three ways to make a country wealthy: to dig something up, to grow something or to create something. Barclays Japan has an ongoing programme for staff to volunteer in Tohoku communities. Mitsubishi Electric Corporation and the Japan Science and Technology Agency also supported the workshop. It is expected that the students’ experiences during the project will encourage them to seriously consider studying in the UK in the future. As well as carrying out research projects at Cambridge University, the students took part in pre-workshop activities organised in conjunction with the Rikkyo School in England, located just outside London. Previous years’
EDUCATION workshops have also incorporated such a programme, which includes time for leisure and sightseeing. The students visited the Royal Society (founded in 1660) and the Royal Institution (founded in 1799), both of which are dedicated to scientific education and fellowship. They also went to University College London (UCL), where they gave presentations on their experiences in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake, to a packed audience comprising members of the general public. This year, the university celebrates the 150th anniversary of the arrival of the Choshu Five, a group of students who defied the Japanese laws of 1863 to study abroad. At that time, interaction with foreign lands was restricted and it was illegal to leave the country. On their eventual return to their home country, the five young men formed the core of a new government and led Japan’s transformation from an isolated state into one of the world’s most foremost technological powers. One of the five students at UCL was Hirobumi Ito, the father of Japan’s Constitution and the first prime minister of post-Meiji era Japan.
Albone, of the Clifton Scientific Trust, said the continuation of this tradition of education exchange was deeply appreciated by both nations. He added that he had received letters of gratitude in which students from the areas most affected by the tsunami and earthquake had said how much the study programme meant to them. Chiho Ueno, a student at Soma High School in Fukushima Prefecture, was one of the 24 young people selected to take part in July’s workshop. She gave a moving speech at the send-off party, which was also hosted by Rolls-Royce. “As you all know, the Great East Japan Earthquake occurred two-anda-half years ago and many students’ families have been living in temporary housing since then”, Ueno said. “Actually, I also live in temporary housing, as the nuclear disaster at Fukushima drove my family out of the home where we used to live. “When we were facing this terrible trouble, we received the heart-warming hospitality of the British people”, she said. “Your great consideration and support has brought us much hope. Thanks to your generous support, Japan has been recovering, little by little”.
Chiho Ueno, of Soma High School in Fukushima Prefecture, was among the students at the workshop.
The Clifton Scientific Trust is now planning the 2014 UK–Japan Young Scientist Workshop. It will, for the first time, take place at Tohoku University in Sendai, and there will also be a workshop in Cambridge for Kyoto schools. For information on how to get involved, please contact Dr Albone at email@example.com
UK EVENTS in JAPAN
To apply for free tickets, please send Rui Sarashina an email with your name, address and telephone number by 31 October: firstname.lastname@example.org. Winners will be picked at random.
Compiled by Rui Sarashina | email@example.com
KANEUJI TEPPEI; COURTESTY OF SHUGOARTS, TOKYO
21 SEPTEMBER–13 JANUARY Roppongi Crossing 2013: OUT OF DOUBT Held triennially since 2004, Roppongi Crossing is an exhibition series that offers a comprehensive survey of the Japanese art scene. This year’s show is the fourth in the series and deals with the current state of Japanese contemporary art. It references history and global perspectives and reflects the heightening of social awareness since the Great East Japan Earthquake and ensuing disaster. Twenty-nine artists are exhibiting, including London-born Simon Fujiwara.
Ghost in the Liquid Room (lenticular) #1, 2012 Lenticular, reflection sheet, wood; 180 x 180cm
Mori Art Museum 53F, Roppongi Hills Mori Tower 6-10-1 Roppongi Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-0050
10am–10pm (except Tuesdays) 03-5777-8600 Adults ¥1,500 Free tickets We are giving away five pairs of free tickets to this event.
19–25 OCTOBER The Stone Roses: Made Of Stone Launched in Manchester in 1983, The Stone Roses was one of the leading bands of the Madchester movement. It disbanded in 1996 after releasing several of their greatest hits such as “I Wanna Be Adored”. This documentary directed by Shane Meadows spans the period from 1996 until the band reunited in 2011. Meadows also directed This is England and was a winner at the British Academy Film Awards and the British Independent Film Awards. TOHO Cinemas Shibuya 2-6-17 Dogenzaka Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0043
0570-02-9111 Adults ¥2,000
13 NOVEMBER–1 DECEMBER
Pygmalion This is the original play written by Bernard Shaw that inspired the My Fair Lady musical. The story is based in London in the 20th century and reflects the class system-permeated society. Elocution teacher Henry Higgins bets his friend Pickering that he can help a young flower seller from the slums, Eliza Doolittle, hide her true class by giving her speech lessons. The Japan cast includes actress Satomi Ishihara, Takehiro Hira and Kazuki Kosakai.
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New National Theatre, Tokyo 1-1-1 Hon-machi Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 151-0071
03-5352-9999 Adults from ¥3,150
19–20, 22 NOVEMBER Franz Ferdinand It has been four years since this rock band released their third album, Tonight: Franz Ferdinand. The group of former art students from Glasgow will be back in Japan on their fifth visit to perform songs from their latest album: Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Actions, released on 21 August. Zepp Tokyo–19 & 20 November 1-3-11 Ome Koto-ku, Tokyo 135-0064 Open 6pm/start 7pm 03-3444-6751
Zepp Namba–22 November 2-1-39 Shikitsuhigashi Naniwa-ku, Osaka 556-0012 Open 6pm/start 7pm 06-6535-5569 Adults ¥7,500 (with one drink)
UNTIL 1 DECEMBER
STRAWBERRY THIEF INTERIOR TEXT FABRIC 1883
William Morris: The Beauty of Living William Morris (1834–1896) was by some accounts the single most influential English designer of the 19th century. He was a fervent socialist, scholar, translator, publisher, environmental campaigner, writer and poet. This special exhibition will show his textiles, wallpaper designs and furniture, as well as one of his most important stained glass creations on film. Fuchu Art Museum 10am–5pm (closed on Mondays; if Monday is holiday, the museum will close Tuesday) 1-3 Asamacho Fuchu-shi, Tokyo 183-0001
03-5777-8600 Adults ¥900 Free tickets We are giving away 10 pairs of free tickets to this event.
UNTIL 19 JANUARY BUNNY SMASH—Design to touch the world In this exhibition, 21 artists from around the world have transformed recent topics such as the global economy and genetics into designs that we can touch or see. Designer Mikael Metthey, who is based in London, has created Pox Teddy to present a new concept about chicken pox vaccinations. His work is based on the relationship between our fears and the challenges we face to get over them. MIKAEL METTHEY
Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo 4-1-1 Miyoshi Koto-ku, Tokyo 135-0022 Pox Teddy, 2007
03-5245-4111 Adults ¥1,100 Free tickets We are giving away five pairs of free tickets to this event.
OCTOBER 2013 | BCCJ ACUMEN | 51
© RYOSUKE KONDO
©2013 CENTRAL JAPAN RAILWAY COMPANY
Prince Andrew, Duke of York KG GCVO ADC(P) (centre) visited Central Japan Railway Company’s Tokyo Station on 1 October, the day the Tokaido Shinkansen marked its 49th anniversary. Escorting him were (left) Yoshiyuki Kasai, chairman of JR-Central; (right) Masahiro Nakayama, general manager of JR-Central’s International Department and (back left) British Ambassador Tim Hitchens CMG LVO.
A “Food is GREAT: A Taste of Britain” launch party was held at the British Embassy Tokyo on 28 August. In attendance were (from left): goodwill ambassador for the campaign Harry Sugiyama, Dr Yukio Hattori of Iron Chef fame and British Ambassador Tim Hitchens.
Attending the National Trust in Japan event on 10 September at the Grand Hyatt Tokyo were (from left): Aya Inoue, Naoko Nakayasu and Shigenori Matsuura of the Association of National Trusts in Japan; Tsukasa Kanai of Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank; and BCCJ Executive Director Lori Henderson MBE.
Irish Ambassador John Neary (left) gave a bottle of Bailey’s Irish Cream to Jim Pletcher of Lakewood Corporation at the Night with the Irish, held at the Embassy of Ireland to Japan on 12 September.
Sir John Scarlett, director general of the British Secret Intelligence Service (M16) from 2004 to 2009, spoke at the BCCJ UK-Japan Defence Collaboration event on 2 October at the Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo.
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The British Embassy Tokyo’s Deputy Head of Mission Julia Longbottom (right) welcomed the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation’s new Daiwa scholars on 20 September at the embassy’s New Hall. The Japan-British Society Junior Group organised the Welcome BBQ Party for the scholars.
© KENICHI AIKAWA
Sir Malcolm Grant, provost and president at University College London, spoke at Following in the Footsteps of the Choshu Five, hosted by the British Council on 26 September at Academy Hills.
Waterford Wedgwood Japan Limited launched its Waterford range in Japan at its “Live a crystal life” event at the Tokyo National Museum on 24 September. On stage are Chief Executive Officer Pierre de Villeméjane and top model Hana Matsushima.
DEREK A C DAVIES
Taiko Matsura, the wife of Akira Matsura, a direct descendent of the Shogun whom the British sailors met in 1613 on arrival in Japan, serves tea to the Duke of Gloucester at the Two Cultures United by Tea event, held at the Banqueting House in London on 15 September.
Director and screenwriter Satoko Yokohama’s short film A Girl in the Apple Farm featured in the Way Out East section of the Raindance Film Festival, held in London from 25 September–6 October.
Professor Kozo Hiramatsu of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (left) and a warden of the Royal Armouries hold the Japan400 Telescope at its unveiling on 9 September at the Tower of London. The British telescope will be given to Japan as a gift to replace the telescope King James I sent 400 years ago, which has been lost.
An exhibit showcasing traditional Japanese dolls is being held until 31 December at the Brighton Toy & Model Museum.
OCTOBER 2013 | BCCJ ACUMEN | 53
Common Questions, Misconceptions about the Flu Annual vaccination is recommended in most cases you hadn’t had a flu shot. Also remember that flu shots are specific to the flu virus— they will not protect you against the common cold.
Are there different types of the vaccination? Yes, the vaccination is available as an injection and also as a nasal spray. The nasal spray is most commonly used for children from the age of two as well as other patients up to 49 years old. Children under two and older than six months can only receive the injected flu shot. The spray has the obvious benefit of being needle-free, and in children it has been shown to be more effective than the injection.
By Dr Nicola Yeboah
ow that summer is over, the flu season is fast approaching. Flu is a highly contagious virus (influenza) that is spread by droplets that are released when we cough and/or sneeze. In densely populated urban areas such as Tokyo, flu spreads rapidly during the winter months. Flu symptoms are usually much worse than those of a bad cold and can involve several days off work or school. Also, certain groups of people are at high risk of developing complications from the flu, such as bronchitis or pneumonia. Serious complications such as these can result in hospitalisation and even death. Those at increased risk of complications include children under five (especially the under-twos), adults over 65, pregnant women and people with chronic health conditions, such as asthma and diabetes. Recommendations regarding vaccination vary from country to country. In England, flu vaccination is currently only offered to some high-risk groups, although the National Health Service plans gradually to expand the programme to include all children from age two to 16. In the US, flu vaccination is recommended for all aged six months and older. Here are some common questions
54 | BCCJ ACUMEN | OCTOBER 2013
regarding the flu shot I encounter in my daily practice.
Why do I need to have a flu shot every year? The flu virus can easily mutate, so circulating strains vary from year to year. Based on global surveillance, the World Health Organization decides which viral strains should be included in the annual recommended flu shots.
Can the flu shot actually give me flu? No, it can’t. The flu shot contains inactivated forms of the virus, so it cannot give you the flu or any other infection. People sometimes catch a common cold around the time they get a flu vaccine; this is just bad luck and coincidence.
What side effects can I expect? You may experience some soreness at the site of vaccination, a mild fever or muscle aches. However, these usually only last for a couple of days.
How effective is the flu shot? Unfortunately no vaccine is 100% effective, so there is still a chance of getting the flu. The effectiveness of flu shots depends on the match between the viral strains in the shot you are given and those circulating in the community. If the match is very close, the vaccine can be quite effective. Even in years when the match is low, if you do get the flu, the symptoms are likely to be milder than if
Is it safe for women who are pregnant to get the flu shot? Yes, the injected form of the flu vaccination is safe at any stage of pregnancy. In fact, pregnant women are at increased risk of complications if they do get the flu, so most countries actively encourage the vaccination of women who are pregnant or planning on being pregnant during the flu season. Some protection will also be passed to the baby, which will last for a few months after birth. Newborn babies less than six months old are too young to be vaccinated, but they are at high risk for serious flu complications. So it is also important for dads-to-be, older siblings, babysitters, and other people in contact with babies to get vaccinated to protect newborns.
I’ve already had influenza this season, so do I still need to get a flu shot? Since there are several different strains of flu, you could still become infected by a different strain later in the season. Also, what you may have thought was influenza could just have been a bad cold. So yes, you should still get a flu shot. October is a good time to get your flu vaccination since immunity typically takes around two weeks to develop and the flu season runs from around November to April. Finally, remember that other simple actions, such as frequent hand washing with soap and water, can also help protect you from the flu.
IF YOU ASK ME
Worth Every Yen National health insurance can save your life and savings By Ian de Stains OBE
or almost a quarter of a century my employer paid for a health insurance policy. It was comprehensive, required of me regular health check-ups, and year by year became more expensive, despite the fact that I never made a claim. On the rare occasion that I needed to visit a doctor or buy medication, I chose to pay for it, in the knowledge that in the Japanese system, medical expenses in excess of a certain amount can be offset against taxes. My reasoning was simple: making a claim for a relatively simple procedure would simply have an adverse effect on the weighting of the next year’s premium. Meanwhile, having the policy in place was a reassurance in case something more serious came along. Something did. I have written in a previous column about the sudden need for extensive cardiac surgery and the repercussions of the operation. When I knew I needed to undergo such procedures, I contacted my insurance company (a well-known, UK-based firm with a global reach) and their immediate response was to reassure me but also to ask for the contact details of my regular physician so that they could check my medical records. No problem.
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Two surgeries, thrice-daily blood tests, countless x-rays, innumerable ultrasounds, MRIs and CT-scans later, my two-and-a-half week hospital stay came to an end with a bill of some ¥10mn. To my great surprise and distress, however, the insurance firm declined to pay, citing a clause in the agreement about “preexisting conditions”. All very well, but according to the same agreement such a condition was defined as one which had existed within a two year period prior to the commencement of the policy. According to this definition, my cardiac disease must therefore have been present as far back as the mid 1980s, yet successive annual medicals had found no trace of it and indeed, as recently as 2008, as a nod to my age, I’d undergone a detailed examination in a Tokyo cardiac centre. All of this information was made available to the insurance firm, which nevertheless continued to insist that I was in default of the terms of our agreement, the small print of which was voluminous. I was to discover from friends in the industry that this is not an uncommon situation in cases in which a substantial claim is under debate. The insurer hopes that the insured will simply give up under the pressure of increasingly bureaucratic and somewhat threatening language. I was not about to capitulate; apart from the money itself, there was a principle at stake.
I was fortunate in having gracious lawyers and friends in the insurance industry itself, but I couldn’t help thinking about how I would have felt if I had been elderly and alone without such sources of support. In addition, as a trained and qualified arbitrator, I had knowledge of the Law of Contract and made sure the insurance company knew that I did, and that I would use it. The minute I flagged this up to them, they agreed to settle immediately, though they did not admit liability. In the interim, the hospital had been most sympathetic. The administrator suggested that I apply at once for Japanese national health insurance. I protested that it was a little too late but I was assured that since I would need to backdate my payments by one or two years, I would indeed be covered retrospectively. The amount I would need to pay in was considerably less than the hospital bill. This advice was sincerely motivated and I am grateful for it. The insurance firm settled the bill in total. My regular visits to the outpatient department and the substantial amount of medication I must now take are significantly more affordable as a result of national health coverage and, in hindsight, I wish I had signed up sooner.
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Review by Ian de Stains OBE
Reminiscing a Nation Sometimes a particular book speaks to you in a personal way. So it is for me with this, the third volume of historian David Kynaston’s Tales of a New Jerusalem. Covering the years 1957–59, this book follows on from Austerity Britain 1945–51 and Family Britain 1951–57 and, like its predecessors, it is compelling in its ability to capture the taste and tempo of the times back then. The trilogy is quite extraordinary in its scope and paints in fine detail the Britain of the era. The relatively short period covered by this book was actually a time of dynamic change for Britain, and these “never had it so good” years (catchphrase, Conservative Prime Minister Harold MacMillan) saw the start of what today’s Britain would look like from its economic standing to its position on immigration and race relations. As yet, no serious consideration was given to the possibility that the UK might actually, one day, be a part of Europe. The “Fog in the Channel, Europe Cut Off” remained the position of those in government and the media. Kynaston has a sharp eye for detail and an ear for what the man-in-the-street is saying. He puts all of this together in a beautifully written and highly entertaining way, not as a dry historian’s detachment. It is worth quoting at length one of the several sequences he gives that are truly suggestive of the immediate period.
Kynaston, an honorary professor at Kingston University, London, uses this technique to great effect throughout his book and the result is a sort of literary tableau of the time. He also uses diary entries and letters of all kinds, from the anonymous to the ordinary through to current (and future) celebrities.
YOU MIGHT REMEMBER Readers who—like me—were growing up in the UK at the time will no doubt recall exactly what was going on in their lives when they are reminded of some of the products and slogans used to advertise them back then such as: • Galaxy, Picnic, Caramac (“Smooth as chocolate … tasty as toffee … yet it’s new all through”) • Knorr instant broth cubes • Bettaloaf • Nimble • New Zealand Cheddar (“Now I’m sure they’ll grown up firm and strong”) • Jacob’s Rose Cream Marshmallow Biscuits • Sifta Table Salts (“Six Gay Colours”) • Player’s Bachelor Tipped • Rothmans King Size • Wipe-clear surfaces
• Sqezy (“In the easy squeezy pack”) • Coloured Lux (“four heavenly pastel shades of blue, pink, green and yellow, as well as your favourite white”) • Fairy Snow • Tide with double-action Bluinite • Persil (“washes whiter—more safely”) • Nylon • Jaeger girls • “U” bra by Silhouette (“Gives You the Look that He Admires”) • Body Mist • Mum Rollette • Odo-ro-no • Twink (“The Home Perm that Really Lasts”) • Pakamac • Hotpoint Pacemaker • Pye Portable • Philips Philishave (“Get up to Date— Go Electric!”)
56 | BCCJ ACUMEN | OCTOBER 2013
David Kynaston Bloomsbury £25
Thus, we learn of the things that entertained the people of the time. In the cinema, the slightly slapstick and musichall influenced Carry On series with stars such as Kenneth Williams and Hattie Jaques was surprisingly popular. On TV, Emergency Ward 10 became Britain’s first soap opera and was to enjoy a surprisingly long run. In the theatre, plays such as A Taste of Honey began to present working class issues, as well as those of race relations and homosexuality (the latter at the time a hugely sensitive issue since homosexual behaviour—at least by men—was punishable by fines and even imprisonment). All of this David Kynaston captures with warmth, sympathy and an analytical eye that helps us grasp a true understanding of what it was like to be there at the time. For those of us who actually were, his work is wonderfully evocative. For those who came later it seems to me his is the clearest, least selfopinioned history of the time, and he tells it with admirable clarity, compassion and a necessary sense of humour. It would not surprise me to discover that many reading Modernity Britain will be tempted to look into the two previous volumes. That is heartily to be recommended. The question, of course, is what will Kynaston do next?
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