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August 2013 | 짜900

The Magazine of the British Chamber of Commerce in Japan


INDUSTRY & A-LIST: Pharmaceutical & Healthcare Market Entry & Market Research Creative | Sport | Technology | Media Community | Arts events | Book review


August 2013



34 TECHNOLOGY Lessons in Communication Tech firm’s wireless solutions


28 SPORT United in Health and Spirit

7 PUBLISHER British Business Awards: Artist, Judge, Nominations Simon Farrell 9 FOREWORD It’s a Boy! Tim Hitchens CMG LVO 12 MEDIA UK–Japan News 15 EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR The Importance of Sport Lori Henderson MBE 16 MEDIA What you missed in the Japanese press 19 PRESIDENT The Sounds of Success Alison Jambert 20 LEAD STORY Healthcare: Prevent and Detect 22 DESIGN Interacting with Interiors 27 EDUCATION The Globis Vision

CREATIVE Interior Design: the Future Firm overcomes challenges to design modern Audi office

28 SPORT United in Health and Spirit 29 EVENT What Would a Tokyo 2020 Olympics Bring to Japan? 30 ANNIVERSARY 400 Night 33 INTERVIEW Jonathan Sampson 34 TECHNOLOGY Lessons in Communication 37 PHARMACEUTICAL Closer to a Cure INDUSTRY Pharmaceutical & Healthcare 39 Use of Third Party Intermediaries 40 A-LIST Market Entry & Market Research 42 A-LIST 43 How Research Reflects Decision-making 45 New Tax Rate: What It Means

46 CREATIVE Interior Design: the Future Firm overcomes challenges to design modern Audi office 49 MUSIC The Prodigy Daughter 50 HISTORY Blood Diaries 52 ARTS EVENTS The Comedy of Errors, Flowers in Bloom: The Culture of Gardening in Edo, Dracula, Ginger & Rosa, Graham Parker, The Classic Buskers 54 COMMUNITY BCCJ, anniversary, sport, music, dance, film, culture 56 HEALTH Is There a Blood Test for Cancer? 57 IF YOU ASK ME Has the Revolving Door of PMs Now Closed? 58 BOOK REVIEW From the Ruins of Empire

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 Vishal Sinha | British Airways 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 BCCJ ACUMEN is the magazine of the British Chamber of Commerce in Japan Produced by Custom Media K.K.

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

Account Managers Leon van Houwelingen Kieran Quigley Account Executives Mareike Dornhege Tyrone Lara Jody Pang Client Services Executives Megumi Okazaki Gamma Siregar Media Co-ordinator Rui Sarashina To advertise or order BCCJ ACUMEN: 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 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.

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, coaching and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and co-convenor of its Japan chapter.

Julian Ryall is Japan correspondent for The Daily Telegraph.


Client Services Manager Sam Bird

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.


Deputy Editor Megan Waters



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.

Geoff Botting is a journalist and translator who has lived in Japan for 25 years.

Taiji Miyaoka is a certified fraud examiner and a senior manager in the Fraud Investigation and Dispute Services practice of Ernst & Young ShinNihon LLC—EY’s member firm in Japan.

Jun Nagamine is the founder and managing partner of Nagamine Mishima Accounting Office, which was established in 1989 and specialises in firms requiring English assistance in tax, accounting and payroll in Japan.

Dominic Carter is chief executive officer of The Carter Group, a Tokyo-based consulting firm. Dominic has lived and worked in Japan since the late 1990s.

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.

© 2013 Custom Media K.K.

BCCJ ACUMEN is printed on paper certified by the US Forest Stewardship Council with vegetable oil ink certified by The Japan Printing Ink Makers Association.



British Business Awards: Artist, Judge, Nominations


ith violinist Diana Yukawa’s British Airways ticket from London to Tokyo confirmed for her performance at the BCCJ 2013 British Business Awards (BBA), it’s also a pleasure to announce that Michael Woodford MBE, the whistle-blower, has kindly agreed to be a judge at the annual black tie event, on 1 November at the Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo. Guests are advised to book early, as the eight-seat corporate tables are now available on a first-come, firstserved basis. And the BBA award categories have also been confirmed, with nominations now open via the BCCJ website: • Company of the Year • Entrepreneur of the Year • UK–Japan Partnership

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.

Go knowing

• Community Contribution • Person of the Year • Global Talent Award Join us to help celebrate the BCCJ’s 65th anniversary in an evening of business excellence featuring: • A GREAT British dinner with superb wines • Spectacular entertainment by Diana Yukawa (page 49) • MCs Guy Perryman and Maddie (InterFM) • Fabulous selection of door prizes • Awards presented by Ambassador Tim Hitchens

immigration laws that hinder some Britons from taking their foreign spouse to live in the UK. Also pleasing is that most comments on the Japan Today website, which reproduced the story, slam the immigration rules—rather than the writer or other commentators, as is too often the case. Finally, just before this issue went to print, BCCJ Executive Director Lori Henderson MBE appeared on BBC radio. If you missed it, here’s the podcast, with Lori’s interview starting at about 29:00: worldservice/business/ business_20130730-0238a.mp3

Reader response With more than 250 comments, and still counting, we had a record number of responses to “Exiled from Home” (July issue, page 25), about new

Crown service offerings include: • International & Domestic Shipment • Immigration & Legalization • Pre View Trip Services • Home & School Search • Settling-In • Intercultural Support

Tel: +81 3 5447 2301

Simon Farrell Custom Media

Royal Baby: Congratulations! These organisations join Custom Media in offering their best wishes to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on the historic birth of their first child, George Alexander Louis, who is third in line to the throne.

Congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on the birth of their son, HRH Prince George of Cambridge.

The staff and management of GSK are delighted at the birth of HRH Prince George of Cambridge

Unilever congratulates the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on the birth of George Alexander Louis.



Many congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on the birth of their baby boy.

It’s a Boy! The birth of George Alexander Louis lets us reflect on history and look forward to what the next generation will bring


hen news finally broke on 22 July that the Duchess of Cambridge had given birth to a son—third in line to the throne—thousands of well-wishers descended on Buckingham Palace. They went there to see for themselves the ornate easel carrying the official announcement and share in the moment of celebration. The occasion was later marked with gun salutes and the ringing of Westminster Abbey’s bells, while London’s Trafalgar Square was lit blue for a boy and the BT Tower delivered the message “It’s a boy!”.

The Royal Household’s official social media channels have been visited by wellwishers from around the world keen to share in the occasion. Social media monitoring firms suggest that even before the baby’s birth was announced, 487mn Twitter users had viewed posts about the Duchess going into labour, and Twitter has reported that the #RoyalBaby hashtag peaked at 25,300 tweets per minute. Here in Japan, the British Embassy Tokyo team has sensed growing levels of anticipation over the past few months and I am delighted to see that so many Japanese are joining in celebrating the birth.

On behalf of the British government in Japan, I would like to thank our many friends here who have contacted the British Embassy Tokyo and the British Consulate-General Osaka to offer heartfelt messages of congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their first child. In his statement from Downing Street after the news broke, Prime Minister David Cameron noted that it has been a remarkable few years for our royal family. The royal wedding captured people’s hearts, followed by the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations, and now the royal birth. In addition, this summer marks the first anniversary of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games that put the UK on the world stage, showcasing modern Britain’s creativity, diversity and ability to deliver. Just as the Games attracted many Japanese visitors, we hope that the royal birth will encourage more Japanese to travel to the UK. Together with our partners at the British Council and VisitBritain, we want to encourage more Japanese to study at our world-class educational establishments and to visit the UK to experience for themselves the country’s dynamism. We were delighted that the Duke and Duchess were able to meet Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress of Japan during the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations last year. With 2013 marking the 400th anniversary of UK–Japan relations, the birth makes this a year to both reflect on history and look forward to what the next generation will bring. I hope that others in Japan will join me in taking this opportunity to extend our best wishes to the royal family and His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge. Buckingham Palace is posting content on the Duke and Duchess’s official website (dukeandduchessofcambridge. org/) and the British Embassy Tokyo will continue to share content on its Facebook page and the @UKinJapan Twitter account. Meanwhile, Japanese visitors planning to travel to the UK are encouraged to read VisitBritain’s Japanese-language blog ( that features tips and recommendations for sites with Royal connections to visit in the UK.

Tim Hitchens CMG LVO British Ambassador to Japan




Celebrate the birth of Prince George of Cambridge with a bottle of original Champagne courtesy of Berry Bros. & Rudd.

We are offering 10 lucky BCCJ ACUMEN readers a bottle of: Berrys’ United Kingdom Cuvée, Grand Cru, Mailly

Sourced from the prestigious Grand Cru village of Mailly, located at the heart of the Montagne de Reims, and benefiting from over three years of ageing, our UKC Cuvée is a classic blend of 75% Pinot Noir and 25% Chardonnay. All the hallmarks of Grand Cru are here, with brioche and flowers on the nose and an elegant palate which marries notes of lemongrass, gingerbread and honeysuckle. The wine effortlessly combines structure and finesse and reverberates with a really authoritative Grand Cru crescendo on the finish. • Size: 750ml • Retail Price: ¥3,980

To apply, simply send an email by 31 August 2013 to: Winners will be picked at random.


The British Council Japan is campaigning for its test to be included in the Japanese government’s plans to boost the nation’s English speaking ability, the Mainichi Shimbun reported on 19 July. The ruling Liberal Democratic Party is considering introducing compulsory English language tests for entry to, and graduation from, public universities. The party is leaning towards major use of the US-based Test of English as a Foreign Language examination system. However the British Council, which promotes British culture and the English language across the world, feels students should be offered the option of taking the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test—the world’s most widely used Englishlanguage proficiency exam for higher education and migration, according to the British Council. About 4,000 Japanese students each year attend British universities and about 20,000 Japanese took IELTS tests last year.


British Council Eyes English Test Inclusion

Leaders in Foreign Investment Japanese and US firms led the FY2012 increase in foreign investment into the UK, according to a report issued by the UK government on 24 July. As the UK attempts to revive its economy, the government has cut corporate tax rates to attract foreign firms. In addition, it has given more resources to UKTI, the organisation that promotes UK trade and investment overseas.

According to the report, financial services, advanced manufacturing and creative sectors attracted most of the investment. And, it states, the number of foreign investment projects started during the period rose almost 11% year-on-year to 1,559. While the document puts no monetary value on the projects, it does say that they had created 60,000 jobs and protected a further 110,000.

Researchers Make Discovery International research—including some from the UK and Japan—has confirmed that subatomic particles, called neutrinos, have a previously unseen identityshifting property, The Daily Mail reported on 19 July. The findings are further confirmation of Japan’s T2K neutrino experiment. This has shown that neutrinos oscillate in three ways, not just two, as previously had been thought. It is believed that this may, one day,

help scientists explain how all the antimatter has disappeared from the universe, leaving only matter. In 2011, the T2K collaboration— comprising 56 institutes in 11 countries— announced the first indication that there is a third way of oscillation. Now with 3.5 times more data available and a 7.5 sigma level of significance, the behaviour has been established firmly and so can be termed a discovery.

Update: Missing Tokyo Expat A missing British businessman appears to have left Japan—after withdrawing £40,000 of his firm’s money, The Times reported on 20 July. Police have stopped searching for 41-year-old Tokyo resident Garin Dart, as they believe he has left the country. Dart’s event management firm, Bluesilver, organised parties and fundraising events


for some of the city’s biggest foreign firms, including banks, law firms and airlines. He had recently established an office in Hong Kong and had set up the Foreign Volunteers Japan network to help communities in north-eastern Japan that had been devastated by the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.

Abenomics Boosts Property Deals During the first half of 2013, the number of property transactions rose 50% in Japan, but only 4% in the UK, according to a report by global real estate firm Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. released on 17 July. Sales of offices, warehouses and retail space in Japan totalled $20.9bn for the first six months—the highest figure in five years. Australia saw a year-on-year sales increase of 10%, and Germany of 43%, while China saw a 20% drop in sales. Abenomics, it is believed, has helped boost property transactions in Japan.

Milton Keynes to Get Race Base Honda Motor Company, Ltd plans to build a European racing operations base in the UK, ahead of its 2015 return to Formula One racing, the Straits Times reported on 15 July. The automaker will return to the sport as an engine supplier to British team McLaren, in a bid to revive their championship-winning partnership after having pulled out in 2008 to cut costs during the economic downturn. The carmaker plans to build a new facility in Milton Keynes. There it will rebuild and maintain the power units developed at Honda’s research and development centre in Japan. A recent change in F1 rules that promotes the use of environmentally friendlier turbo engines has helped their comeback decision. Honda can readily transfer its technology to commercial vehicles.

Fast Food + Film Firm = Promotion

Mamachari Bicycles to Be Sold in London


The first shipment of Japanese mamachari bikes has arrived in the UK, Japan Today reported on 22 July. The London firm Mamachari Bikes imports refurbished second-hand mamacharis, of which they have over 400 in stock. Prices for the convenient and affordable bicycles range from £100 for a simple, single speed model to £300 for a deluxe model.

Warships Visit Portsmouth The Wolverine, planned for release here on 13 September, is set in modern-day Japan.

Hunger Breaks has teamed up with Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation for a competition that offers the chance to win a samurai experience in Tokyo, Talking Retail reported on 18 July. The food manufacturer will feature the promotion on over 700,000 packs of Hunger Breaks Hot Pots and bean meals. The competition is running in conjunction with the release of The Wolverine film, which was released in the UK on 25 July.

The winner will receive five nights in a four-star hotel in Tokyo, a Shinkansen excursion to Mount Fuji, dinner for two at a ninja restaurant, as well as an actionpacked samurai experience in Tokyo, which includes a demonstration of Japanese sword fighting and the chance to try on authentic samurai armour. The promotion is part of a wider investment plan for the Hunger Breaks brand that has expanded its product range by adding to its variety of bean meals.

Monument Marks Couple’s Kindness A monument to University College London (UCL) Professor Alexander Williamson and his wife has been unveiled at a London cemetery, The Japan News reported on 4 July. Over a century ago, the Williamsons supported young Japanese students at the university. Recipients of their largesse include the Choshu Five, who arrived in the UK 150 years ago, in November 1863.

After studying at the UCL, the five students returned to Japan and contributed to the Meiji government’s modernisation of the nation. Following the unveiling, UCL President Malcolm Grant read a letter of appreciation from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, in which he praised Williamson and his wife for their contribution to the creation of modern Japan.

Suzuki Swift 4x4 Heads to UK Suzuki Motor Corporation has announced plans to offer the Swift 4x4 in the UK, Autotrader reported on 8 July. The five-door hatchback has an increased ride height of 25mm. That makes it an ideal choice for those living in rural areas, according to the automaker. In the UK, the car will be offered exclusively with a 1.2-litre petrol engine. It will cost £11,516 for the entry-level Swift 4x4, and £13,116 for the upmarket SZ4 variant.

The Suzuki Swift 4x4 is ideal for country dwellers.

The Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force Training Squadron has visited Portsmouth as part of its global deployment, reported The News on 22 July. They visited the training establishments of HMS Sultan in Gosport and HMS Collingwood in Fareham, while many of the ship’s officers went into the city to meet civic leaders. Members of the public were allowed to board one of the ships.

Former Beatle to Perform in Japan Paul McCartney plans to tour the country for the first time in 11 years, Japan Today reported on 19 July. McCartney is scheduled to perform at Fukuoka Yafuoku Dome on 15 November and Tokyo Dome from 18 to 21 November. The tour is part of his Out There! world tour that began in May. McCartney will be the oldest solo artist to have performed at Tokyo Dome.

Celebration Marks Town’s Twinning History A Japanese children’s choir has visited Derbyshire to perform in a long-standing international twinning celebration, the Burton Mail reported on 19 July. Derbyshire County Council, Derby City Council and South Derbyshire District Council were officially twinned with Toyota City, Japan, in 1998. A yearlong programme of celebratory events is taking place to mark this year’s 15th anniversary of the link, Toyota Motor Corporation established its first European factory in Burnaston, South Derbyshire, in the 1980s with help from the county council.


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The Importance of Sport Athletic energy in business can promote unity and boost morale


ith the Tokyo 2020 Olympic bid now entering its final stretch, not to mention the tremendous excitement surrounding Andy Murray’s Wimbledon win, the British Lions’ victory in Australia, a great start to the Ashes, and Chris Froome lifting the Tour de France trophy, sport has not been far from my mind this month. On 16 July I attended my first Japan British Society board meeting, after being voted in at the club’s annual general meeting in May. Before the formal proceedings I spoke to Yoshiji Nogami, the society’s chairman and former Japanese ambassador to the UK, about Tokyo’s 2020 Olympic bid. As an executive board member of the Japanese Olympic Committee, Nogami will soon be travelling to Buenos Aires for the 125th International Olympic Committee (IOC) session that will decide the 2020 host city. He is confident that a strong campaign was showcased to the IOC during its visit to Tokyo in March, and the world must now await the final decision, to be announced on 7 September. On 24 July the BCCJ and the Australian and New Zealand Chamber of Commerce in Japan were pleased to support an event

BIJ.TV’s newest feature is BIJ NOW—a series of items on the economy and lesser-known key issues. Our latest reports: • Legalizing Casinos in Japan • Abenomics—A Work in Progress To view reports or subscribe: BIJ.TV

organised by the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan’s Tokyo 2020 taskforce led by Fujio Cho, Toyota’s honorary chairman and chairman of the Japan Sports Association (page 27). The lunchtime session focused on what hosting the Games could mean for Japan’s economy and the mood of the entire nation. Cho stressed that Japanese firms need to “understand the importance of sport” and shouldn’t “think about cost when it comes to the Olympics”. In the subsequent panel discussion, head of BCCJ events Graham Davis pointed to the legacy of the London Games and, in particular, what hosting the sporting spectacle taught the UK about itself. Davis reminded the audience that the Games should never be about corporations but, rather, about people and the celebration of human spirit. A number of BCCJ member firms played a major role in the London Games, including GlaxoSmithKline K.K. who provided anti-doping facilities and equipment to ensure competition fairness. On 16 June I travelled to Tochigi Prefecture for the 40th anniversary of GSK Japan’s Imaichi plant and had the pleasure of meeting some of GSK’s female Olympian hockey players, as well as Paralympian gold medallist Rina Akiyama.

Around 600 guests—mainly GSK Japan employees and their families—gathered to enjoy a traditional matsuri (festival) in the grounds of the plant. On witnessing first hand the popularity and energy of the Olympians, it struck me that having successful athletes in the workplace can really help promote unity and boost morale. On the last weekend of July, I completed the Warrior Dash, a 5-km obstacle course held at Doitsu Mura. My team ran to support O.G.A. for Aid, an NPO based in Minamisanriku, Miyagi Prefecture. In January 2012, the BCCJ’s Back to Business initiative supplied O.G.A.’s Green Farmers Association project with greenhouses and a multi-cultivator. This economic revitalisation project continues to provide a group of locals with a real sense of purpose and a modest income. Finally, Manchester United and Arsenal football teams visited Japan in July. Please stay tuned over the coming months for a related BCCJ event with Manchester United.

Lori Henderson MBE BCCJ Executive Director




Motorways: Shop When You Stop In mid-August, a considerable portion of Japan’s population takes to the motorways for a short-term seasonal migration called Obon yasumi. Little can be done to reduce the resultant traffic congestion that can extend up to 50km along major motorways. But the Nikkei Marketing Journal (28 June) reports that visitors to service areas and parking areas will find that, at long last, the quality of shopping there has improved. Shops that used to be unimaginative and tacky at best, now offer merchandise commensurate in appearance, quality and selection with that of retailers found in the nation’s hub airports and major railway stations. Further, the diversity in the types of shops may encourage travellers to make more than one stop. Outlets operated by Izone New York (sunglasses) and Strict-G (Gundam robot warrior-related goods) can be found on the Tomei motorway’s westbound side in Shizuoka City; on the eastbound side, in Ebina, Kanagawa Prefecture, travellers will find a Seijo Ishii supermarket, Shunsui gift shop, Highway Store (operated by United Arrows Ltd.) and an Isetan department store. “Normally I don’t go to department stores much, but the fact that there is one in a service area makes it easier to buy things there than somewhere else”, a 60-year-old man from Chiba Prefecture explained to the Nikkei. The publication theorises that the service areas are finally understanding the psychology of domestic travellers and how to get them to spend. The thrice-weekly trade newspaper reports that total sales revenues at the service areas and parking areas reached ¥463.3bn

The quality of shopping in service and parking areas along major motorways has improved.

in 2012—exceeding by more than ¥60bn the annual nationwide sales of the Marui department store group. The growing business reflects the diversification of tenants, which has led consumers to realise that roadside shops offer a good interlude during a journey. In a survey compiled by Japan Tourism Marketing Co., 49.7% of respondents indicated that, while travelling, they had visited the service and parking areas they had wanted to see. On an average day, 1.86mn vehicles use the two Tomei motorways, where a total of 164 service and parking areas are located. In addition, several of the newer service areas—such as the Surugawan–Numazu

Service Area and the Shimizu Parking Area in Shizuoka—have built parking facilities that enable nearby residents to shop without having to enter the motorway. For firms mulling entering this type of business, the Ebina Service Area offers temporary space for test marketing. From 29 May to 11 September, Mitsukoshi Isetan Holdings contracted a 30m2 commercial space in which it has stocked about 1,000 different items. The spot was previously occupied by hosiery speciality shop Tabio Corporation. Kunihiko Moriya, a senior researcher for Japan Tourism Marketing, believes the increase in the number of older drivers can also be expected to contribute to sales.

Are You Anti Social Media? “Do you post personal information about yourself on the internet?” When the Asahi Shimbun’s weekly “be-between” online survey (13 July) posed this question to 1,384 people, only 29% gave a positive reply, as opposed to 71% who said they did not. The respondents were not requested to give their age, but it is known from other surveys that the use of social media declines as people age. With a few notable exceptions, this is true worldwide. The pollees said data they posted includes their birthday (cited by 211 people); academic record (206); age (199); hobbies and interests (190); hometown (179); current place of residence (169); occupation (150); and a face image (143).


The most common media cited are: Facebook (281 respondents), Twitter (101), blogs (70) and homepages (35). The reasons given by the majority of respondents for not posting such information include concern over data leaks (cited by 692 respondents); a desire that their activities not be known by others (595); lack of merit in disseminating such information (505); and feeling uncomfortable about the idea (401). In response to the question, “Are you interested in personal data posted by other people?”, only 15% replied in the affirmative.


Meals on Wheels: Now, That’s Convenient The Aoi 3-chome branch of Seven-Eleven Co., Ltd. in Tokyo’s Adachi ward makes about 10 home deliveries on an average business day. One customer, 73-year-old Genichi Torumi, finds it so convenient he’s stopped shopping at the local supermarket. “It’s convenient; I want to use [the service] every day”, he told Shukan Toyo Keizai (13 July). Torumi was availing himself of the convenience store chain’s Sebun rakuraku otodoke-bin delivery service, which Seven-Eleven Japan commenced in July 2012. Currently offering some 2,800 products for delivery by 420 of its approximately 15,000 outlets nationwide, the chain plans to boost the number of outlets making deliveries to 1,200 within this fiscal year. Deliveries of heavier items such as bottled water and rice may be made using an environment friendly, super-compact Coms electric vehicle produced by Toyota Auto Body Co., Ltd. ( The automaker’s headquarters subsidises up to 80% of the car’s electric charging costs. Previously, Seven-Eleven had entrusted customer deliveries of its daily special obento (boxed meals) to the Yamato Transport Co., Ltd. It then, instead, decided to provide a direct, free delivery service for orders of ¥500 and over. The new system has almost quadrupled orders and boosted member numbers from 270,000 to 390,000. While rival convenience store chains, such as Lawson and Family Mart, are also delivering purchases, only Seven-Eleven has local store staff make the deliveries. More than half the customers ordering meals from the Aoi 3-chome store are aged over 60. As they tend to order other items as well, the average sale per delivery reportedly is about ¥1,500, or triple the amount spent by in-store customers buying boxed meals. Meal deliveries are subsidised by Seven-Eleven headquarters to the tune of ¥100 or more per order, so more franchises are expected to initiate a delivery service. The chain hopes that its revenues from delivered meals will leap from ¥12bn in 2012 to ¥100bn by fiscal 2015.

Seven-Eleven uses Toyota’s Coms electric car for their home-delivery service.

New Word Aims to Protect the Pregnant Following on the heels of such word imports as sekuhara (sexual harassment) and pawahara (power harassment), we can now add another word to the lexicon: matahara (maternity harassment). It seems that more firms are obliged to take proactive steps to ensure compliance with the terms of the revised Child Care and Family Care Leave Act. “Males make up 90% of our staff, so we’re pretty much a ‘male company’”, a 45-year-old department head at an electronics manufacturer told Nikkan Gendai (19 July). “But last year, a group of some 20 female employees, aiming to raise a family and establish their careers, organised a ‘committee for female advancement’. And one of the things they did was to draw up a manual on preventing maternity harassment”, he said. The source describes the manual as “resembling the script of a stage play”.

More firms are obliged to take proactive steps to ensure compliance with the terms of the revised Child Care and Family Care Leave Act. “Superiors are instructed that when informed by a female employee that she is pregnant, they are to mouth a standard response, which is ‘Yokatta ne! Omedeto!’ (That’s great! Congratulations!). All other remarks are prohibited—especially questions such as, ‘Do you intend to keep working?’ “Anything aside from congratulatory remarks will be construed as matahara”. To ensure that managers and supervisors absorb the contents of the manuals properly, they are encouraged to attend training sessions. Even when getting a woman’s opinion might be beneficial to the firm’s bottom line—through such questions as, “As a working mother, what is your opinion?” or “What do you think of this building design from the standpoint of one who is expecting?”— are strictly forbidden, an unnamed male staff member explained. “As is anything requesting a ‘female point of view’, which would be considered discriminatory”. “There are cases of gyaku-sabetsu (discriminatory backlash) by resentful unwed female employees, or those who don’t have children. This is because their workload increases when the others take maternity leave”, explained business journalist Rumi Sato. “A certain automaker has established an in-house rule that women returning from maternity leave will have their previous position and title restored. This makes it difficult to fill the job during their absence”, said Sato. “So while it’s important to deal with cases of matahara, if measures are taken to excess and there’s a breakdown in workplace relationships, then it’s a case of getting the priorities backwards”.



The Sounds of Success Music is essential to the UK’s identity


n both Japan and the UK, summer now means music. The UK this year celebrated a magnificent Glastonbury Festival blessed with sunshine (a rarity) and the Rolling Stones’ first performance in the festival’s 43-year history. The festival headline band was, for the first time, English folk rock group Mumford & Sons. This award-winning British band celebrated its Japan debut at this year’s Fuji Rock Festival, held annually in Niigata Prefecture over the last weekend in July. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing them in action. Here at the BCCJ we also have taken the opportunity to focus on music. The cover of last month’s issue of ACUMEN featured DJ Fatboy Slim and other British acts starring in front of a record crowd at the annual Big Beach Festival ’13, supported by the British Embassy Tokyo. And to look at music in Japan, we held an event featuring Japanese DJ and broadcaster Peter Barakan, BCCJ member Guy Perryman, and industry insider Keitaro Sumii of Warner Music Japan (page 54). Guy hosts Japan’s only dedicated British music programme, which is broadcast daily on InterFM, while Peter is one of the most respected

broadcasters and music authorities in the country. We saw at the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games just what a soundtrack British music can put together. Music is fundamental to the UK’s identity and this world-leading industry is going from strength to strength. In June, Prime Minister David Cameron hailed the phenomenal global success of British music, as new figures were released by the representative voice of the UK recorded music business, the British Recorded Music Industry (BPI). They reveal that UK artists’ share of album sales had grown globally to 13.3% in 2012—the highest on record. British acts have now claimed the world’s top-selling album for five of the past six years, according to BPI. Music continues to be one of the UK’s key creative industry exports and, with

British acts have now claimed the world’s top-selling album for five of the past six years.

Japan the world’s second-largest music market—and the potential to take the number-one spot from the US in 2013— there is enormous opportunity for growth. Launched last year, the UK government’s Music is Great campaign has gone from strength to strength and has attracted over 338,000 followers to its Facebook page. In addition, there is strong interest in its Japanese sister page, British Music in Japan (@britishmusicjp). The BCCJ will be making its own contribution to UK music in Japan at our annual British Business Awards to be held on 1 November. There will be a special performance by award-winning solo violinist and songwriter Diana Yukawa (page 49). Wherever you may be during the festival season and whatever your taste in music, I hope you have the chance to enjoy a live performance and celebrate one of the UK’s great creative industries. British Music in Japan:



Healthcare: Prevent and Detect Helping people live longer, healthier and more productive lives By Julian Ryall • ¥3.3trn per year lost to disease • Focus on cancer screening, home healthcare, pricing system update • Increase shift to early treatment

The American Chamber of Commerce in Japan

ACCJ–EBC Health Policy White Paper 2013 Lengthening Healthy Lifespans To Boost Economic Growth


he first health policy white paper to be jointly compiled by the European Business Council in Japan (EBC) and the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ACCJ) has made numerous recommendations—156 across 36 topic sections—on improvements in healthcare here. Significantly, the authors of the report, Lengthening Healthy Lifespans To Boost Economic Growth, points out that wellness among the general population is not simply a question of the health of the public. Increasingly, wellness is linked to the fundamental economic health of the nation at large, they emphasised. Despite major improvements in Japan’s healthcare over recent years, the experts agreed that plenty of enhancements remain that could help people live longer, healthier and more productive lives. “We have met different challenges depending on products, such as the welldocumented time lag [that exists] here in the approval of drugs, diagnostics and devices”, said William Bishop, director of corporate affairs for Nippon Becton

The white paper makes 156 healthcare recommendations.

Dickinson Co., Ltd (BD Japan) and chair of the ACCJ Healthcare Committee. “But there have been changes. The time lag has definitely been shortened and the Japanese authorities have provided the funding and manpower to carry out reviews more speedily, meaning that approvals are coming sooner”, Bishop explained. As well as cutting the time lag—from an average of 22 months in 2009 to 11 months today—a change in the vaccine law here has brought more drugs to market quicker, and funding has been continuous for an anti-cancer initiative that was started in 2009. “There has been a shift towards a prevention paradigm in the last five

Danny Risberg is chairman of the EBC’s Medical Equipment Committee.


years or so in Japan, with the recognition that prevention is important”, he said. “Because of this, there has been a move away from a system that provides acute care to one that is driven by a rapidly ageing population and the need to address chronic diseases and their management”. Danny Risberg, CEO of Philips Electronics Japan, Ltd. and chairman of the EBC’s Medical Equipment Committee, echoed the sentiment. “The cost of medical care is continuing to grow for the Japanese government and for the country’s population. Everyone is worried about this; not only the government but businesses as well”, Risberg said. “We have been asking for stuff for years, but there has now been a realisation about the ageing of society on the part of the Japanese government and they are now aware that things really are changing”. With Prime Minister Shinzo Abe so keen to breathe new life into the national economy, the medical sector is one obvious place where reforms—as well as planned free-trade agreements with the European Union and the US—can reap a sizeable benefit. According to the white paper, disease costs the Japanese economy ¥3.3trn in lost productivity per year, while a shift to prevention and early detection would increase healthy life spans, lower the economic burden of disease, and support economic growth. The report points out that, while Japan is famous for having the world’s longest life expectancy, the last 9.2 years of a Japanese man’s average 79.6 years currently require medical and nursing expenses. For women, the last 12.8 years of their average 86.4-year lifespan similarly requires care and assistance. The white paper further underlines the point made by the World Health Organization that every one-year increase in life expectancy is linked to a 4.3% increase in global GDP. The recommendations in the report are not ranked in order of importance, However, the authors point out that there are several fairly straightforward measures that could be taken quickly and would have an immediate, beneficial impact.

LEAD STORY “A shift to an early treatment model has already been proven to be the most effective way to approach disease, and right in the front of this would be smoking cessation”, said Bishop. “This alone would give you a good bang for your buck, although I accept that it’s difficult. “Funding for the fight against cancer is already there, the cancers have already been largely identified, and there is a well-funded campaign in place”, he added. The goal is to identify cancer early but, despite high public awareness of the most common variants of the disease—cervical, breast and colon cancer—screening rates have remained “stubbornly low”, said Bruce Ellsworth, director of government affairs for Japan at Johnson & Johnson K.K. “Cancer screenings are not always included in company medical checks, so they require a separate trip to the hospital”, said Ellsworth, who is also the ACCJ board liaison for the Healthcare Committee. “We believe [screenings] should be mandatory, particularly for members of identified high-risk groups, because this is the lowhanging fruit. “If we can catch these cancers early, then the cost to the health service will be reduced, while there will be a similar lower impact on workers’ productivity”. The screening rate for cervical cancer, for example, is 90% in the UK, 62% in Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development member states, and a mere 24% in Japan. GE Healthcare Japan, a gold sponsor of the white paper and one of its core compilers, particularly focuses on solutions for breast cancer, stroke and abdominal aortic aneurysm. “These diseases can be prevented by good screening, and we are recommending that the government introduce adequate measures to promote early diagnosis”, said Jun Kawakami, president and CEO of GE Healthcare Japan. For breast cancer, he agreed, the National Health Insurance Law should be amended to require that screening be among the mandatory items in the annual health check-ups for women over the age of 40, while coupons should be provided for free breast cancer screening for women over 40. GE also has high hopes regarding the application of information technology. “The major paradigm shift from care to prevention—or from hospital to home—is an ambitious target, but the government

Bruce Ellsworth (second from left) and William Bishop (third from right) at the white paper panel discussion on 12 June.

and industry must cooperate to achieve this goal in the next five to 10 years”, Kawakami said. “Many innovations will occur in the homecare market, where the devices and regulations are still not ready. “From a healthcare IT perspective, we expect to see opportunities that enable a growing shift to home healthcare, such as through health information exchanges and telemedicine, where we move data rather than patients”, he added. “Although past governments have taken a conservative stance in respect to the pace of the adoption of IT in healthcare, the Abe administration has indicated a potentially greater willingness to accelerate change by naming IT one of [healthcare’s] four core growth pillars, and the establishment of an Office for Healthcare and Medical Strategy within the Cabinet Secretariat”. Other key headings in the white paper deal with in-vitro diagnostic testing, food with health benefits, as well as influenza and other potential biological disasters. Women’s health issues are also high on the list of priorities, along with mental illness, a number of the most common infectious diseases, together with safety for health industry workers. Ellsworth is particularly keen to see a pricing system in the industry that rewards innovation. “In comparison with Europe and the US, Japan spends a large amount of its medical budget on old drugs and devices. If [the government] wants to stimulate innovation, they have to change the pricing system for the newest and best solutions”, he said. “Creating this environment will enable doctors and nurses to spend more time

preventing chronic conditions—such as obesity— and devoting less time to people who have become sick”, he said. “The net result is greater opportunities in innovative medical solutions, exports that support the people and the national economy, people who are healthier and live longer and more productive lives with lower health costs for the nation”. The EBC’s Risberg said the improvements that have already provided better care for people who need it are the result of different pressure groups— foreign and domestic—within the industry who have teamed up because they realised they have many goals in common. “It used to be hard for the authorities to reach decisions, because it was very bureaucratic and everybody could come up with a reason why something could not be done”, he said. “We are keen to turn this around and present everything that is positive, what we can do, and how we can do it better. “And anything that can be done is a thousand times better than simply saying something cannot be done”. Risberg is full of praise for the way in which the two chambers have worked so closely together to compile a white paper outlining so much that is at stake. “We share so many aims, but the one that matters the most is that we want the best medical results to be delivered to the Japanese people”, he said. “[The white paper] is a live document that can be updated and revised by any of the committees and we hope to have more collaborations like this in the future. “We want a lot of the same things, so why would we do it individually?”


© 2013 IWAN BAAN


The lightweight and semi-transparent appearance of the structure allows it to blend into the landscape.

Interacting with Interiors Tokyo architect is youngest to design Kensington Gardens pavilion By Julian Ryall • Flexible, multi-use social space with café • Structure inspired by greenery • Third Japanese picked for annual project


I Fujimoto hopes people will visit the pavilion many times.


n the centre of Sou Fujimoto’s cluttered and constantly busy studio stood a sprawling scale model of his latest project. Although, at that stage of planning, it looked like thousands of matchsticks held together in an intricate geometrical lattice of cubes and right angles, already the concept of the finished design was apparent. The Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2013, which opened in London’s Kensington Gardens on 8 June, has a lightweight and semi-transparent appearance that allows it to blend, cloud-like, into the landscape against the classical backdrop of the gallery’s colonnaded east wing.

A delicate structure of 20mm steel poles, the pavilion and its indoor café are designed to serve as a flexible, multi-purpose social space. Throughout the pavilion’s four-month presence in the gallery grounds, visitors will be encouraged to enter and interact with it in different ways. “The pavilion was inspired by the beautiful surroundings of Kensington Gardens, which are so green and full of trees”, Fujimoto told BCCJ ACUMEN. “I wanted it to melt into its surroundings, and one of the strongest points of the design is that it is semi-transparent. “I wanted the structure to appear as if it is emerging from the green ground and almost rising into a cloud”, he explained. “[The pavilion] has a duality of meanings, and I want it to mean different things on different days. “I want people to visit the pavilion many times because it will change day by day, depending on the weather, light, time and season”, he added.

The modules for the structure were constructed in York and Fujimoto travelled to London to oversee the placement and interconnection of the components on the 350m2 lawn. Once construction commenced, however, there was no shortage of challenges, Fujimoto admitted. Minor issues, that had not been noticed—either on the three-dimensional computer imagery or in the scale models—quickly became apparent when a start was made on connecting the modules. Moreover, a difference of just 1mm in a single component translated to several centimetres over the entire structure. The configuration comprises more than 20,000 individual elements and 9,000 nodes—compared with around 2,000 nodes in a typical building. Aged 41, Fujimoto is the youngest architect to be invited to design the Serpentine Gallery’s temporary pavilion. The annual architectural programme is considered one of the most ambitious and prestigious in the world. Architects who have taken on the task in previous years include Frank Gehry (2008), the late Oscar Niemeyer (2003) and Zaha Hadid CBE, who created the first design in 2000. Hadid recently won the New National Stadium International Design Competition, held to find the most suitable firm to construct Japan’s new national stadium.

Concept sketch



Visitors to the pavilion are encouraged to enter and interact with it in different ways.

The selection of Fujimoto marks the third time that a Japanese architect has been chosen to design the pavilion— following Toyo Ito in 2002, and Kazuyo Sejima with Ryue Nishizawa in 2009. The choice also reflects Fujimoto’s rapid advance as a rising star in the world of architecture. Credited with being at the forefront of a generation of designers who are reinventing peoples’ relationships with the built environment, Fujimoto said he is inspired by such organic structures as forests, nests and caves. His signature buildings, designed to inhabit a space between the natural and the artificial, include such bespoke homes in Japan as the eye-catching Final Wooden House and T House. His larger designs include the Musashino Art Museum and the Musashino Art University Library.

His burgeoning reputation has led to the commissioning of international projects, including the Taiwan Tower and the library at Sweden’s Dalarna University. Meanwhile, photographs, sketches and polystyrene models displayed in his studio indicate that many more projects are in the pipeline. Although in the UK Fujimoto already has taken part in a few design expositions, including an exhibition at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion is his first major project in the country. “Julia Peyton-Jones, the director of the gallery, came to Japan earlier this year to discuss the concept”, Fujimoto said. “She wanted to completely understand the design and how important the concept is. The basic shape may be determined by its function, but we must move beyond function to provide a variety of interior spaces with which people can interact”, he added. And Peyton-Jones clearly grasped Fujimoto’s vision during her visit. “We are thrilled to be working with one of the most fascinating architects in the world today”, Peyton-Jones said in a statement. “A visionary, who has conceived an extraordinary response to our invitation to design the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, Sou Fujimoto has designed a structure that will enthral everyone who encounters it throughout the summer”. The Serpentine Gallery: Sou Fujimoto Architects:




GATE HOTEL: WHERE OLD AND NEW MEAN STYLE Trendy Asakusa hotel marks its first anniversary


nniversaries are usually a time of reminiscing and looking back. But Keisuke Uno, general manager of the Gate Hotel Kaminarimon, wants the first anniversary of his hotel to be a time to look forward. Located in Tokyo’s culturally vibrant Asakusa district, the young hotel that is run by the HULIC hotel management firm, boasts a contemporary design and some ambitious programmes and plans to mark it’s first anniversary. The hotel is expanding its offering of tourist-related information and reintroducing some Japanese traditions. “We’re now thinking about various ways of giving our guests the chance to experience Japanese customs”, Uno said. For example, otsuki-mi (moon viewing in autumn) from the outdoor terraces of the hotel, and placing yuzu (a small citrus fruit) in baths–a winter solstice custom– are two traditions that the general manager would like to see recreated. “Non-Japanese may not be aware of these customs, and some Japanese have forgotten about them. So we would like people to have the chance to experience them”, he explained. As for the first anniversary on 10 August, Uno explained: “We won’t have one big event but, rather, many smaller ones”. This includes a package that runs throughout August. Accommodation in one of the hotel’s balcony suites is part of the deal, but that’s not all. Other features include a 24-hour stay from check-in time, free breakfast, dinner and unlimited food at the restaurant, a guided tour around Asakusa, a bag of gifts representative of the district, and a 30-minute ride in one of the jinrikisha (man-powered cabs) that famously ply the district. The cost for the package is a flat ¥100,000, all inclusive and for two people. “You might think ¥100,000 is a bit high, but it works out to ¥50,000 per person, and all the benefits are quite amazing when you think about it”, he added. But if you happen to be in search of really low prices, then check out the hotel’s R: Restaurant & Bar from 1 to 10 August. A glass of celebratory champagne can be had for ¥810. The digits of the price symbolise the hotel’s anniversary date (10 August). On offer at the same price is a special thank-you menu, comprising a plate of various meats, including beef braised in wine, duck confit and grilled pork. When it comes to future plans, Uno and his staff have plenty on their proverbial

PUBLICITY plates. Perhaps the most ambitious involves expanding the hotel’s range of concierge services to cover several languages. The word concierge means a hotel employee who provides information and special services to guests. But in the context here, the term refers to the hotel’s travel-related information services. The hotel’s website already provides some information about the Asakusa district, and the hotel boasts an in-house travel guide available in English, Chinese and Korean. However, Uno would like these activities expanded “so that the information becomes deeper and broader”, encompassing the website, Facebook and regular email newsletters. “Even if people are not staying [at the Gate Hotel] as guests, they could use this information”. Yet the human element is not absent in the concierge approach. In fact, the hotel prides itself on having not just one concierge, but a whole army of them. “All Gate Hotel employees need to be like concierges in their work”, he said, adding that they regularly provide travel and entertainment-related advice to guests. As the hotel’s literature states: “Our skilled staff have been trained as Asakusa Concierges and have compiled an inhouse guide to restaurants, bars and businesses, as well as other places of interest in the area”. In what must be one of the job’s most enviable duties, staff members are regularly sent out on assignment to build up their knowledge, sampling the local food and other offerings. “If you don’t experience it yourself, then you won’t know”, he added. “They write out and record the flavours, the prices, and so on. So everyone has the function of a concierge”. And, since the hotel is located in one of Tokyo’s most historically and culturally important districts, the staff have plenty of material to work with.


he first thing that strikes visitors to the Gate Hotel when they enter the lobby is the view. Asakusa is spread out at their feet, thanks to 3.6-metre ceiling-to-floor windows that encircle much of the lobby. When looking down from the 14-storey height, the most conspicuous feature is Sensoji, Tokyo’s oldest temple and a must-see for any visitor to Tokyo. Even for a temple steeped in tradition, Sensoji is an attention-grabber.

At its entrance is Kaminarimon, or Thunder Gate, from which hangs an enormous red paper lantern. Beyond the gate runs a shopping arcade-like thoroughfare, lined with shops selling traditional wares, that leads to the temple’s inner complex. Look up from the temple, and you will see Tokyo Skytree, the world’s secondtallest structure that opened last year. Thus, within a few blocks of the hotel, there sit two of the metropolis’s top attractions—one representing the past, the other its future—and both within easy walking distance. It’s hard to imagine a better location for tourists who want to fully experience Japan’s capital city. What’s more, the hotel’s spectacular views don’t end with the lobby: the Gate’s restaurant and bars are positioned and laid out to take full advantage of the vistas, from indoors through walls of glass or from terraces that reveal Tokyo’s skyline from several different angles. “We see Asakusa as being like one of our hotel’s facilities”, Keisuke Uno, general manager of the Gate Hotel Kaminarimon explained. “As concierges, we encourage our guests to go out and experience it as well”. This especially includes the food. “We say ‘have breakfast here, but for dinner, please go out and enjoy the experience’”. In this respect, the policy of the Gate is a departure from that of traditional Japanese hotels, where revenue mainly comes from operations not related to

guest rooms, namely, restaurants and events held at the hotel. “The typical revenue breakdown [for traditional hotels] is 30% rooms, and 30% restaurants and banquets”, Uno explained. “But for the Gate, the ratio is 70% rooms and 30% restaurants”. That’s not to say that the Gate’s restaurant plays a subordinate role—not by a long shot. The Tokyo Timeout website is one of the many fans of the R: Restaurant & Bar and its French bistro-style menu. “It’s taken a surprisingly long time for word to spread about the 13th-floor restaurant at Asakusa’s Gate Hotel Kaminarimon—maybe because everybody who’s been [to the restaurant] so far was hoping to keep the place to themselves”, noted a Timeout reviewer, apparently aware that the restaurant is only one year old. Since the hotel’s inception, about three quarters of its guests have been Japanese. Uno is now starting to notice a slight rise in the ratio of non-Japanese, a trend he attributes to the decline of the yen against other major currencies, thus making travel in Japan more affordable. The shift, which he views as being long term, is one of the many factors behind the plan to expand the hotel’s output of foreign-language materials. With Japan’s economy now picking up and the country increasingly becoming an international tourist destination, it is definitely worth popping a champagne cork for the Gate Hotel Kaminarimon’s outlook.


Maturing in Style Celebrating one year this month, The Gate Hotel Kaminarimon by HULIC offers warm and professional hospitality along with luxurious accommodation and a tempting 24-hour restaurant.

• Elegant neighbourhood of fascinating Edo culture • Prime views of TOKYO SKYTREE and old Asakusa • Harmonious blend of modern and traditional Japan • Featuring Slumberland, Hansgrohe, William Morris • Central location convenient for work and play • European cuisine served around the clock • Skilled staff trained as “Asakusa Concierges”

2-16-11 Kaminarimon Taito-ku Tokyo 111-0034 Tel: 03-5826-3877 | Fax: 03-5826-3871



rimon Do



Tokyo Metro Ginza Line Asakusa Station Exit 2

Toei Asakusa Line Asakusa Station Exit A4


The Globis Vision University president sees opportunities in Japan’s problems Custom Media


oshito Hori makes no apologies for being a glasshalf-full person. Whether it be the economy, the ageing population or any other of a myriad problems that face Japan, the president of Globis University is convinced that these are opportunities of which businesses, society and the government can take advantage. “I have been investing as a venture capitalist for 17 years, and the quality of the CEOs in Japan and the return on funds that we are seeing now are quite phenomenal”, Hori told BCCJ ACUMEN. “The heads of six [initial public offerings] last year quit their previous jobs to take a huge risk, but were able to launch public companies. “These [people] are the best and brightest in Japanese business and there are many more out there”, he explained. “We are now reaching a critical mass of entrepreneurs, investors, incubators, technology and growth of the entrepreneur culture”. This development is going to turn Tokyo into the next Silicon Valley, Hori believes. “It’s no longer just potential; it’s already here”, he emphasised, pointing to the success of Yoshikazu Tanaka, the 36-year-old founder of Tokyo-based social gaming firm Gree, Inc. and the second-youngest self-made billionaire in the world. Hori also singled out Tomoko Namba, who founded web services firm DeNA Co., Ltd. in 1999, while in her late thirties, and now presides over a 10-country, $3.5bn behemoth. “Not many people think of Japan as a nation of entrepreneurial opportunities, because of the economic problems of the last 20 years, but that’s completely wrong”, Hori said. The second reason for his upbeat outlook is Abenomics. “I am very optimistic because Prime Minister [Shinzo] Abe and his cabinet are committed to deregulation and free trade and [I believe] this will cause growth in the economy”, he said. “I would say that what the prime minister is doing is quite extraordinary [for Japan]”.

Yoshito Hori is president of Globis University.

There are serious risks in easing monetary policy and increasing expenditures when the nation is saddled with a huge budget deficit, he agreed. But the way in which Abenomics has been embraced and is forging ahead causes Hori to believe that it will work over the longer term. Although outdated regulations in the areas of agriculture, the medical sector, immigration and labour laws are obstacles, they can be overcome with reforms. But Hori identifies energy as the biggest issue that needs to be tackled. “It is very important that the nuclear power plants be restarted”, he said. “The government needs to decrease electricity costs and show the business community that it can provide a stable power supply”. Abenomics is already helping to make Japan a better place. He pointed out that it is attracting more foreign investment, enabling more Japanese firms to invest in Japan and, thereby, employ more people. This leads to increased incomes and social stability. “If you look back over the past six months, since he was elected, Mr Abe has done a lot”, he said. “One thing that surprised people was his declaration that Japan would be joining the discussions on the Trans-Pacific Partnership. “Previously, the government said it wanted to take part but that it would be ‘difficult’; now the decision has been made”, he added. “[Abe] is clearly committed”.

Set up in 1992 as Globis Corporation, the business school has grown to encompass five domestic campuses in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Sendai and Fukuoka, as well as branches in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Singapore. The school’s philosophy remains rooted in the three basic concepts of the Globis Vision: people, referring to developing future business leaders; capital, representing the provision of venture funding with hands-on support; and knowledge, meaning the dissemination of management expertise. Over 1,000 graduates have built successful careers after attending Globis University, and Hori believes he is in a position to bring together more of the most important thinkers and actors to benefit Japan, Asia and the rest of the world. One way of achieving this is through the G1 Global Conference. The third session is to be hosted at the university’s Tokyo Campus on 16 September. “I started the G1 summit as a multistakeholder gathering of leaders of Japan”, he said. “Mr Abe attended the first summit with two ministers, the governors of six prefectures, the mayors of seven major cities, a Nobel laureate, CEOs, artists, musicians, and sportsmen and women. “The theme of this event is how to build a stronger Japan and the positive impact this will have in Asia and the rest of the world”, he said. “We will have 50 panellists and around 200 attendees with the entire event held in English. “We wanted to do it in English so the global audience will be able to understand and, at the same time, it is important for Japanese participants and viewers to be able to be more globalised in their mindsets and thinking. “This is a good opportunity to discuss issues that we face in Japan, but also in Asia and around the world. “The more we understand the issues, the more we can discuss and share solutions”, he added. “And if these conclusions are heard by leaders, they can then work on tackling these problems”. Further information:




Some 250 children from Tohoku, and their guardians, were given free tickets to attend the match between Manchester United and Yokohama F. Marinos.

By Julian Ryall


hunder, lightning and a torrential downpour were not enough to dampen the spirits of 250 children from the disasterhit Tohoku region when they took part in the Kagome Re: Generation Challenge 2013 with Manchester United FC at the Nissan Stadium in Yokohama. The children and their guardians had been invited by Kagome Co., Ltd. to take part in a football experience session on 23 July at the Shinyoko Football Park as part of the kick-off event held before the match. The joint event was the latest arranged by Kagome to promote health, exercise and the renewed vitality of communities that were devastated by the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. After the session, the children from Fukushima, Iwate and Miyagi prefectures were to meet Sir Bobby Charlton. The British soccer legend captained United to the club’s first European Cup in 1968 and was presented with the Order of the Rising Sun by the Japanese government in 2012 for his “outstanding contribution to promoting cultural exchange between Japan and the UK, and to the development of football in Japan”. Appalling weather scuppered the planned meeting, but the youngsters were still able to see Charlton when he stepped out onto the stadium pitch at halftime. To their great delight, the children and their guardians were given free tickets to attend the match, which the home team won 3–2 with a late goal. But the result of the game was less important than the growing partnership it has helped to boost between the winners of the 2013 English Premiership and one of Japan’s most forward-thinking and innovative firms. And this enterprise has


tomatoes and vegetables at the heart of its healthy food and beverage concept. “We have links with several Japanese firms, but the partnership with Kagome is a very important one to us”, said Jamie Reigle, managing director for the AsiaPacific region for Manchester United Ltd. “It’s a mutual selection process when we look for partners, so we chose each other”, Reigle told BCCJ ACUMEN. “We spent a lot of time talking with Kagome to find out how we can best work with them, to learn about the company and their history of developing innovative products. “I understand that Kagome produces as many as 300 items per year, and that their philosophy is based on health”, he said. “Healthy living and hard work are values that we very much share with Kagome”. Founded in 1899 in Nagoya, Kagome became one of United’s official partners in Japan in October last year and regeneration—of both human health and areas affected by the triple disaster—has been their core shared theme. In March, with Kagome staff, former United striker Andrew Cole and five officials from the club visited Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture. He also took part in a five-day soccer school for 160 children from Fukushima, Miyagi and Iwate prefectures later that month.


United in Health and Spirit

Jamie Reigle is managing director of the Asia-Pacific region for Manchester United Ltd.

For youngsters from Fukushima, the training session was an opportunity to play outside without fear of being exposed to elevated levels of radiation from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. While the children were training, Kagome gave their parents and guardians information on diet and good eating habits. Speaking after the Yokohama game, Manchester United manager David Moyes paid tribute to Kagome’s efforts to help the areas of Japan affected by the disaster. “Kagome’s regeneration project was a very good reason for us to come here and play this match, and we were delighted to be able to play here tonight”, Moyes said.

Manchester United vs Yokohama F. Marinos—Match Report Yokohama F. Marinos dented Manchester United’s preparations for the start of the new Premier League campaign with a 3–2 win over the reigning English champions on 23 July. The United players were greeted with rapturous applause by a passionate 65,372-strong crowd at Yokohama’s Nissan Stadium, with Shinji Kagawa singled out for special attention. On the field, veteran Brazilian striker Marcos Marquinhos stroked home the first goal for Yokohama with less than 30 seconds on the clock. Jess Lingard equalised at 19 minutes and an own-goal from Masakazu Tashio put the visitors in the lead before half time. The impressive Fabio Aguiar equalised for Yokohama just minutes into the second half. Introduced with 30 minutes to play, Kagawa showed some neat touches and came close to scoring on a couple of occasions. With just minutes left, substitute Yoshihito Fujita swept home a pass from inside the penalty area to complete Yokohama’s comeback.


What Would a Tokyo 2020 Olympics Bring to Japan? London shows the Games can be a positive force for change By Graham Davis Member BCCJ Executive Committee


ith the International Olympic Committee (IOC) vote on 7 September, Tokyo is entering the final lap of the selection process for the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics host city. At a 24 July joint luncheon—organised by the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan’s (ACCJ) Tokyo 2020 Olympics Task Force and supported by the British Chamber of Commerce in Japan (BCCJ) and Australian and New Zealand Chamber of Commerce in Japan—guests heard Honorary Chairman of Toyota Motor Corporation and Chairman of the Japan Sports Association Fujio Cho talk about Tokyo’s chances of being chosen to host the 2020 Olympics. Cho, who had made a presentation to the IOC Evaluation Commission in March to voice the support of Japanese firms, talked about what hosting the Games might mean for Japan, including its business community and youth. As a member of the BCCJ Executive Committee, I was invited to speak about the legacy of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Below is the gist of my speech. “It has been a year since the London Olympics, but what a great catalyst they were for the UK. With the legacy of London so strong, the BCCJ hopes that Tokyo and Japan can enjoy such a boost if Tokyo is successful in its 2020 bid. “Tokyo’s legacy would be different to London’s because the two cities have very different starting positions and problems—but what London shows is that the Games can be a positive force for change. “So what did London achieve? There’s the obvious: the regeneration of the Olympic area and its surroundings. But beyond that, I think two things happened. The first is what the world learned about London and the UK, and the second is what we learned about ourselves.

From left: BCCJ Executive Committee Member Graham Davis; ACCJ President Larry Bates; ANZCCJ Chair Melanie Brock; and Honorary Chairman of Toyota Motor Corporation and Chairman of the Japan Sports Association Fujio Cho.

“During the Olympics, the world came to stay. And it was great that the coverage and attention continued for the Paralympics. “It isn’t just that London looked fabulous—the beach volleyball in Horseguards Parade, equestrian sports in Greenwich, the marathon passing through Leadenhall Market, and cycling at Hampton Court were all personal favourites.

“Many of us have deep roots in Japan and feel ourselves part of the country and community. We’re as keen for the bid to succeed as we were for London”.

“It is the update to Britain’s image and contemporary feel to the Games that felt so natural, so positive and so right. VisitBritain hopes to build on this. “I believe the second catalyst is what we learned about ourselves. We learned we could do it! Right from the journey of the Olympic flame, through the opening ceremony and then the Games and, of course, the Paralympics, we surprised ourselves a bit—it reminded us that we can build and deliver on big projects. “We also learned a lot about our diverse society and its strengths. The fact that volunteers played such a huge role alongside government and business was truly impressive. I wonder how we can harness that energy and enthusiasm? “Tokyo might have the same opportunity! And this is very exciting for so many British people, firms and organisations here. “Many of us have deep roots in Japan and feel ourselves part of the country and community. We’re as keen for the bid to succeed as we were for London, and we want to be part of a successful Games. We’ve got the legacy of London from which to learn, and all of the other skills and expertise to contribute. “Good luck on 7 September!”



400 Night The fifth part of our series on four centuries of UK– Japan relations showcases a celebratory evening of shared history. Custom Media



iven both nations’ partiality to fine dining, excellent company and free-flowing drinks, it was appropriate that 400 years of close ties between Japan and Britain were celebrated at the BCCJ’s 400 Night at the Conrad Tokyo hotel on 18 July. This year marks the 400th anniversary of the arrival in Japan of the first English ship, the Clove, carrying representatives of King James I. Dropping anchor in the port of Hirado, Kyushu, the ship signals the start of a long, generally close and warm diplomatic, trading and cultural relationship. In a letter that reached London aboard the Clove, Tokugawa Ieyasu famously replied to the king’s overtures by stating, in part, “Though separated by ten thousand leagues of clouds and waves, our territories are as it were close to each other”. Echoing this sentiment in the toast at the start of the evening, author, poet and television personality Nozomu Hayashi raised a glass and expressed the hope that the partnership would “last for ever”. The 232 guests had been invited to attend in national dress, with a number of kilts and kimono proudly on display, along with numerous rugby and football shirts. There was also a cricket shirt in the crowd, worn by Alex Miyaji, the Japanese–Scottish player who has been recognised by the Scottish parliament for his contribution to promoting the sport in Japan. The glittering evening was further enlivened by well over 200 images, displayed on large screens, depicting some of the most important and memorable events and personages in the two nations’ shared history.










This year marks the 400th anniversary of the arrival in Japan of the first English ship, the Clove, carrying representatives of King James I.

The Japanese emperor and empress were shown meeting Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, while British ambassadors—past and present— appeared alongside victorious Japanese athletes at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The notables included Margaret Thatcher, Tony Blair, David Cameron, David Bowie, The Beatles and a host of other famous faces. The event was supported by the Tokyo Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Japan–British Society, the British School in Tokyo, VisitBritain, the British Council and other sponsors, many of which provided generous prizes for a series of draws and games throughout the evening. Officiating at the evening was BCCJ Executive Director Lori Henderson MBE. Dyson provided an AM02 Air Multiplier Bladeless Tower Fan—which will come in handy in the long, hot summer ahead— while renowned British cider makers Aspall donated a case of their drink via the Hobgoblin chain of pubs. The Conrad Tokyo offered lunch at their new Collage restaurant—scheduled to open in August—and Bella’s Cupcakes served up an assorted bakers’ dozen of their sweet treats. Scottish Development International underlined their heritage with a mini hamper of Scottish delights, including Dundee cake, shortbread with chocolate and orange, and Earl Grey and Queen’s Darjeeling tea.



1. Ian de Stains OBE (second from left) with former prime minister Baroness Margaret Thatcher (1993). 2. Sir Stephen Gomersall KCMG (2001). 3. Jane Best MBE, CEO of Refugees International Japan, at a BCCJ golf event (2003). 4. The Choshu Five studied at University College London from 1863. 5. Sir Bobby Charlton CBE addresses BCCJ members (1993). 6–10. Many of the 232 guests attended the event in national dress.

Meanwhile, Gaga Corporation donated two pairs of tickets for the preview screening of the film Diana—scheduled to open in October—and Agora Hospitalities Co., Ltd. provided a one-night stay in a Superior Twin Room at the Nojiri Hotel El Bosco and another night at the Agora Fukuoka Hilltop Hotel & Spa as soon as the latter reopens in September. Intraperson K.K. (Lumina Learning Asia) provided a 60min personal effectiveness coaching session, and the Tokyo International Players donated a Flexipack for the 117th season. Hotel stays made popular prizes, with the Shangri-La Hotel Tokyo offering a night in a suite, Hilton Worldwide giving away a one-night stay in an executive double or twin room and The Peninsula Tokyo reserving a Deluxe Park View room for one lucky winner. Further, the Grand Hyatt Tokyo donated a dining certificate for one of its restaurants; the Mandarin Oriental Tokyo provided dinner for two at its Michelinstarred Signature restaurant; Central Japan Railway Company invited one winner to sample the cuisine at London’s Matsuri St. James’s restaurant; and the Mie Project delivered its Berry White and Clipper Tea. The evening was just the latest event in a year-long series of events, both in the UK and Japan, to mark 400 years of close ties between the two nations. Further information:


The following companies join BCCJ ACUMEN in celebrating four centuries of Japan–UK ties.


Jonathan Sampson Regional Director, Hays Japan Custom Media

What services does your firm provide here? Hays Japan provides recruitment-related services covering permanent placement, temporary staffing, IT consulting and recruitment process outsourcing. We have a particularly strong capability in providing globally minded staff and solutions tailored to our client’s needs.

How do you differentiate your services from those of the competition? We are the only foreign recruitment company in Japan to operate specialist business units comprising professionals with experience and expertise in the sectors they cover. Our 13 specialisms have helped to create dedicated expert consultants with whom to truly add value. In addition, the mix of technology and methodologies that we use ensures maximum penetration occurs in the most efficient way. At the heart of our operation are the consultants and back-office team. Those on the consulting team undergo rigorous training through an industry best learning and development programme. Our structure, approach and people ensure that our clients get access to the very best talent, and our candidates are provided with the best opportunities. In addition, Hays provides customers with substantial insight into their industry through value-added events, seminars and thought-leadership publications.

Why did your firm decide to invest in Japan? The country represents a huge opportunity. There is a clear chance for us to differentiate ourselves in the bilingual, bicultural marketplace, and our high value, customer-focused approach complements Japan’s market expectations.

What has been your top challenge here? Finding the right balance to maximise the success of our clients and candidates in this market. We are a global business, and proud of it. However, we must not discount the need to adapt to the local market.

Equally, it is important not to assimilate too much and to stay focused on an approach that will provide the best outcome for our customers. We are challenged on a daily basis by the talent shortage that exists here. It is only through our established, proven and comprehensive capability that we can overcome this effectively.

Has Hays changed since coming to Japan? Hays Japan has seen strong growth every year. Throughout our history, we have expanded our business geographically and in capability across specialisms. This reflects the growing demands of our clients and candidates. As this evolution has occurred, we have built around our experience to provide solutions to strong emerging sectors.

How might your business with UK–Japanese firms change? Japan is becoming increasingly global. Even the traditionally more domestic sectors are now looking for globally minded talent. This will increase opportunities for capable individuals. At the same time, the opportunities that Japan provides will become more evident to UK businesses, and partnership opportunities will increase. The great culture that underpins the success of Japan is evolving while labour flexibility and mobility is increasing and demand is changing.

What is the main asset that British firms offer the Japanese market? Access to regional knowledge, a global mindset, and global talent. The UK has always been quite open to the concept of a global marketplace. This specialist skill set will allow the Japanese marketplace to complement its current capability and continue the positive momentum witnessed in recent months.

How can Japanese firms best benefit from working with British entities? British firms are usually very clear in their objectives and dedicated to quality in their specialist area. By partnering with a British business, Japanese firms can tap global expertise while working together towards clearly defined outcomes.

Sampson: Japan represents a huge opportunity.

Can foreign firms and the Japanese market benefit mutually in the current economy? In an uncertain and evolving global economy, strong partnerships are critical to regaining stability and confidence on a world level. The opportunity to share international best practice and globally source products and services ensures that the very best quality is obtained and delivered. Further, these relationships give access to untapped sectors and customers and, ultimately, help improve profitability.

What are foreign firms’ main opportunities in Japan? Given the current positive economic indicators and more assurance around government ability to take action, Japan’s immediate future looks bright. An increasingly global mindset will open up further business opportunities and the need for international business to have a presence in Japan. Access to the highly skilled and educated workforce, reliable and mature business infrastructure, and the market to support growth here will enable these opportunities to develop.

How might your sector change to better UK–Japan business ties? The Hays Skills Index Report shows that Japan has the highest talent mismatch of any of the 33 countries in which Hays operates, demonstrating that the labour pool exists, but not necessarily with the right skills set. To change this over the long term, topics such as education need to be visited. However, over the short to medium term, some excellent solutions are possible. They involve diversity programmes that tap the underutilised pool of talented females, as well as reviewing labour law rigidity and immigration. This would allow a much greater flow of knowledge and resources between the two countries.



By Julian Ryall • Internet, media, real-time info on the go • Improve rail customer service, experience • Eyeing Japan branch, 50% market share


Spencer Dando has been working closely with Japanese railway firms.

Lessons in Communication Award-winning tech firm brings innovative wireless solutions to transport here


eaching the Japanese a thing or two about cutting-edge communications connections on its railway systems might appear a futile effort—a “coals to Newcastle” situation—but Nomad Digital Ltd. has set its sights on being a key player here. The firm—based, coincidentally, in Newcastle upon Tyne—has already made significant inroads. Established in 2002 and now employing more than 220 people around the world, the firm has developed wireless solutions that improve the connectivity of both trains and buses, giving passengers access to more reliable internet connections, media entertainment and real-time information while they are on the move. There are also major benefits for firms that operate trains and buses, pointed out Spencer Dando, the firm’s regional director for the Middle East, Africa and Asia, as Nomad’s expertise gives them improved vehicle safety, increased efficiency and vehicle monitoring and maintenance. Add-on services include closed-circuit TV systems, passenger counting functions and engine management solutions. “We have been working with Hitachi Rail Europe for a while and the first deal has just been announced”, said Dando, referring to the deal for Nomad Digital to provide an on-board server solution for the fleet of Hitachi Super Express trains that will make up the Intercity Express Programme and for Hitachi’s existing fleet of trains that operate on the high-speed line south of London. “The Department of Trade and Industry invited us to speak in Japan, and from there interest developed”, he explained. “Japan remains one of the largest rail markets that is currently untapped by our solutions, while India, China and Russia are the others. “With Japan being a world leader in technology and one of the largest


“We believe that we can help Japanese rail operators raise customer service levels and customer experience even higher, with our technology”. markets for connectivity, we believe [the country provides] a very good opportunity for us”. Dando estimates the firm, which controls 60% of the world market in this sector, has the potential to establish a strong presence in Japan as there is no competing solution of the technical level of Nomad Digital. The firm’s innovative approaches and blend of three key assets—information technology and experts in the areas of telecommunications and railways— have won it a number of domestic and international awards, and placed it high in the past two Sunday Times Tech Track 100 league tables that rank Britain’s top 100 private tech firms with the fastestgrowing sales. Nomad understands the technical and safety requirements of train installations, and has worked in Japan to understand the specifics of Japanese regulations and customers’ requirements, Dando added. “Japanese railways, especially the Shinkansen lines, have an enviable

reputation worldwide for service, reliability and punctuality”, according to Damian Bryant, regional director for the Asia–Pacific region. “We believe that we can help Japanese rail operators raise customer service levels and customer experience even higher, with our technology”. Cracking the Japanese market was never going to be a straightforward process, Dando admitted. But doing so was made possible thanks to a combination of Nomad being recognised as a world leader in the field, a track record of working with Japanese train builders in Europe and Dubai, as well as assistance from the UK Department of Trade and Industry team at the British Embassy Tokyo. Describing the assistance as “invaluable”, Dando said, “The UKTI [UK Trade & Investment] team at the embassy acts as Nomad Japan and we would be lost without their support and presence. “We could have tried by ourselves, but we now know that we would very

quickly have discovered that it is too expensive and requires too much energy”, he added. Nomad is currently engaged in trials with one of Japan’s major operators, and Dando sees plenty of opportunities here for the firm. “[Japan] is a key market for us”, he told BCCJ ACUMEN. “We put stuff on trains, and they have lots of trains that currently do not have any competing solutions on them. “The potential here is huge, because the railway industry moves so slowly and we have been working on this for 18 months, which gives us a good advantage”, he added. As soon as the system is deployed on the first Japanese operator’s trains, Nomad intends to target the nation’s other train firms. Ultimately, Dando said, if the business takes off, the firm will seek to establish Nomad Japan and corner a 50% share of the market here. More information:

The Dubai Metro is equipped with Nomad Digital’s cutting-edge wireless technology.


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 law matter here.

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Closer to a Cure Tailor-made drugs fight cancer with greater focus By Geoff Botting


hile medical science has made astonishing progress in improving our quality of life and eradicating severe illnesses, many serious diseases are still awaiting cures. True, there has been a string of breakthroughs in cancer treatment over recent years, and a lot of promising research is under way. Yet cancer remains a leading cause of death among populations, including in Japan. It is said that about one-third of Japanese will be affected by cancer at some time. This makes the disease a problem with both medical and social dimensions. Although researchers work tirelessly to come up with cures, and pharmaceutical firms launch new drugs on the market, effective and safe cures remain largely elusive. The fact that cancer originates in the host body makes the disease extraordinarily difficult to prevent and cure. For many years, the treatment has involved use of cytotoxic drugs— medication that kills not just cancer cells but healthy cells, too. The outcome can be serious side effects. But there is hope in the form of tailor-made drugs, which only target the cancerous cells.

GSK’s orphan drug Votrient fights soft tissue sarcoma.

These have the potential to be safer than conventional drugs, since they leave non-targeted cells alone and eliminate only problem cells. However, the effectiveness of these drugs is limited, as they can cure only a few specific cancer types. Some of the latest therapies are extremely specific, targeting certain molecules on the surface of cancerous cells. GlaxoSmithKline K.K., the Japan subsidiary of the GlaxoSmithKline group (GSK), is one of the firms active in the fight against cancer. GSK is fully engaged in the development of new anti-cancer drugs, and since 2007, the firm has launched five drugs in the area of oncology. The firm is also keen to develop treatments for diseases with small patient

Of the firm’s seven oncology drugs currently being marketed, five are orphan drugs, those used to treat rare medical conditions.

populations. Of the firm’s seven oncology drugs currently being marketed, five are orphan drugs, those used to treat rare medical conditions. For example, they treat cancers—such as chronic lymphocytic leukaemia and soft tissue sarcoma (STS)—for which no treatment was previously available. The firm’s Arzerra was launched in Japan last spring as the first antibody drug to treat chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL). This is a rare cancer of the blood and bone marrow, and the number of patients in Japan is estimated at around 2,000. As there have been no drugs specifically aimed at curing CLL, therapy options have been limited. The drug’s launch in Japan came after a patients’ group petitioned to have it developed. Another cancer-fighting orphan drug for STS—a very serious disease with a poor prognosis—is Votrient. The disease causes tumours to form in soft tissues such as fat, muscle, nerves, blood vessels and other connective tissue. Votrient inhibits the growth of blood vessels involved in the tumour growth. Given that no treatments for STS had previously existed, Votrient is hoped to make some big inroads in Japan. According to Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, about 3,000 people in the country suffer from the disease.

Arzerra is the first antibody drug to treat chronic lymphocytic leukaemia.




Business Development Director

Product Marketing Manager

Our client is an Indian pharmaceutical company with proprietary generic offerings and a comprehensive range of development services to bring to the Japanese market. The Business Development Director will be the first hire for the company in Japan and will be responsible for identifying licensing opportunities and other alliance deals, as well as evaluating potential M&A strategies. In addition, they will establish and develop the Japan representative office.

Our client is a Danish pharmaceutical manufacturer with a well-established reputation as a leading innovator in dermatological pharmaceutical therapies. This role will be focused on the strategic planning and execution of a new Psoriasis product launch.

Please contact James Oakes quoting ref: H1770110 or visit our website.

Please contact James Oakes quoting ref: H1827760 or visit our website.

Medical Doctor (Medical Affairs)

HR Manager for Center of Excellence

Our client is a research-based global company with its main focus on ethical pharmaceuticals, which are marketed over 90 countries worldwide. As one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in Japan, and one of the global leaders in the industry, the company is committed to striving towards better health for patients worldwide through leading innovation in medicine focused on metabolic disorders, gastroenterology, neurology, inflammation, as well as oncology through its independent subsidiary. The ideal candidate will be a licensed MD with experience within the cardiovascular, CNS or Oncology field.

Our client is a leading pharmaceutical company with a large presence in the Japanese market, and a reputable global name. They are actively seeking an experienced HR professional with the ability to roll out the Center of Excellence (COE) function in Japan. As the lead manager for the COE, you will play a critical role in implementing and managing talent acquisition, incentive programs, and talent and performance management, which will in turn directly affect the overall performance of the business. The successful candidate will have a strategic HR Generalist foundation, with a high level of English and Japanese proficiency.

Please contact Mami Koriyama quoting ref: H1576600 or visit our website.

Please contact Sakura Tomita quoting ref: H1789840 or visit our website.

Medical Affairs Manager

IS Director

Our client is an independent, research-based pharmaceutical company that develops, manufactures and markets pharmaceutical drugs to dermatologic and thrombotic patients in more than 100 countries globally.

Our client is a global pharmaceutical company that delivers medical solutions through its medicines, prescription drugs and consumer care products.

They are currently looking for a Medical Affairs Manager with the necessary scientific expertise to educate KOLs and internal teams on scientific information relating to medical treatments/products. Appropriate candidates will have more than 5 years, experience in the Pharmaceutical industry in a Medical Affairs function, or in the planning and management of clinical development. Deep knowledge and understanding of the latest scientific data, as well as a PhD or Medical Degree, is required.

They are looking for an IS Director to provide leadership and direction in all aspects of the IS function for the Japanese business through subordinate managers and high level professionals. The successful candidate will represent the IS Division on the Japan Management Board in the areas of IT, investment and organisational alignment with the business objectives. You will have experience managing an internal IT Department in Japan as part of a regional or global information technology function, and will have experience in project management for implementing internal business application systems, especially sales, supply chain and customer relationship management.

Please contact Kaoru Koyama quoting ref: H1780390 or visit our website.

Please contact Lalita Mosorin quoting ref: H1646360 or visit our website.

To apply for any of the above positions, please go to quoting the reference number, or contact the relevant consultant on +81 3 5733 7166 for a confidential discussion.

Worldwide leaders in specialist recruitment

Sales & Marketing


A strong track record of business development in the Rx and/or Gx pharmaceutical markets, and an entrepreneurial spirit, is required.

The successful candidate will have over 5 years, experience in ethical pharmaceutical product marketing or a closely related function. They will also be confident interacting with overseas colleagues and working in a small, entrepreneurial office.


Use of Third Party Intermediaries By Taiji Miyaoka Senior Manager, Fraud Investigation & Dispute Services, Ernst & Young ShinNihon LLC


ccording to the 12th Global Fraud Survey, released by Ernst & Young in June 2012, 39% of respondents reported that bribery or corrupt practices occur frequently in their countries. The survey results are based on more than 1,700 interviews in 43 countries with chief financial officers, as well as legal, compliance and internal audit heads. Under anti-corruption laws such as the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) of 1977 and the UK Bribery Act 2010, liability can be imposed on a firm even if they are not aware that third party intermediaries (TPIs) employed by them have bribed a foreign official. Yet, the survey reveals, 44% of respondents had not conducted due diligence on TPIs. With its extensive use of these intermediaries, the pharmaceutical and medical device industry is at high risk.

Use of TPIs In many countries, including Japan, pharmaceutical and medical device firms rely on TPIs to conduct various aspects of their business. For example, intermediaries can act as sales agents and distributors that promote and sell products, logistics intermediaries, consultants, clinical research organisations, event planners, media agencies, travel agents, lobbyists, as well as regulatory consultants. In addition, TPIs interact, at times on behalf of the pharmaceutical and medical device firms, with healthcare professionals. These professionals may include those employed by public and government-related entities (such as public university hospitals) who are considered to be government officials. Among the TPIs, sales agents and distributors in particular often present a higher risk for firms who are trying to abide by anti-corruption laws. Healthcare professionals are free to procure from a number of firms with competing drugs and services, and

sales agents and distributors often have their commission tied to the sales they generate. These TPIs have an incentive to entice key decision makers among healthcare professionals (sometimes including government officials) to procure the drugs or services of the firms they represent. Under the FCPA, the offering of anything of value to non-US government officials—in this case healthcare professionals who are considered to be government officials—by sales agents and distributors, would constitute a bribe. The items offered may include entertainment, donations, grants, sponsorships, gifts, excessive discounting on pricing, overprovision of free samples, and the provision of gratuitous services (such as data collection). That is not to say that offering gifts to healthcare professionals who are not government officials is acceptable. The UK Bribery Act goes one step further than the FCPA; it prohibits bribes given or offered to any person.

Importance of TPI due diligence While firms cannot control all the activities and compliance of TPIs who interact or transact with healthcare professionals (government officials) on their behalf, TPI due diligence can be applied in the selection of TPIs with whom firms plan to work. This can be done to reduce risk, and as part of an ongoing exercise to periodically evaluate each TPI for changes in their business relationships and inappropriate behaviour. A typical TPI management process may contain a set of steps similar to that shown in the diagram below.



Business Jus/fica/on   +  FMV   Assessment  

Review &   Approval   Red  Flag   Escala,on  


CATEGORY TPI During business planning process

DD Ques/onnaires  

Due Diligence Standard Training | Confidential |March 2011

After firms have conducted a business justification exercise to document the strategic purpose of using the TPI, as well as a fair market value assessment to determine the appropriate compensation levels for the required services, initial due diligence can include the completion of a questionnaire by prospective TPIs. The purpose of the questionnaire is to understand the TPI’s operations and relationships, unethical behaviour and past prosecutions (if any), as well as to uncover the existence of government contracts and political contributions. Firms also can conduct background checks that are independent of the questionnaire. Red flags identified need to be resolved by the legal or compliance department prior to approval of the TPI. Ongoing due diligence (oversight) should be conducted continuously throughout the term of the relationship with the TPI at intervals of 12, 24 or 36 months, depending on the perceived risk attached to the TPI. Ongoing due diligence can include a review of the previous business justification exercise and fair market value assessment, in addition to providing training for TPIs and annual TPI certification.

Global enforcement trends Global trends point to an increasingly stringent compliance environment. The jurisdiction of the FCPA is expanding. The US government has increased resources to enforce it and extended investigation techniques, while extending cooperation with the UK’s Serious Fraud Office and other law enforcement entities worldwide. In the FCPA guidelines issued in November 2012 by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice, it is indicated that having an effective compliance programme may lead to a reduction in the fines imposed on firms faced with FCPA prosecution. TPI due diligence is part of a firm’s effective compliance programme, and in the face of global enforcement trends, it is imperative that pharmaceutical and medical device firms conduct TPI due diligence. 1



Healthcare in Japan is becoming an increasingly critical challenge, but also an opportunity for economic growth. Companies, the government and the public are shifting their perception of health from something to fix to something to invest in. Edelman Japan has a uniquely local and global perspective that allows us to stay at the forefront of medical, scientific, business, policy and societal issues in healthcare. We help our clients build trust and engage with stakeholders around the universal importance of human health and the potential it unlocks.

Company Name:

Edelman Japan K.K.


Toranomon Kotohira Tower 7F 1-2-8 Toranomon Minato-ku, Tokyo 105-0001


Ross Rowbury, president





AREAS OF EXPERTISE Edelman Japan helps clients win by guiding their understanding of how public relations should be practised in the new stakeholder paradigm. It helps increase trust, change behaviour, engage communities and achieve commercial success. With creative ideas, a passion for the work and enthusiasm for clients, we produce tangible business outcomes.

About EY EY is a global leader in insurance, tax, transactions and advisory services. With 167,000 employees worldwide who are united by our shared values and unwavering commitment to quality, we make a difference by helping our people, clients and wider communities to achieve their potential. About EY's Fraud Investigation & Dispute Services (FIDS) The FIDS practice within EY helps businesses deal with complex issues of fraud, regulatory compliance and business disputes, which can detract from efforts to achieve their potential. With more than 2,000 fraud investigation and dispute professionals around the world, we assemble the right multidisciplinary and culturally aligned team to work with businesses across various sectors.

Company Name:

Ernst & Young ShinNihon LLC


Kasumigaseki Building 29F 3-2-5 Kasumigaseki Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-6029


Taiji Miyaoka





AREAS OF EXPERTISE • • • • • • •

Fraud investigations Dispute services International compliance assessment Sales and marketing compliance testing Third-party due diligence Anti-bribery and anti-corruption forensic data analytics Forensic technology and discovery services

We have a challenging and inspiring mission: to improve the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer. This mission gives us the purpose to develop innovative medicines and products that help millions of people around the world. We are one of the world’s leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare firms. Headquartered in the UK, we are a global organisation with offices in more than 100 countries. Providing access to healthcare is one of society’s most pressing challenges. Our aim is to increase access to our medicines and vaccines to all patients, irrespective of where they live and their ability to pay. As a token of our activities, GSK was ranked top in the access to medicines index for the third consecutive time, in November 2012. Company Name:

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Japan


GSK Bldg. 4-6-15 Sendagaya Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 151-8566


Yoshiaki Komatsu






GSK is also actively seeking development of cures for rare diseases, which means those with very small patient populations. AREAS OF EXPERTISE • Medicines for respiratory diseases, CNS disorders, allergy, viral infections and other areas • Leader in area of vaccines • Industry leading pipeline for new cancer treatments • Marketing consumer healthcare products in both OTC and oral healthcare

We are the experts in recruiting qualified, professional and skilled people across a wide range of specialised industries and professions. We operate across the private and public sectors, dealing in permanent positions, contract roles and temporary assignments. At Hays, we believe the right job can transform a person’s life and the right person can transform a business. We’re passionate about connecting our candidates with the right job for them. We operate in 48 locations in the Asia–Pacific region and our worldwide operations span 33 countries. We find permanent jobs for more than 15,000 people a year and temporary and contract assignments for more than 25,000 people annually, of which we employ more than 10,000 at any one time. Company Name:

Hays Specialist Recruitment Japan K.K.


Akasaka Twin Tower 7F 2-17-22 Akasaka Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-0052


Jonathan Sampson





AREAS OF EXPERTISE Our areas of expertise in Japan include: • Accountancy & finance • Information technology • Banking • Insurance • Finance technology • Legal • Human resources • Life sciences

• Office professionals • Property • Sales & marketing • Supply chain

Comprised of the combined operations of Michael Page, Page Personnel and Page Executive, the Page Group is a worldwide leader in specialist recruitment, with 164 offices in 34 countries worldwide. We began operating in Japan in 2001 and in that time have developed an unrivalled level of local market expertise, which is backed by our global strength. In Japan we specialise in recruiting for both multinationals and local Japanese firms on a permanent, contract and temporary basis. We pride ourselves on delivering an exceptional quality of service, which is demonstrated by the fact that more than 90% of our business comes from referrals and repeat clients.

Company Name:

Michael Page


Kamiyacho MT Building 15F 4-3-20 Toranomon Minato-ku, Tokyo 105-0001


Basil Le Roux, managing director





AREAS OF EXPERTISE We specialise in recruitment in the following areas: • • • • • • •

Accounting Banking & Financial Services Engineering & Manufacturing IT Haken / temporary positions Healthcare & Life Sciences Human Resources

• • • • • •

Legal Marketing Procurement & Supply Chain Sales Secretarial & Office Support Retail

Robert Walters is one of the world’s leading specialist professional recruitment consultancies for permanent and contract recruitment. Robert Walters Japan possesses the distinct advantages of size and a proven track record, allowing you to tap into an unparalleled global network that enables clients and candidates to come together in the most efficient and productive way possible. Our Tokyo and Osaka-based offices have been active in building integrated partnerships with clients and bilingual professionals—consistently delivering the most relevant match of skills and culture. This remains our ultimate goal as recruitment and sourcing specialists.

Company Name:

Robert Walters Japan K.K.


Shibuya Minami Tokyu Building 14F 3-12-18 Shibuya Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0002


David Swan, managing director





AREAS OF EXPERTISE • • • • • • • •

Advertising & media Asset management Banking & securities Chemicals Consulting & related services Entertainment Healthcare Hospitality

• • • • • • •

Insurance IT & telecom Logistics Luxury & consumer goods Manufacturing & components Real estate Retail



With offices in Tokyo and Osaka, CarterJMRN K.K. is a full-service Japan-based market research agency with a history leading back to 1989. As a fully bicultural agency, we are known for our creative responses to clients’ briefs—applying research and related understanding to deliver highly practical, prescriptive and actionable solutions. Our work includes advertising, branding, customer and market entry assignments and our goal, no matter how simple or complex the research assignment, is to help our clients “unmask” Japan.

Company Name:

CarterJMRN K.K.


Loge Aoyama Suite 702 1-4-5 Kita Aoyama Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-0061


Dominic Carter






Market entry Brand strategy Communications development Customer experience management Software and information systems

HealthyIM is the first and only bilingual (English/Japanese) hospital and clinic search and review portal. It contains nearly 200,000 medical facility listings in Japan, Malaysia, South Korea, Thailand and Singapore. Users can select their geographic and treatment search criteria and access information about medical facilities that meet their needs. HealthyIM also provides news on wellness, healthcare, medical tourism, hospitals and other topics of interest to its users. Medical facilities can freely update and edit content, photos, blogs, create coupons and promote their services in English and Japanese.

Company Name:

HealthyIM K.K.


Azabu Green Terrace 5F 3-20-1 Minami-Azabu Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-0047


Michael Bobrove, CEO





AREAS OF EXPERTISE • Hospital, clinic and dental facilities search and review • Hospital and clinic marketing and promotion • Information on medical tourism, wellness, healthcare and healthy living

Established in 1989, we are a member of Praxity, the world’s largest alliance of independent accounting firms, and have offices in 82 countries. More than 65 professionals provide bilingual services in accounting, tax, payroll, cash management and voluntary audits, with onsite and offsite controllers focused on serving foreign-affiliated companies in Japan. Our professionals can help your company at all stages of its growth. We work with companies that are launching operations in Japan, as well as those that are already doing business here. Our custom accounting service provides onsite and offsite manager-level and accounting professionals for those companies that don’t have a full-time workload for various levels of accounting positions. Company Name:

Nagamine & Mishima Accounting Office


Sanno Park Tower 4F 2-11-1 Nagatacho Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-6104


Shinya Nishi, partner







Custom accounting (onsite and offsite) Tax returns Payroll Cash management Accounting process outsourcing Tax audit assistance


How Research Reflects Decision-making By Dominic Carter Representative Director and CEO The Carter Group


ne of the most intriguing things about the market research industry in Japan is just how small it is, compared with that in other advanced economies. Outsiders who are exposed to research carried out by firms in this market often comment on the rather straightforward, data-driven nature of the work that tends to be done here. The generation of clean, precise information as opposed to insights seems to be the emphasis in Japan. Further, the idea of tapping consumer-based measurements to make management decisions is not one that has really caught on. Most clients we work with want to address an issue connected with return on investment in Japan. Thus, the foreign manager could find the lack of empathy for consumer research frustrating. Managers need to work out how to realise the best results for the significant investments they need to make in the area of marketing and research. For them, marketing research is an established and important part of addressing the issue. It is important to realise that the way work is done in Japan fits the needs of the Japanese—not foreign—manager. The decision-making culture in Japan is completely different to that in Europe and the US. While I would need much more space to introduce—let alone discuss—these differences, when it comes to research I have realised that Japanese managers are loathe to make decisions based on a single source of information. While Westerners will happily design research programmes that tick the boxes on all the important management decision-making unknowns, this is not something that sits well with Japanese. In fact, this type of research tends to make them extremely nervous.

Rather, Japanese seem to prefer to incorporate so-called definitive pieces of information into an understanding of the bigger picture—an approach with which I have a lot of sympathy. In order to be successful, however, and to exert the level of control expected by the head office, a foreign manager should not be content to let research be merely advisory. Indeed, research may be the only objective touchstone available when faced with colleagues and agencies pushing their agreed agenda on what works in Japan. Maximising communication and having as many parties and points of view as possible involved in the process is a way to ensure that a foreign process does not feel imposed. I have seen Western-style research programmes work superbly well in helping to uncover and define opportunities as well as deliver improved bottom-line business results in Japan. But you can’t go in cold. Local management needs to be taken on the journey with you, and real change will only come once the ideas and processes have been accepted all the way down to the bottom. The best advice is not to cut corners. Go through the whole process, use reliable research techniques tempered with your own wisdom and that of your research partner. Be prepared to educate and explain what is happening and how research helps. Finally, I have never seen research implemented successfully in Japan where the most senior managers in the client firm did not get out front and centre to support it. The best outcome is to arrive at a point where decisions are routinely taken with reference to the consumer. However, this will never happen without strong leadership. Doing robust research is the first requirement. But creating a positive, evidence-based, decision-making culture is just as important.

Five Largest Markets—Market Share (2011; US$mn)

The way work is done in Japan fits the needs of the Japanese—not foreign—manager.


$10,459 (31%)

Germany Germany $3,232 (10%)


$3,189 (10%)

France $2,735 (8%)

Japan $2,126 (6%)



New Tax Rate: What It Means By Jun Nagamine Founder and Managing Partner Nagamine & Mishima Accounting Office

Overview of Consumption Tax Rate Hike The Japanese government is taking aggressive steps to reform both social security and the taxation system. The goal is to stabilise public finance and produce a sustainable system of social security. There are plans to reform several taxes, but the first step is to revise consumption tax. It was chosen as the initial target of reform because it is not as greatly affected as other taxes by economic conditions and demographics. The planned increase in consumption tax—which comprises national and local taxes—will be used to finance pensions, medical and nursing care, and measures to counter the country’s falling birth rate. Local consumption taxes, however, will mainly focus on social securityrelated services. The plan to increase the consumption tax from 5% to 8%, predicated on an improved economic environment, will be finalised in autumn this year.

refunds and rebates, however, special measures are considered when meeting certain conditions to reduce the administrative burden.

Prepaid Expenses When payment has been made before the new tax rate takes effect, the previous tax rate will be applied to the advance sale of tickets for travel, the cinema and theatre, even when the tickets are used after the new tax rate takes effect. However, please note that, because the money paid into IC cards is considered to be a deposit, items paid for using these cards will not be considered advance sales, and so will not fall into the transitional category.

There are plans to reform several taxes, but the first step is to revise consumption tax.

Schedule of Consumption Tax Reforms Currently, the 5% tax rate breaks down into national consumption tax (4%) and local consumption tax (1%). From April 2014, the rate will be 8% (6.3% national consumption tax, 1.7% local consumption tax). Further, from October 2015, the tax rate will be 10% (7.8% national consumption tax, 2.2% local consumption tax).

Transitional Measures When transactions cross different consumption tax rate periods, transitional measures are in place to define which rates are to be applied. For transactions subject to transitional measures, the applicable consumption tax rates should be specified on invoices issued to customers and business partners. Below are some notable transitional measures to keep in mind.

Sales Refunds and Rebates In principle, the effective tax rate at the point of sale will be applied. For

Service Contracts Long-term service contracts, such as those in the areas of construction and manufacturing, and certain other service contracts will fall into the transitional category. Contracts that have been agreed six months before the new tax rate comes into force will use the previous tax rate. Examples of other service contracts are software development, surveys, planning, management and design. However, in these cases, three conditions must be met: the service is to be provided only once; completion of the service is to be long term; and the completed deliverable is tailor-made for the customer. Personal rendering services on a continuous basis and/or on a retainer basis are excluded from this transitional measure. Since service contracts must be executed six months before the new tax rate comes into effect, the contract

agreed to by both parties must be in place as proof.

Leasing of Assets Contracts for certain equipment and fixtures provided by leasing firms and real estate rentals that are executed more than six months before the new tax rate goes into effect will apply the previous tax rate within the contract period. Contracts for real estate are normally subject to automatic renewal every two to three years. When automatic renewal comes into place six months in advance of the new tax rate, the previous tax rate will be applied within the extended period. If the new tax rate is applied to the invoice, transitional measures can’t be applied. Please note that housing rent is not subject to consumption tax.

Act for Special Measures to Prevent and Correct Actions That Interfere with Shifting Consumption Taxes with Intent to Ensure the Smooth and Appropriate Price Pass-through Consumption tax is a pass-through tax, with the consumer being ultimately responsible. However, when the consumption tax was increased previously, from 3% to 5%, many small and medium-sized firms were pressured by bigger enterprises to absorb the increase in consumption tax. To prevent a recurrence of this, special measures have been put in place. • The government will monitor and investigate firms that are interfering in this way, and will publicly name them. • Advertising promising rebates on sales and promoting the sale of items on which the increased consumption tax has been levied is prohibited. • Eventually, price tags must display the gross price (including consumption tax). Until consumption tax reform has been fully implemented, price tags must show an item’s original price and its consumption tax separately. In addition to the consumption tax increase, the government is considering introducing multiple consumption tax rates and social security numbers.



Interior Design: the Future Firm overcomes challenges to design modern Audi office

By Geoff Botting • • • •

Bold colours, spherical chairs and wide views Challenges: rules, branding, existing features Ten staff members worked on 1,300m2 office Managers see aesthetic, ergonomic benefits


isitors to the Audi office in Tokyo are treated to a fun and poignant glimpse into the automaker’s heritage the moment they step through the glass doors. Parked just inside the entrance is a pedal-powered replica of the Auto Union Type C, a German racing car from the 1930s that looks like a bullet on wheels. Auto Union—the name of the firm that preceded Audi—built racing cars that set a raft of long-standing records. Auto Union’s logo of four overlapping rings is seen on Audi cars today, and is a link to the past, of which Audi is proud. The pedal car—an accurate replica built to half scale—doesn’t move much compared with the original classic car, which has a seven-speed transmission with a back-pedal brake, handbrake lever


with locking function, and hydraulic disc brakes. Rather, the model is a decorative piece that complements Audi’s impeccably designed sales and administration office. Throughout the 1,300m2 office space there are striking spaces that feature bright red carpet, spherical chairs and panoramic views of the city. Meanwhile, a break room where clients can be entertained is more austere and is dominated by the colour white. “That’s because [white] puts the people in the centre. They are the stars”, said Kenji Hirao, president of Nelson Space J Co. Ltd., the firm that was recently contracted to implement and manage the office’s interior design. Bold colours, such as the red that appears in Audi’s logo, would compete with the presence of the people in the room, Hirao explained. Nelson Space J beat several other firms about a year ago to the winning bid for the design and project management job tendered by the German carmaker for its office in the Gotenyama district, near Shinagawa Station. The design project was based on Audi’s global interior design standards.

“So we had to localise [the design]”, he added. The challenge was to be faithful to Audi’s branding while working around the existing building equipment, such as air-conditioner units that were already installed in the space. German building codes usually allow for such a design to be implemented over a skeleton space. Japanese regulations, however, made that almost impossible. Apart from the interior design, Nelson Space J—with a total staff of 10—coordinated with a Japanese construction firm to have the design concepts realised. It’s a complex process, but one to which Hirao and his staff are well accustomed. “We’re not simply artists or designers”, he explained. “Designers focus on client needs and artists focus on their own thoughts. There is a big difference between that and what we do”. A multitude of factors—which finely balance aesthetics with engineering, human-resource needs, and costs—are at play in this line of work. “We need to check and arrange the existing condition of the building, the

CREATIVE equipment and other issues”, he said. “In addition, we must coordinate work style, physical environment and the technology ... we have responsibilities beyond just drawing”. It seems like a herculean task for such a small firm, whose own office in the Soto Kanda district is located midway up a set of steps that leads to Kanda Shrine. However, Hirao explained that many clients appreciate the close communication and speedy response times provided by his firm. Large firms, he pointed out, usually have clear divisions of labour, a fact that, he believes, creates communication and other “gaps” between staff members. “This can create an amazing amount of problems”, he explained. In his office, the staff members’ duties overlap. Everyone, including the client, is in agreement throughout the entire process. Another office forte—which Hirao terms “a business weapon”—is his ability to sketch design proposals quickly. “After the client says ‘I want this’, I sketch it and ask, ‘Do you mean this? Or do you want this, or this ... or this?’ as I sketch different things”. About half of Nelson Space J’s work is project management, 35% design and planning, and 15% facility management. The area of facility management is especially multifaceted and challenging, according to Hirao, and begins after the designed office is up and running. The firm must monitor developments at the client end, as they affect the workspace, and it must be ready to react accordingly. For instance, if the firm hires more employees, the office spaces will need to be expanded or reconfigured, or both. “Our services need to focus on our clients’ business expansion”, he said. “Maybe this year there are 100 people in the office, and the following year there might be 300 people. In that case, we would need to check things, propose changes, and create new infrastructure and office layouts”. Similarly, if the firm’s business activities were to shift in a new direction, so would its workspace requirements. “We need to keep up with information on the office data every day ... each client has different needs”, he said. Nelson Space J may be small in scale, but it’s part of the much bigger Nelson Group—a design and architectural firm with 24 locations in its home country of the US, and 12 worldwide. The Japanese subsidiary has long had equal numbers of Japanese and foreign

clients. In recent months, however, the number of domestic customers has surged to account for around 70% of the total—a trend Hirao credits to the improving outlook for Japan’s economy. When asked about the difference in attitude between Japanese and foreign clients, Rumi Ito, a senior designer at Nelson Space J, said: “Japanese clients aren’t all that interested in design. Instead, most of their interests refer to cost-related issues. The foreign firms, by contrast, tend to be more specific and pro-active in their design-related requests. “The Japanese clients have fuzzy requests,” Hirao added. “Fuzzy” because of the consensus-based approach they employ, which tends to delay and obscure their decision making. The interior design business in Japan, both at offices and in private homes, has taken off in recent years. Until a couple of decades ago, most business offices had no design. Rather, workers toiled away at rows of grey steel desks, walls

were bare, the floor uncarpeted, and the flat illumination provided by a ceiling of fluorescent lights. “Thirty years ago, people looked only at [things like] space efficiency and cost performance almost in the same way that they looked at factory automation, with people representing the machines”, he said. But now, more Japanese managers are recognising the benefits provided by workspaces that are aesthetically and ergonomically pleasing. “Managers are seeking a greater level of motivation, satisfaction and communication from their workers”, he said. Meanwhile, demographics seem to be in favour of the office design business. “Young people are interested in design. However, older people are not very interested in it. Offices oriented towards young people tend to be those that are willing to pay more for design”, Ito explained. The conclusion is clear enough: the business of office interior design in Japan has many years of growth ahead.



The Prodigy Daughter Bicultural violin star to showcase new sound and album at British Business Awards

By Julian Ryall


embers of the BCCJ attending the annual British Business Awards on 1 November can expect an evening of humour, awards, as well as excellent food and drink. But the highlight is expected to be Diana Yukawa. The chamber has arranged for the 27-year-old Anglo-Japanese violin prodigy to perform during the evening, when she plans to play her latest works. “It will be a real pleasure to perform at the event and it is a great excuse to go back to Japan”, Yukawa told BCCJ ACUMEN from her home in London. “I always love being in Japan; it’s like going back to my other home. It has been a while since I was last [in Japan], so it will be wonderful to be back and be a part of the awards. “Later this year, I’ll be releasing an EP in Japan, Finding the Parallel, which is very different to anything I’ve done before. I can’t wait to perform the new sound I have been working on and, hopefully, people will like it”. Yukawa has been working on a new project with John Foxx, the former front man of British new wave band Ultravox, and experimental electronic musician Benge. The shift in direction comes after

huge acclaim for her first three albums including, when she was only 15 years old, her 2000 debut, La Campanella, which was an immediate best seller. Concerto again featured classical pieces, but 2009’s The Butterfly Effect is a clear expression of her original sound and demonstrates that the young musician wasn’t afraid to experiment. “[Finding the Parallel] is a very new sound that has moved on a lot since The Butterfly Effect album, so expect the unexpected”, she explained, refusing to be drawn further on details of the project. It has been a hectic 18 months for Yukawa, who created her own label— Longbody Music, named in honour of her pet dachshund—to release her EP in the UK and Europe independently. Another highlight was collaborating with the “extremely talented” British musician, producer and composer Nitin Sawhney on a piece of music for his BBC Radio 2 show that went on to be included in BBC Radio 4’s Pick of the Week programme that features the best of the previous seven days of BBC Radio. She performed at London’s Royal Albert Hall in May and, earlier in the year, played at the Place des Arts in Montreal in the show Vincerò. “I love how music takes you to new places and connects with you all sorts of talented people”, she said.

Last year, Yukawa performed at Copenhagen’s Tivoli Festival as part of a special performance by My Favourite Enemy, a remarkable collaboration of Israeli, Palestinian, Jordanian, American and Norwegian artists, who use their music to try to help bring peace to the Middle East. The violinist was also able to address the Cambridge Union Society—something she said was infinitely more nervewracking than performing in front of tens of thousands of people—as well as play at the Dubai World Cup and welcome 2012 with a bespoke New Year’s Eve performance at the Burj Khalifa skyscraper with musicians Deep Forest. Now, she said, she is looking forward to the completion of the new album. “I feel that I’m progressing a lot further with [my] writing and musical style”, she said. “It feels so personal this time, something that has really grown from my own being, so I’m excited to feel as though I am evolving as an artist and reaching new levels”. Part of everything that Yukawa creates, comes from the remarkable journey the bicultural musician has navigated thus far—and which commenced even before she was born. Susanne Bayly was pregnant with Diana on 12 August, 1985, when Japan Airlines flight 123 from Haneda International Airport to Osaka crashed into Mount Osutaka, Gunma Prefecture. It was the worst single-aircraft crash in history and only four of the 520 people aboard survived. Among the victims was Akihisa Yukawa, Diana’s father. Because her parents were not married, it took 24 years for Japanese authorities to add her name to the Yukawa family register. The difficulties that followed are in the past, however, and Yukawa has said that today she feels her father is still present in her life, guiding and watching over her. Yukawa’s music is rooted in classical works but, although she has no plans to abandon the genre, she is keen to stretch herself still further in different directions. Thus, recent collaborators include trance DJ Paul Oakenfold, legendary guitarist Jeff Beck, and Craig Armstrong, the award-winning film score composer who worked on The Great Gatsby. “It’s taking a while to get the next album together, but I really believe [the time spent] will be worth it”, she said. “I’m always keen to explore new avenues and collaborations, as [I find] there’s nothing more inspiring and creative”.



Blood Diaries New book claims soldiers’ journals helped normalise acts of violence By Julian Ryall

R “It’s also becoming increasingly difficult for the state and the mass media to frame public opinion as they did during the war”.

Images from the book


esearch by a historian at The University of Manchester indicates that soldiers of all nations who fought in the Far East during World War II were partly radicalised to commit atrocities by their own diaries. Dr Aaron William Moore has spent more than a decade studying a facet of the conflict that has previously not been examined. His book—Writing War: Soldiers Record the Japanese Empire—was released in June by Harvard University Press. Moore, 36, who is originally from southern Ohio in the US but has been living in Manchester since 2010, studied the private diaries of more than 200 combatants from China, the US, the UK and Japan. They were written during the eight years of “total war” up until Japan’s surrender in 1945. Several of the personal accounts were written in the aftermath of the December 1937 Rape of Nanking, when hundreds of thousands of Chinese civilians and disarmed soldiers were murdered by Imperial Japanese Army troops. A soldier named Toshimichi Ouchi was one of the first into Nanking after the city’s surrender. He confided in his diary, “The Chinese army has become really despicable to me; I want us to wipe them out as quickly as possible”. “The state did not ‘brainwash’ these people into committing atrocities”,

Moore told BCCJ ACUMEN. “Rather, it was a number of factors, including their diaries, which they used to build up a rationale that normalised acts of extreme violence”. The same attitudes existed on the other side of the front line. John Browning, an American artist and former Boy Scout, witnessed the beheading of a Japanese captive by machete and later wrote in his diary, “War is war, and the Geneva Red Cross Convention … is a long, long way from the front line. There is but one law here: KILL, KILL, KILL!” Moore traces his interest in the subject to an undergraduate programme in Japan, during which he met an archery teacher who had fought in China. “His involvement in that terrible conflict had always fascinated me, as he was a very generous, if stern, man”, Moore said. “I was also [advised to read] many personal accounts of the war over the years, and became a kind of addict of diaries, letters and memoirs. “The war is, of course, interesting to me, but the personal nature of these accounts is what kept me going for over a decade”. Moore’s research indicates that soldiers on both sides created justifications in their diaries for committing acts of violence and accepted them as true and accurate accounts, as opposed to a work of fiction. “You have to understand the long history of ‘factual’ record keeping that

HISTORY these men were exposed to in reportage and military culture”, he pointed out. “They spent a lot of time generating anger by listing enemy atrocities, giving themselves reasons to seek revenge and reproducing propaganda about themselves and the enemy”. Moore believes that diaries written by soldiers in wartime can actually be quite dangerous because their writers see them as “repositories of unchangeable truths”. “These soldiers often came from ordinary backgrounds but, through their writing, they established a rationale for extreme behaviour, getting angrier and angrier”, he explained. “You can’t rewrite a document and you can’t change history. “However, the diaries did not simply lead to atrocities”, he added. “As I point out [in my book], many men inscribed a powerful hatred for war in their personal records, which became an unshakeable conviction in the post-war period, no matter where the fickle winds of public opinion happened to be blowing”. And, while he believes that the same rationale concerning diaries and violence holds true in modern-day conflicts, there are some subtle differences.

“I would also say that the internet and web forums have created new ‘echo chambers’ and bubble universes, in which opinions are more collectively generated”, he suggested. “My diarists were not living in isolation. As I show in the book, they were insatiable consumers of mass media and lived in a group-oriented environment. But I think social media, email and blogging have subjected our views to a lot more group scrutiny, for better or for worse. “It’s also becoming increasingly difficult for the state and the mass media to frame public opinion as they did during the war”. As well as appealing to anyone with an interest in the war in the Far East, Moore said he hopes the book will “encourage people to think about their relationship with language and their sense of self, especially in the age of Facebook, blogging and email”. “We’re comfortable talking about how dangerous [our use of language] is in terms of how others think about you, but we rarely discuss how it changes how we think about ourselves”, he added. “How you write about your life inevitably affects how you think about yourself, which in

Dr Aaron William Moore studied the diaries of more than 200 combatants from China, the US, the UK and Japan.

turn affects how you behave, and that language was taught to you by someone who had power over you. “It’s worth considering very carefully”, he warned. Writing War: Soldiers Record the Japanese Empire by Dr Aaron William Moore. Published by Harvard University Press, £33.95. BCCJ ACUMEN has one copy of this book to give away. To apply, please send an email by 31 August to: The winner will be picked at random.

ARTS EVENTS Compiled by Yoko Yanagimoto

To apply for free tickets, please send Rui Sarashina an email with your name, address and telephone number by 31 August: Winners will be picked at random.


24 & 25 AUGUST The Comedy of Errors

On their 15th visit to Japan, the Oxford University Dramatic Society— the principal funding body and provider of theatrical services to independent student productions by Oxford University students— will perform Shakespeare’s well-known comedy. Japanese subtitles will be provided on large screens throughout the theatre. Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre 1-8-1 Nishi-ikebukuro Toshima-ku, Tokyo 171-0021 0570-010-296 Adults from ¥2,500

24 August, 7pm 25 August, 1pm; 6pm Doors open 30 minutes before starting times. Free Tickets We are giving away two pairs of free tickets to this event.

UNTIL 1 SEPTEMBER Flowers in Bloom: The Culture of Gardening in Edo

On his visit to Japan in 1860, Scottish botanist, plant hunter and traveller Robert Fortune was impressed by the penchant of the Japanese, regardless of social status, to enjoy gardening. A variety of artworks from the Edo period (1603–1868), including ukiyo-e (woodblock prints) and byobu (folding screens), will be on display. Edo-Tokyo Museum 1-4-1 Yokoami Sumida-ku, Tokyo 130-0015 9:30am–5:30pm (open until 9pm on Saturdays) Entry permitted until 30 minutes before closing

Closed on Mondays (open on 12 August) Adults from ¥800 03-3626-9974 Free Tickets We are giving away five pairs of free tickets to the exhibition.


Based on the original story written by Irish novelist Bram Stoker, the musical tells of Dracula’s attempt to move from the Transylvanian region of Romania to England, and his battle with a small group of men and women led by Prof Abraham Van Helsing. The cast includes actresses Yoka Wao and Natsumi Abe, and all performances are in Japanese. Tokyo International Forum, Hall C 3-5-1 Marunouchi Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-0005 03-5221-9000 Adults from ¥6,000


Free Tickets We are giving away one pair of tickets to this event. Discount Tickets Please email for information on discount tickets.

FROM 31 AUGUST Ginger & Rosa


Directed by English director Sally Potter, the film tells the story of two inseparable teenage girls. Together, they play truant, discuss religion, politics and hairstyles. But, as the threat of nuclear holocaust escalates with the Cuban missile crisis in 1962, the lifelong friendship of the girls is shattered. Image Forum 2-10-2 Shibuya Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0002

Adults from ¥1,500 03-5766-0114 Free Tickets We are giving away two free tickets to this event.

For information on other venues and dates, please visit:

14 & 15 SEPTEMBER Graham Parker

The British rock singer and songwriter, best known as the lead singer of popular British band Graham Parker & The Rumour, has released over 10 albums since becoming a solo artist in the 1980s. Billboard Live Tokyo Tokyo Midtown Garden Terrace 4F 9-7-4 Akasaka Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-0052 14 September, 6pm; 9pm 15 September, 4:30pm; 7:30pm Doors open one hour before each performance.

03-3405-1133 Adults from ¥6,000 Free Tickets We are giving away one pair of free tickets to this event.

25 SEPTEMBER The Classic Buskers


The British musicians met as students at Cambridge University in the 1970s and have since gained international success with their performances and recordings. The performers, who use several instruments to counter stereotypical perceptions of classical music, are sure to make audience members smile, regardless of age. Aoba Ward Cultural Center Philia Hall Aobadai Tokyu Square South-1 Main Building 5F 2-1-1 Aoba-ku, Yokohama 227-0062 7pm (doors open at 6:30pm)

Adults from ¥3,000; children from ¥1,000 (children under three years of age will not be admitted) 03-3552-3831 Free Tickets We are giving away two pairs of free tickets to this event.






BCCJ Executive Director Lori Henderson MBE (left) with Frances Somerville, senior manager for Deloitte Tohmatsu Tax Co., during the BCCJ’s 400 Night at the Conrad Tokyo on 18 July (see page 30).

Addressing a crowd at a 24 July joint luncheon, organised by the ACCJ’s Tokyo 2020 Olympics Task Force and supported by the BCCJ and ANZCCJ (see page 29), at the Grand Hyatt Tokyo were (from left): Graham Davis, BCCJ executive committee member; Larry Bates, ACCJ president; Melanie Brock, ANZCCJ chair; and Fujio Cho, honorary chairman of Toyota Motor Corporation and president of the Japan Sports Association.




Attending the BCCJ’s “Music in Japan” event at Oakwood Premier Tokyo Midtown on 23 July were (from left): Keitaro Sumii, head of the international division, Warner Music Japan; Lori Henderson MBE, BCCJ executive director; Graham Davis, BCCJ executive committee member; and InterFM DJs and broadcasters Peter Barakan and Guy Perryman.

Marking the 40th anniversary of the GlaxoSmithKline K.K. (GSK) Imaichi production site in Nikko City, Tochigi Prefecture, on 13 July were (from left) Nikko City Mayor Fumio Saito; Kazumi Kobayashi; Roger Connor, president of global manufacturing & supply at GSK; Jim Fox, Asia–Pacific technical head of GSK; Sue Kinoshita, director of trade and investment at the British Embassy Tokyo; and Philippe Fauchet, GSK president.




Manchester United’s Shinji Kagawa (left) and Yuta Narawa of Yokohama F. Marinos at the Nissan Stadium in Yokohama on 23 July (see page 28).


Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud celebrates his goal against Nagoya Grampus on 22 July at the Toyota Stadium in Toyota, Aichi Prefecture. Nagoya won 3–1.




Tribute band Queer (Queen) performed at the Hibiya Yaon Vol. 5 tribute band festival on 15 July at the Hibiya Open Air Concert Hall.


Yusuke Ohnuki (left) and Mayumu Minakawa performed in British choreographer Matthew Bourne’s Dorian Gray at Bunkamura Orchard Hall from 11 to 15 July.


At the US ambassador’s residence on 4 July to promote their film, Emperor, which opened in Japan on 27 July, were (from left) actors Kaori Momoi, Toshiyuki Nishida, Tommy Lee Jones, Matthew Fox, and Eriko Hatsune, with British director Peter Webber.



Actor Benedict Cumberbatch at a press conference in Tokyo on 16 July to promote his latest film Star Trek: Into Darkness, due for release in Japan on 23 August. Advanced screenings are planned for 16,17 and 18 August.

Fashion lovers at Hyper Japan 2013, the UK’s biggest celebration of Japanese culture, cuisine and cool, held on 26–28 July, at London’s Earls Court.



Is There a Blood Test for Cancer? No—but age- and gender-related routine tests are advised

By Dr Nicola Yeboah


atients often ask me if there is a simple blood test they can undergo to check whether they have cancer. At some time, most of us will have a close friend or relative with cancer. It is often this close-to-home encounter that prompts patients to ask the above question. Unfortunately, the answer is “no”. With the exception of blood cancers, even if all routine blood tests are normal, one cannot completely rule out an underlying cancer. Sometimes, tumour marker blood tests are used. The tests detect chemicals in the blood that are produced by cancerous cells. Well-known tumour markers include prostate specific antigen (PSA) for prostate cancer and CA125 for ovarian cancer. The problem with using tumour markers is that most of them are produced both by cancerous cells and some normal cells. Thus, elevated levels of the markers can be found in healthy individuals, while some people with cancer may never present high levels of a tumour marker. So how are tumour markers used? Below are three main areas of use.

To screen symptom-free people to detect cancer at an early stage, when it is easy to treat. However, the non-specific nature of the markers makes them of limited use in these tests. The PSA is the most widely known tumour marker that is used as a screening test in some countries. But, with correct results not guaranteed, whether to conduct a test should depend on each individual’s situation. Some people who are at particularly high risk of developing certain cancers (for example, due to family history or the presence of underlying disease) may benefit from screening with certain other markers.


To help diagnose symptoms in someone who is unwell by measuring the level of a tumour marker. The level of the marker is considered, with the patient’s symptoms, imaging and lab tests, as well as biopsy results.

To assess how well the treatment given to a cancer patient is working, and if their cancer has returned. As a patient responds to treatment, the amount of a tumour marker in the body should fall and possibly normalise. A subsequent rise in the level may indicate that the cancer has recurred. This is currently the most common use of tumour markers. In Japan, a wide variety of tumour markers are used as screening tests. They are added to routine blood tests performed at annual physical examinations. However, since tumour markers do not provide accurate screening results, findings need to be interpreted with caution. Preferably, such tests should be avoided in the first place. Often, one of the tests will come back showing an elevated level of a tumour marker in someone who is completely fit and well. Inevitably, numerous additional tests and scans follow that reveal no underlying cancer—while having caused the patient great anxiety. Bear this in mind before you tick the “tumour marker” option ahead

of your next physical. Otherwise, be ready to deal with the uncertainty of an elevated result. The best advice we can give our patients regarding cancer testing is that they undergo all the routine tests recommended for their age and gender. Cervical cancer screening is performed in the UK for women between the ages of 25 and 65. Depending on a woman’s age, screening is done every 3–5 years. Age ranges vary slightly from country to country. In the UK, breast cancer screening is undertaken every three years for individuals aged from 47 to 73 years. Both men and women, between the ages of 60 and 69, are currently offered bowel cancer screening every two years. It is also worth remembering that lifestyle factors can influence one’s risk of developing cancer. For example, obesity and smoking increase the risk of bowel cancer; obesity increases the risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women. Thus, smoking cessation and maintenance of a healthy body weight are also important. Finally, there is a lot of research being done to find a blood test that will detect various types of cancer at an early stage. The hope is that, in reply to the question, “Is there a blood test for cancer?”, the answer will one day be a resounding “yes”.


Has the Revolving Door of PMs Now Closed? By Ian de Stains OBE


apan’s voters—at least the 36% who bothered to turn out in July’s House of Councillors (upper house) election—have spoken: Prime Minister Shinzo Abe now has control of both chambers in the Diet. Victory for the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and their coalition partner, New Komeito, brings to an end a situation that has frustrated seven administrations since 2007, when Abe himself lost control of the House of Councillors at the end of his disastrous one-year stint as prime minister. Although the House of Representatives (lower house) is considered the more powerful, the House of Councillors can effectively block legislation. Since September 2007 it has done just that, adding considerably to the woes of successive governments struggling to cope with Japan’s flagging economy and a global economic crisis. Contested in the election were 121 seats (half the total, with the remaining half to be decided in three years) and the coalition needed just 63 votes to obtain a majority. In fact, they easily secured more than 70. The opposition, the Democratic Party of Japan, suffered heavy losses, while the Communist Party and the controversial Japan Restoration Party made small but significant gains. This suggests a swing to the right in Japanese sentiment; something that is congruent with indicators in other parts of the world and, perhaps, to be expected in the face of difficult economic times. On the Monday morning following the election the economic indicators were positive. The Nikkei rose more than 1.5% with a corresponding increase in the strength of the yen. The hope is that, having secured his victory, Abe can now press on with his promised economic reforms. The first two arrows in the Abenomics quiver appear to have worked. Having won last year’s House of Representatives election, Abe immediately embarked on an ambitious public spending programme worth some 2.6% of GDP. Now he has a mandate to

forge ahead with the third, final and more difficult arrow: his pledge to introduce further drastic economic reforms. The question is, does he have the stomach to go through with what really needs to be done? The much-needed hike in consumption tax, from 5% to 8% by April 2014, is bound to be unpopular, although attempts by opposition campaigners to use this move appear to have made little impression on the voting public.

If there is a general sense of confidence in Abe’s ability to restore Japan’s economic health, it is also true that there are other areas that give rise to serious concern. A much sharper nettle to grasp will be the liberalisation of Japan’s agricultural sector. The agricultural lobby has traditionally been a strong supporter of the LDP, and any moves to allow inroads by foreign competition are likely to be fiercely resisted. Yet Abe has made it very clear that he believes there is no alternative. He is in favour of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, which is generally expected to expand Japan’s economy 2.5%. But it is here where Abe is likely to face the most resistance, and not only from those on the opposition benches. There are many in his own party (and some in New Komeito) who fear the implications of large-scale deregulation and are almost certain to oppose elements of it. Further, it is by no means sure that the prime minister has the mettle that allowed former prime minister Junichiro Koizumi (2001–2006) to stand up to his fellow

party members over his commitment to privatise the post office. If there is a general sense of confidence in Abe’s ability to restore Japan’s economic health, it is also true that there are other areas that give rise to serious concern. At the domestic level, he is committed to restarting the country’s nuclear reactors, virtually all of which have been shut down since the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. He has said that resuming their operation is essential if Japan’s economy genuinely is to recover. Yet public opinion polls suggest that well over 50% of the population oppose the reopening of the power plants. During the recent election campaign some of the opposition parties used this argument. But the reality is that there is no coherent anti-nuclear movement in Japan, or a consistent argument against the prime minister’s position that the country needs the relatively inexpensive power produced by the plants to drive a re-emerging economy. At the international level, there will also be concern over Abe’s promise to revisit the thorny issue of the country’s post-war constitution, with a view to revising it. In particular, he is intent on revoking Clause 9, in which Japan forever renounces its right to go to war. It should be remembered that it was under Abe’s short-lived watch as prime minister in 2006 that the Japan Defense Agency was renamed the Ministry of Defense, and the Self Defense Forces were effectively given full military status. Whether this is genuinely a cause for concern is debatable. Some argue that a revision would put Japan in a better position to support its major ally, the US, in the event of a conflict in the region. For neighbours such as China and South Korea, however, it is natural that there is apprehension over the prospect of a truly militarised Japan. As for UK–Japan relations, there is nothing to suggest that the election results will change anything in this vitally important partnership, save a hint that the UK’s withdrawal from the EU could have a detrimental impact on Japanese investment in the UK with the loss of jobs.


BCCJ ACUMEN has one copy of this book to give away. To apply, please send an email by 31 August to: The winner will be picked at random.


Review by Ian de Stains OBE

The Way We Were The British writer Alan Bennett once remarked that history is “just one damned thing after another”. And so it might seem. This idea derives from the origin of our word, namely, the Greek term historia (knowledge gained through investigation). Yet when I studied history at school, investigation played no part in my education. The textbooks we used were didactic; we learned by rote the facts our teachers—themselves educated in much the same way—held to be true. So, for example, I learned that the Victorian period (1837–1901) was a time of great, self-confident progress. The heavily pink map on the classroom wall was testament to the might of the British Empire, the British Isles brazenly at the centre of it all. There was not then—and I suspect there is not now, at least at the level of secondary education—any attempt to look at an alternative view. That there are other options should be self-evident; that we should consider them, beyond doubt. So it was with some interest, and not a little surprise, that I embarked on Pankaj Mishra’s remarkable book. From the Ruins of Empire asserts that the Victorian period I had been taught to respect was, in fact, experienced by Asians as a catastrophe. The events of the time: Britain’s increasingly tight control of India, it’s use of the opium trade to attempt to dominate China, and the humiliation of the Ottoman Empire, produced throughout Asia a new way of thinking. Individuals emerged who were not afraid to challenge the conventional belief that the West was the naturally dominant culture. According to Mishra, the ideas that began to emerge in this period are behind everything, from the Chinese Communist Party and Al-Qaeda, to Indian nationalism and the Muslim Brotherhood. His arguments are convincing and beautifully articulated. Appropriately he begins his exploration with the 1905 Battle of Tsushima. This naval conflict, played out over two days in the narrow strait between Kyushu and South Korea, pitted the Japanese navy (in total some 89 ships under the command of Admiral Togo Heihachiro) against the Russian Empire (with some 28 vessels commanded by Admiral Zinovy Rozhestvensy). It was a decisive victory for the Japanese, effectively ending a war that


Pankaj Mishra Allen Lane £14.99

was being fought mainly to decide who would control the Korean Peninsula and Manchuria. The Battle of Tsushima was later defined by military historians (including American writer Edmund Morris) as “by far the greatest and most important naval event since the Battle of Trafalgar”. Aside from the discussion of any military prowess, what is most important to note—and is crucial to what Mishra posits in his book—is that the Tsushima battle was the first time since the Middle Ages that an Asian power had defeated one from the West. The repercussions were immediate. Lord Curzon, the viceroy of India— the country that was then the jewel in Britain’s crown of empire—remarked that the “reverberations of [the Tsushima] victory have gone like a thunderclap through the whispering galleries of the East”. Curzon had captured the mood exactly. In South Africa, a then unknown young lawyer suggested that, “so far and wide have the roots of Japanese victory

spread that we cannot now visualise all the fruit it will put forth”. His name was Mohandas Gandhi. And around the world other thinkers from the East were encouraged by Japan’s victory. Mustafa Kemal (later known as Atatu˝rk) took Japan as his model in his efforts to reform the Ottoman Empire. Meanwhile, in his English public school of Harrow, Jawaharlal Nehru (later to become India’s first prime minister) found the inspiration that was to lead him in his fight for “Indian freedom”. Closer to home, Sun Yat Sen—also in England at the time—found encouragement in his quest for nationalism. Mishra’s book is remarkable in its scope and is highly entertaining as well as informative. It is by no means a dry historical tract and is not lacking in humour. When Napoleon attempted, for example, to subjugate Egypt, he professed admiration for all things Islam. Yet when prompted to become a Muslim, he protested there were two barriers: circumcision and wine.

Moon and Water Meet, Creating a World of Calm 水と月が出合ったとき、極上の安らぎが生まれました。

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BCCJ ACUMEN, August 2013  
BCCJ ACUMEN, August 2013