JLGC notes the sad passing of the South African leader Nelson Mandela and offers its sincerest condolences to our neighbours on Whitehall in the South African consular section, as well as the South African people and our colleagues in the Commonwealth Local Government Forum.
Japan’s prime minister Shinzo Abe and Ambassador Hayashi in London have issued their own condolences to the inspiring leader, whose life was devoted to the values of democracy and internationalism.
In his 1996 speech to the National Summit for Organised Local Government, Mandela paid tribute to municipalities “critical role to play in representing the interests of local government within the unfolding system of intergovernmental relations.”
On 15 November Tokyo governor Naoki Inose announced the city will increase its intake of JET Programme participants to 100 from 2014. Numbers plan to increase incrementally, with 200 planned to be recruited the following year. This is part of efforts to strengthen international community support in the run up to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. For more details download the Tokyo Board of Education leaflet, which can be read here.
Last week we assisted a delegation of six Tokyo Metropolitan Assemblymen on their study visit to London in support of Tokyo’s hosting of the 2020 Olympic Games. As well as inspecting London 2012 venues and the Olympic Park, at City Hall they met with Darren Johnson AM (Chair of the London Assembly) and Nicky Gavron AM (former Deputy Mayor and current London Assembly Planning Committee chair), in addition to key officials of the Greater London Authority. The group were told of the key role of the assembly in holding the Olympics organisers to account over staging the “greenest games ever” and ensuring a sustainable legacy after the games.
They also visited the London Legacy Development Corporation to hear first-hand about the post-games use of the Olympic Park and venues. At UK Trade & Investment (in association with the Japan External Trade Organization, JETRO), the group learnt about the success of engaging UK business in the staging of the games with positive results for the British economy, an impressive key takeaway point for Tokyo’s 2020 planning, they felt.
Thursday 5 December 2013, 6.30pm to 8.00pm
Embassy of Japan
London W1J 7JT
The Japan Society of the UK will hold its 2013 Christmas Party in the Ballroom of the Embassy of Japan. Marking the twin anniversaries of the arrival 150 years ago of the Choshu Five in London and the 400th anniversary of the first British ship (The Clove) to make landfall in Japan, the Japan Society and Embassy of Japan will also welcome delegates from Shizuoka City as special guests for the evening. The Mayor of Shizuoka Nobuhiro Tanabe will attend alongside Mr Tsunenari Tokugawa, the 18th generation head of the Tokugawa family and a direct descendant of Shoguns Ieyasu and Hidetada, the rulers whom Clove captain John Saris met in 1613. There will be special presentations during the evening, including speeches from HE Ambassador Hayashi and Japan Society Chairman, former UK Ambassador Sir David Warren, alongside a demonstration of hand-rolled tea and other crafts from Shizuoka.
Places at the event, for Japan Society members and their guests are £17. Bookings can be made via the Japan Society website.
Fukuoka Mayor Soichiro Takashima with @josef
Last night creatives and city officials from Fukuoka descended on London’s Tech City, as part of a two day visit to the capital showcasing the Asian digital hub’s offer around innovative tech and gaming start-ups/talent, as well as linking up with British firms. After Mayor Soichiro Takashima detailed the growing city’s economy as start-up capital of Japan, the event saw pitches from leading Fukuoka creative businesses, the demonstration of local culture, food and drink and, during the networking, DJ sets by local creatives (and the mayor).
This March the City of Fukuoka concluded a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Tech City Investment Organisation (TCIO) at a ceremony held in Fukuoka, with British Ambassador Tim Hitchens signing the agreement on behalf of TCIO. The MOU commits both cities to collaborate around joint promotion of local tech firms and knowledge partnering, of which this event and visits to Tech City-based companies are the first such collaboration.
For more on Mayor Takashima and Fukuoka’s lifestyle offer you can download this briefing (PDF, extracted from City Portraits, a publication of the World Cities Summit Mayors Forum 2013. To download the full publication or learn more about the World Cities Summit, visit http://www.worldcitiessummit.com.sg/), while the mayor’s presentation from the event can also be downloaded (PDF).
Saturday, December 7, 2013
University of London (SOAS)
The 400th Anniversary of the Death of Tokugawa Ieyasu events held by the City of Shizuoka and the Japan400 program in London, are linked by the man himself, Tokugawa Ieyasu, who lived and died four centuries ago.
In 2013, exactly 400 years after English emissaries came to Japan to meet with Ieyasu, we will send emissaries of our own from Shizuoka (formerly known as Sumpu, the final home of Ieyasu) to Britain.
This return visit is in honour of those British representatives, from long ago, and is also an opportunity for citizens of both Britain and Japan to look back at the accomplishments of those people from the early 17th century.
Representatives from Japan will journey to England to tie together the 400th Anniversary of the Death of Tokugawa Ieyasu events and the Japan400 Anniversary event, and to hold a commemoration in London.
Full details (including booking) can be viewed at the event website.
Film screening and talk at the University of London School of Oriental and African Studies (DTL-Kamran DJAM Lecture Theatre). Time: 13:00 – 16:45. Date: Sat, 16 November
Hosted by Japan Research Centre and Tohoku Earthquake Relief Project (TERP) London
Free event (booking essential)
Please send your name and organization to: email@example.com
Seats are available on a first come first served basis.
This one-day film and talk event will be held in London at SOAS reflecting on the events of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami which happened on 11 March 2011 and to look at how lives are being rebuilt for those affected by the disaster.
The day will include a screening of the documentary film Tough It Out (dir. Norihito Morioka) and a talk from a medical professional who has been working in the tsunami-devastated areas.
More details are available at the TERP London website.
Japanese cities and regions such as Tokyo, Kyoto and Okinawa, as well as the Japan National Tourism Organisation (JNTO), will again exhibit at this year’s World Travel Market. The event, held 4-7 November at London’s ExCel Exhibition Centre, will see other Japanese destinations such as Osaka and Kinosaki represented at the JNTO stand to promote their visitor economies. Osaka will also be promoting the first official International Cool Japan Awards and POP Matsuri (festival), set to take place in Osaka in March 2014.
The UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has this week unveiled its own ‘Smart Cities’ strategy to promote the use of intelligent technology to enhance the quality of life in urban environments. Accompanying the announcement, a study of opportunities for the UK in the global smart city market makes the following observations about Japan:
• the Japanese home energy management market will reach $2.3bn by 2016
• Japan is the world’s fourth largest investor in smart energy grids
• an official of the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MLIT) has joined the European Commission DG CONNECT for six months to enhance cooperation around Intelligent Transport Systems as part of EU-Japan cooperation in this field
• Japan has also adopted a ‘healthcare without walls’ approach to assisted living technology
The study also notes:
Japan is moving rapidly following the shock to the energy market caused by the Fukushima disaster. The energy sector is now undertaking a massive transformation. Japan is moving away from nuclear power; all but two of the country’s nuclear reactors are offline, and has set a target of 30% energy from renewables by 2030. Recognising the urgent need to deploy smart grid technology, Japan is seeking to build one of the world’s most advanced next generation smart grids and has formed international partnership to speed the deployment of smart meters. The Japanese Government has been promoting smart city initiatives in four cities: Yokohama, Toyota City, Keihanna Science City and Kitakyushu. Each of these cities is piloting innovative energy management technology and experimenting with different technical solutions that can support sustainable lifestyles.
As previously mentioned, an ‘International Conference on Future of Cities’ will be held in Kitakyushu on 20 October.
For a number of years the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) and various bodies in Japan have collaborated around common interests in local public finance. This partnership has now resulted in the formation of a Japanese branch of CIPFA to take forward the development and promotion of principles of good financial management in Japan by supporting public sector organisations to develop public finance accountancy as a profession.
The objectives of the CIPFA Japan branch are:
• To form a strategic partnership between CIPFA and the Institute of Business and Accounting, Kwansei Gakuin University, for the promotion of the principles of good financial management in Japan
• To support the establishment of a core group, located at Kwansei Gakuin University, to lead the CIPFA Japan branch
• To facilitate the exchange of information on topics of mutual interest
• To encourage the wider dissemination of research and public financial management expertise to the public financial management community in Japan
The signing ceremony on September 30 was attended by outgoing CIPFA chief executive Steve Freer and Professor Toshihiko Ishihara of Kwansei Gakuin University, as well as JLGC Director Yuichiro Hanyu. The new branch will formally enter existence on 1 January 2014.