Social Innovation and New Solutions to Youth Unemployment: UK & Japan’s Emerging Youth Policy

12 March 2013

6:00 – 7:30pm, followed by a drinks reception to 8:00pm

13-14 Cornwall Terrace (Outer Circle), London, NW14QP

In the UK, young people with low or no qualifications make up 39% of all young people unemployed and not in education, and 47% of those inactive and outside learning, despite only accounting for a quarter of the youth population. Tony Wilson, Policy Director of Inclusion, which delivers research and new approaches to policy that promote social inclusion in the labour market, will talk about the UK’s policy of intervention and provision of training to improve the employability of  British youth. His recent publications include the BIS research paper (Number 101) Youth Unemployment: Review of Training for Young People with Low Qualifications (Dept. for Business Innovation and Skills, February 2013).

From the 1960s onwards, Japan’s rapid economic growth generated internationally low levels of youth unemployment. This changed in the 1990s however, and by the 2000s, youth unemployment was recognised as a serious concern. Japan’s Emerging Youth Policy (Routledge, 2013) is based on extensive fieldwork that draws on both sociological and policy science approaches, and is the first book to investigate in detail how the state, experts, the media, and youth workers have reacted to the rise of youth joblessness in Japan. The book argues that entrepreneurial youth support leaders in Japan can provide sustainable, attractive solutions to the dilemmas that virtually all post-industrial nations currently face but have not yet seriously addressed. Dr Tuukka Toivonen, the author of the book, will discuss Japan’s emerging youth policy and attempt to bring evidence from Japan into a dialogue with the realities in other advanced nations, such as the UK.

Dr Tuukka Toivonen

Dr Tuukka Toivonen is Junior Research Fellow at Green Templeton College, University of Oxford, and is a Visiting Research Fellow at the Global Communications Centre (GLOCOM), the International University of Japan, Tokyo. He holds a DPhil in Social Policy from the University of Oxford, and is a graduate of Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University in Japan. He has held visiting positions at the universities of Kobe, Tokyo, Kyoto and Keio. He is a sociologist by training and has published several articles in world-class journals that comparatively analyse policy-making processes, youth problems and social innovations. He is also the co-editor of A Sociology of Japanese Youth: From Returnees to NEETs (Routledge, 2012). Currently, he is carrying out fieldwork on the evolution of social entrepreneurship and related innovation communities in Japan. Alongside his purely academic work, he also engages in social innovation activities himself as the founder and representative of Kansai RISE, which promotes young people’s creative involvement in public improvement and policy-making at regional level.

Tony Wilson

Tony Wilson joined Inclusion as Director in October 2011. He has more than ten years’ experience of policy and research, project management and delivery across a range of roles in HM Treasury, the Department for Work and Pensions and Jobcentre Plus. Since joining Inclusion, Tony has led on a range of projects including a feasibility study on developing a new employment programme in Northern Ireland, assessing approaches to tackling youth unemployment, the fragmentation of services for young people, and evaluations of programmes to increase employment among inactive groups. Most recently, Tony led on employment policy and delivery at HM Treasury: advising on labour market trends, policy responses to the downturn, delivery of welfare-to-work programmes and benefit reform. Prior to this he was responsible for the design and delivery of a number of Department for Work and Pensions employment projects. These included overseeing the development and introduction of the Future Jobs Fund, which created over 105,000 temporary jobs for long-term unemployed people. He was an expert policy adviser to David Freud on his independent review of welfare-to-work, published in 2007.

Organised by The Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation

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Grilled Rats Are a Tasty Snack

Rat

Grilled Rats Are a Tasty Snack In Phitsanulok

In the winter, Phitsanulok locals like to eat “grilled field rats.” The prices of cooked rats then increase to 250 THB per kg. Popular rat dishes include fried field rats, curry field rat, and fried field rats with garlic. Residents believe that eating rats warms the body

PHITSANULOK – January 24, 2013 [PDN]; on a winter’s day, a reporter driving in Phitsanulok province noticed a big poster on the side of the road, which said “Grilled Rats.” The sign was on the roadside along the route going from Sukhothai to Pitsanulok in Tambon Phaikhordorn, about 10 km from Phitsanulok.

The reporter stopped and talked to the rat-selling owner, Mrs. Somboon Yuyen, age 50, who lives on Tharmmul road, Amphur Meuang, Chainart province.

She said that selling grilled rats is a business that provides revenues to many families in the area. In winter, many local people like to eat grilled rats and come to buy her rats. Sometimes there are so many customers, she runs out of grilled rats to sell.

Mrs. Somboon has been selling grilled field rats for about 7 years. In the decade before that, she used to mainly catch the field rats to sell to the grilled rat shops. Back then the price would be 30 THB per kg. Her revenue would total only 200 THB per day.

Then the wholesale rat prices increased to 80-100 THB per kg. However, the grilled rats had a higher price of 150 THB per kg. So Ms. Somboon and her husband began to catch the field rats to grill and sell themselves.

The rat-grilling business was going well, with a steadily increasing number of consumers. So Mrs. Somboon began to go to other provinces to buy more field rats in the lower northern and central Thailand areas.

She bought field rats from rice field owners that fetched high prices according to the demands of the sellers. Prices would average 100 THB per kg of rats, but sometimes reached 150 THB per kg. Mrs. Somboon would freeze the rats and store them, to be grilled later for hungry customers.

Mrs. Somboon said there seems to be more demand for grilled rats than in the past. So she has been traveling around and selling her rats in many lower north provinces, including Chainart province, Pijit province and Pitsanulok province. Business has been good in Phitsanulok, where she has been selling rats for five months, so she has no immediate plans to move.

The prices for her rats vary according to size. For the small size rats, the price is 200 THB per kg; the medium size rats sell for 220 THB per kg; and big rats sell for 250 THB per kg.

Although she considers the prices of rats to be expensive, the people who like to eat rats consider it a cheap price to pay. For people who want to grill their rats at home, her frozen field rats are priced at 180 THB per kg.

Some customers buy 3-5 kg of frozen rats each time to store in their refrigerators, and also buy rats for their relatives and friends. Most of her customers are local people, and some are drivers passing by who notice her shop.

Selling grilled field rats is an occupation that Mrs. Somboon is proud of, and can generate revenues up to 1 million THB a year. Mrs. Somboon averages more than 2,000-3,000 THB daily in sales. During the festivals, she can earn more than 10,000 THB daily.

Mrs. Somboon now enjoys a better financial status because of her business. She bought a pickup truck to buy more rats in many places, and can now build her own house from the money she made selling rats.

 Article and picture taken from Pattayadailynews.

Exposure: Inside the Olympus Scandal

Book launch details:

29 November 2012

6:00 – 7:30pm, followed by a drinks reception to 8:30pm

13/ 14 Conwall Terrace (Outer Circle), London, NW1 4QP, Nr Baker Street Tube

Organised by The Daiwa Anglo Japanese Foundation

After becoming President of Olympus in April 2011, Michael Woodford became aware of some large unexplained payments the company had made in relation to overseas acquisitions. When satisfactory explanations were not forthcoming, he kicked up a fuss, only to be dismissed by the company’s board in October. He had stumbled on one of Japan’s largest and longest-running ever “tobashi”, or loss-hiding, schemes. The resulting scandal led to the arrest of seven Olympus executives, including the former Chairman, and a drop of 75% in the company’s stock market value, as well as a revival of broader concerns about Japanese corporate governance and audit standards. Introducing his new book, Woodford will give us the inside story.

“Michael Woodford had everything the corporate world could ever offer. Yet when he discovered rampant corruption at the core of one of Japan’s most prestigious companies, he did not hesitate. This is a sensational personal account of a man of great courage and principle who got to the top, and blew the whistle to glorious effect. In the corporate world Michael Woodford is too rare and exceptional a breed.”    -Jon Snow, Channel 4 News.

* The book will be available for purchase on the day.

Michael Woodford

Michael Woodford grew up in Liverpool and joined Olympus as a medical equipment salesman, rising through the ranks to run its UK, MEA and European businesses. In April 2011, he was appointed President and COO of the Olympus Corporation – the first Western ‘salary-man’ to rise through the ranks to the top of a Japanese giant. That October he was made CEO, but only two weeks later, he was dismissed after querying inexplicable payments approaching $2 billion. He was named Business Person of the Year 2011 by the Sunday Times, the Independent and theSun, and won the Financial Times Arcelor-Mittal Award for Boldest Businessperson of the Year. He lives in London with his wife and two teenage children.

Cutty Sark re-opens to the public

The Cutty Sark has opened its doors to the paying public.

After the residents’ day, a starring role in the London Marathon and an opening ceremony attended by the Queen, it was finally a chance for the general public to see the transformation that has taken place.

On board, visitors can learn about Cutty Sark’s role in the tea trade, look up crew members from the archives, try to navigate from Australia to England and enjoy great views across London as well as look up to see eleven miles of rigging.

The iconic tea clipper, as has been well noted before, has now been raised by three metres, to create a new space below, called the Sammy Ofer Gallery, where there is the world’s largest collection of merchant navy figureheads and a new cafe.

Address: Cutty Sark Gardens, Greenwich, London SE10 9BG

Video Games in Japan: Past, Present and Future The Present and Future: Progress to Next Level?

22 February 2012 from 6.30pm

The Japan Foundation
10-12 Russell Square
London, WC1B 5EH

Video Games in Japan: Past, Present and Future 
The Present and Future: Progress to Next Level? – Where is the Japanese Video Game Industry heading?

In 2008, the market for the consumption of video games in the UK became the second largest in the world, and it is still expanding. Within this situation, it is common knowledge that a great number of the games people in the UK play every day are made in Japan. However, the Japanese game industry, which has held an advantage for a long time, is now facing a series of challenges as new centres of video game production appear in developing countries. How can Japanese companies strengthen their position in markets around the world, taking into account the emergence of social gaming? Is the solution to prioritise the development of their human resources and rationalise the process of making games?

Prof Akira Baba, University of Tokyo, will make a presentation on the current situation and problems of the Japanese Game Industries and Takuma Endo, president of ACQUIRE and Development Director of Tenchu, a game which has sold 1.5million copies, will talk about where Japanese game makers are going. Steve Boxer, freelance journalist and member of the award-winning Video Games coverage team at The Guardian will respond to their presentations as a discussant.

There will be a prize-draw during the evening to win tickets to attend the Hyper Japan event, which takes place from 24th-26th February.

This event is free to attend but booking is essential. To reserve a place, please email your name and the title of the event you would like to attend to event@jpf.org.uk.

From Philanthropy to Essential Business Investment – the evolution of CSR in the UK

19 July 2011 from 6.30pm

The Japan Foundation, London
Russell Square House, 10-12 Russell Square
London WC1B 5EH

This seminar will introduce the background to Corporate Social Responsibility in the UK and, through the story of one of this country’s most famous companies, explain why and how corporate good practice has changed from being a reactive response into a strategic investment for sustainable business success. The speakers will first look back at the origins of CSR and question the extent to which, in its current form, it can genuinely help companies, across the board, realise their corporate strategic objectives. This seminar is the inaugral event in a new series which will inform Japanese and other interested corporate sector professionals and researchers about recent CSR thinking and trends in the UK.

Ian Blythe is a former Pollution Control Officer for Severn Trent Water, who joined Boots in 1990. His experience has been used in developing Boots UK’s approach to broader CSR strategy and reporting and he has been a key contributor to developing an international approach to CSR across the Alliance Boots Group. Ian represents the Boots UK business on various national and local committess, including the All-Party Parliamentary Environment Group, British Retail Consortium’s Environment Policy Advisory Group, CBI Environmental Affairs Committee, and Business in the Community’s East Midlands Advisory Board.

Takeshi Shimotaya is a founder and Managing Director of Sustainavision Ltd. Sustainavision Ltd aims to contribute to the development of a sustainable society through supporting company’s CSR strategy. It proposes to achieve this through reviewing and, where necessary, improving CSR programmes, Carbon Management programmes, and undertaking tailor-made CSR related research and CSR related workshops. Prior to founding Sustainavision Ltd, Takeshi worked for well-known industrial companies, such as Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Eco Mining, gaining valuable experience in CSR and the renewable energy field.

Booking: This event is free to attend but booking is essential. To reserve a place, please email your name and the title of the event you would like to attend to event@jpf.org.uk.