Then and Now: Japanese Investment in the UK

Sierk A. Horn
Senior Lecturer in Japanese Studies, University of Leeds

Monday, 19th September 2011 6.45pm

School of Oriental and African Studies
University of London
Khalili Lecture Theatre
Thornhaugh Street
Russell Square
London WC1H 0XG

Japanese firms have a reputation as influential foreign investors. With this back-drop in mind, Sierk Horn’s lecture examines how Japanese firms are currently developing their presence in the UK. His research finds that Japanese investment behaviour is evolving. While benefiting from a strong presence within Europe, Japanese firms are in the process of reconfiguring their UK presence. Recent surveys show Europe losing ground as a promising region for medium-term overseas business operations. Japanese manufacturers have downgraded the attractiveness of the UK as a business destination. In the last decade the number of Japanese firms in the UK has declined considerably, indicating an appreciable slow-down in interest from Japan.

In light of the continued importance of Japan as an inward investment source country despite investment ‘newcomers,’ most notably from India or China, the long-term commitment of Japanese investors and their contribution to the regional regeneration of the UK represents a useful context in which to examine the current strategies and localisation behaviour of Japanese companies. A comparative and longitudinal analysis of the spatial distribution of Japanese Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the UK over the past two decades help explore agglomeration economies, investment and exit scenarios and the changing role of regional industrial policies.

Dr Sierk A. Horn is Senior Lecturer in Japanese Studies at the University of Leeds. He was awarded a PhD in Japanese Studies and Habilitation from Freie Universitaet Berlin. He has published widely in the fields of consumer behaviour in East Asia, international knowledge transfer and strategic management of Japanese and European multinational enterprises (MNEs).

To reserve your place, please call the Japan Society office on 020 7828 6330 or email events@japansociety.org.uk or submit the online booking form

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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.