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Monthly Archives: April 2011

Totnes Japan Day

Are you looking for something to do on Easter Saturday (April 23rd)? If you’re anywhere near Devon at the time, you might like to drop in at the Totnes Civic Hall, where a Japan Day has been organized to raise money for people affected by the earthquake and tsunami. The event runs from 10 am until 4 pm, and will include authentic Japanese food, workshops, tester therapy sessions and music. More details are available at the Creative Community Devon website. Here’s a map:

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Channel 5 documentary

This evening Channel 5 showed a rather depressing documentary following a British search & rescue team as they looked for survivors in the debris left behind after the tsunami and earthquake. They didn’t find any. It’s been estimated that there are now half a million homeless people in Japan. Please donate to the relief effort if you are able.

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Trade and Investment for Growth

The Department for Business Innovation & Skills recently published a white paper on the subject of Trade and Investment for Growth (download PDF file; 997 kB) that stresses Japan’s importance as one of the key markets for new business opportunities as the world emerges from the global recession. To help things along, the UK Government is hoping to set up an EU-Japan Free Trade Agreement that could potentially “deliver €43.4 billion additional EU exports to Japan”. However, the document raises concerns about the lack of language skills among UK businesses, an issue that was also mentioned by Baroness Coussins in a House of Lords debate yesterday: Another figure worth quoting, given the explosion in online sales, is that over 70 per cent of consumers require information in their native language in order to make an online purchase, while people who do not have good English are six times less likely to buy from an English-only site. It is self-defeating and inaccurate to think that English is enough. Only 6 per cent of the world’s population are native English speakers and [More…]

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Header image: The three wise monkeys (三匹の猿) at Tōshō-gū shrine in Nikkō (日光東照宮), said to be the origin of the saying “Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil”. Photo: Frank Gualtieri.

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