Japan in the Midlands [entry-title permalink="0"]

The University of Nottingham’s Asia Business Centre hosted a “Japan in the Midlands” networking reception in association with JETAA Midlands, on Tuesday February 24th. The reception was attended by 85 people including representatives from the local Japan-UK business community, JETAA members, students from the local universities and academics with an interest in Japan.

Michèle Clarke, Assistant Pro Vice Chancellor (International) Asia, opened the evening, speaking of the links between the University and Japan. Sarah Parsons, Chair of JETAA UK and a Midlands-based business owner, then spoke about JETAA’s links with the local business community.

Keiichi Hasegawa and Rob Gorton, an ex-JET now working in Corporate Planning for Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK, gave an insightful presentation on Toyota’s history, their activities in the East Midlands and around the globe, plus future plans.

Hiro Koito from Koito Europe Ltd talked about the historical relationship with their customers and their global and local activities.

Kentaro Sato from Aisin Europe Ltd, a supplier to TMUK, spoke about Aisin’s products and activities. He also presented an upcoming job opportunity suitable for a Japanese speaker. It was fascinating to hear about the close relationship between the three companies and to meet other local Japanese businesses represented at the event.

The evening finished with valuable networking time, when we were treated to a green tea tasting by ex-JET Tom Furniss who has set up his own company in the Midlands called Hiromi Ltd. Food came in the form of a Japanese buffet supplied by local Japanese caterers Goma Deli.

It was a fantastic evening and JETAA UK would like to express our thanks to the Asia Business Centre for hosting the event and to all the speakers and members of the East Midlands Japanese Association who supported the event by supplying speakers and publicising it amongst their members.

Everyone benefited from the chance to network and find out about JETAA’s activities and Japanese companies in the Midlands. It was also a great chance to promote the JET Programme to the students and companies there. 

Speaker Overview

The Asia Business Centre at the University of Nottingham supports innovation partnerships and knowledge transfer programmes across Malaysia, China and UK Campuses and other offices throughout the region. They recently won a prestigious award for their ‘Outstanding International Strategy’. The University has won many awards for its new technologies and its executive MBA course is ranked 6th in the UK.

JET Alumni Association Since the start of the JET Programme in 1985, there have been over 10,000 UK participants, many of whom are living in the UK and continuing the links between Japan and the UK. JETAA UK is supported by Japanese Governmental organisations and is linking in with the British and Japan related business community to develop further cultural, social, educational and economic ties between the two countries.

Toyota Motor Manufacturing (UK) Ltd. Ranked as Japan’s top global brand in 2014, Toyota established TMUK in 1992 – it was the first Toyota plant in Europe, is one of Toyota’s four global “eco plants”, and was the first to build Hybrid vehicles in Europe.

Koito Europe Ltd. Koito was established in 1915 in Japan.  It succeeded in commercializing the world’s first LED headlamps and has been actively advancing development of new technologies and products that are eco-friendly.

Aisin Europe Manufacturing (UK) LTD Established in 1997, it was the first AISIN plant in Europe, and a supplier of parts and components to the global automotive industry.  It now manufactures parts for many global automotive brands.

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Sarah Parsons

Sarah is Chair of the JETAAUK National Committee. Email her at chair@jetaa.org.uk
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