The Japan Society

Latest News

Japan Society Chairman's Blog (44)

Japan Society Chairman's Blog (44)

So, now they have finally opened, should we be sad, should we be glad, should we be critical, or should we just look at the Olympic Games for what they are and can be, in these most difficult of circumstances, as if we were singing along to Doris Day’s Que sera sera?

Japan Society Chairman's Blog (43)

Japan Society Chairman's Blog (43)

It now seems to happen every year at some stage, but the extreme weather events we have been seeing lately still come as a shock as well, we must hope, as an eye-opener about the reality of climate change.

Japan Society Chairman's Blog (42)

Japan Society Chairman's Blog (42)

Over the past year and a half we have all become rather more knowledgeable about the way in which Mother Nature can spring surprises on us than we ever wanted or expected to be.

Japan Society Chairman's Blog (41)

Japan Society Chairman's Blog (41)

The news came as quite a shock, as it may do now to those Japan Society members not yet aware of it: that Sir Roger Gifford, who spoke so warmly and cheerfully at our webinar on green finance on 19 May, passed away at his home less than a week later, on 25 May.

Japan Society Chairman's Blog (40)

Japan Society Chairman's Blog (40)

Britain and America, quipped the Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw, are two nations divided by a common language. Or at least I think Shaw said this, but one modern consequence of Google is that when I used it to check the quote, it told me that there is no clear attribution, and that it might have been said by Oscar Wilde or someone else entirely.

Japan Society Chairman's Blog (39)

Japan Society Chairman's Blog (39)

One effect of the pandemic which I’m sure we won’t miss, whenever it turns out to be over, is the way in which holidays have become difficult to distinguish from other days, although turning off emails and social media no doubt helps.

Japan Society Chairman's Blog (38)

Japan Society Chairman's Blog (38)

Longer life expectancies and changing social mores mean that neither in Britain or Japan are we very accustomed to the deaths of senior members of our royal and imperial families and to what national responses and practices should mark them.

Japan Society Chairman's Blog (37)

Japan Society Chairman's Blog (37)

One of the most surreal aspects of this long pandemic has been the sight on television of professional sports being played in vast stadiums with no spectators. At least for rugby fans this did not make the now almost-concluded Six Nations tournament any less exciting, but I did find myself occasionally wondering how it must feel for the players.

Japan Society Chairman's Blog (36)

Japan Society Chairman's Blog (36)

“You are old, Father William, the young man said, and your hair has become very white; And yet you incessantly stand on your head – Do you think, at your age, it is right?” Way back in 1865 Lewis Carroll captured admirably our societies’ blend of veneration and astonishment at the achievements of great old age in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

Japan Society Chairman's Blog (35)

Japan Society Chairman's Blog (35)

It was one of those events for which I suspect all of us can remember what we were doing or where we were when we heard the news – or, for those in Japan, when you felt the tremors. I had a small reminder of it over Christmas when, while clearing out some old files, an envelope fell out containing potassium iodide pills.