This is The Project Company's blog covering HR, Marketing and Business in Japan and the UK. You don’t need to go to Hyde Park to hear what we think, we come to you!

Difficult people and Japanese Companies

The Japanese words “Otsuboné” for women and “Rojyu” for men is used for someone in the office who has long years of service and have good internal connections but has a largely negative influence on morale in the office. When I speak to CEOs and Managing Directors of Japanese organisations in Europe about the frequent existence of “Otsuboné” and “Rojyu” and the problematic nature of them, they are delighted to discuss it.

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EU Referendum: what I have learned about the EU

Today’s “FT poll of polls” shows 44% each for both Remain and Leave. Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group, is so concerned regarding the outcome of this referendum that he started his own Remain campaign yesterday, only three days before the vote. In the meantime, Vote Leave broadcasts TV ads saying the EU contribution money is a waste and it is necessary to take it back for building a better NHS. The panic and scaremongering of the last few days is deja vu from the Scottish referendum in 2014.

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Great female managers at home will increase “ikumen”

Last week, I read The Time’s interview with Anne-Marie Slaughter, a US public policy expert. In 2009, she became the first female Director of Policy Planning under then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and she travelled every weekend between Washington and Princeton, where her husband took care of their two sons during the week.

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October legislation updates

There were some changes in employment legislation from October: an introduction of Modern Slavery Act, the usual rate increase of National Minimum Wage, extended safety helmet exemption for Sikhs, smoking ban in a car, and an Equality Act provision.

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The success of Rugby World Cup and Japanese sponsors

The great festive atmosphere continues as the Rugby World Cup (RWC) games are held at stadiums throughout the UK. I went to watch the Japan v Scotland game in Gloucester last Wednesday and the train we took was packed with Japanese fans who had flown from Japan for the tournament.

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Japanese packaging technology

I soon noticed that Japanese packaging technology is advanced after I arrived in the UK. Packaging does not refer only to the appearance, but it is also an important part of consumer experience of the product.

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Bathroom revolution

High-tech toilet and bath in Japan are brilliant. I endured a cold toilet seat in winter in London for years and I had had enough. I recently bought a toilet seat cover in Japan.

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Focusing on compliance leads to problems

Our clients include large Japanese companies and governmental organisations but their operation in the UK is often small. And at the head of the organisations are Japanese expatriates who are, in most cases, new to HR. They often want to concentrate on compliance with employment legislation.

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