Ruth Taplin is the author/editor of over 200 articles and eighteen books on the Japanese economy, innovation and intellectual property. She is Director of the Centre for Japanese and East Asian Studies. She is currently Honorary Advisor for the Society of Interdisciplinary Business Research in Hong Kong, a Research Fellow at the University of Leicester and Editor of the Interdisciplinary Journal of Economics and Business Law

Over 20 years ago I was selected as a future leader in the field of Japan studies and was sent on a special course to Durham University to pursue this goal. I established my Centre for Japanese and East Asian Studies with a generous grant from the late Lord Limerick and with the kind assistance of Viscount Trenchard, both formerly of Kleinwort Benson, and this initiated a lifelong relationship encouraging connections between Japan and Britain. This has taken various forms: from holding Kanji writing workshops at the Centre’s offices in the City of London to writing or editing eighteen books (published mainly by Routledge).

Many of my books and articles (over 200 hundred articles for various publications including The Times) concentrate on the Japanese economy, innovation and intellectual property on which I am now considered a world authority. Additionally, through this emphasis on the economy (PhD London School of Economics) and law (GDL Law) I have had the privilege of working with colleagues, especially at Osaka City University and Tohoku University, on research projects which led to books, lectures and invitations to them to speak at seminars here in London, and which, in turn, has led to other collaborations, many of which were supported by the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation.

The collaborations have been numerous, including a Chatham House project concerning the former colony of Malaya and Japanese intervention during the Second World War. The work I have done has often been very positive about Japanese contributions to relationships with Britain but on this occasion the content was critical. The late Ambassador Chiba accepted this with great equanimity in his usual good spirited manner.

Currently, the crisis in innovation and innovative leadership to be found in present day Japan is affecting its economy adversely, its influence in East Asia and in the Asian region in general and in the quality of life of its population. Thoughts and ideas need to be shared between Japan and the UK more than ever to improve lives in both nations.

The latest work encouraging acknowledgement of Japan’s contribution to innovation and thought is an article by Prof. Vellupillai, father of computable economics, soon to be published in the journal I edit, Interdisciplinary Journal of Economics and Business Law, ( which argues that Japanese economists, Hirofumi Uzawa and Takashi Negishi should be awarded the Nobel Prize for their outstanding work on equilibrium theory.