Interim executive director August 2017

A busy summer

With more on the way

After an extremely busy July, where we welcomed Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, former Bank of Japan Policy Board member Sayuri Shirai, and hosted several roundtable events, finally the summer break is again upon us. The British Chamber of Commerce in Japan (BCCJ) office will be closing its doors so the team can take a well-deserved rest.

Once we come back on 28 August, we will be in full countdown to the annual BCCJ British Business Awards (BBA). At the time of going to press, over two-thirds of the tickets had already been sold, and we are looking forward to delivering a record-breaking event.

Designer trophies
I’m absolutely delighted to announce that this year the trophies BBA winners will be taking home have been specially designed for the BCCJ and BBA by UK award-winning designer Sebastian Conran. This year, Conran launched the Gifu Collection; a meeting of British design and Japanese craftsmanship. The range, manufactured by local artisans in Gifu Prefecture, uses traditional Japanese methods in a bid to revive the local crafts that were once the pride of Japan.

In keeping with the BCCJ’s mission to further strengthen UK–Japan business ties and increase awareness of some of the many successful collaborations between our two nations, it’s our pleasure to be able to highlight just one of these great examples.

How can you win?
So, what can you do to ensure you have a limited edition, Sebastian Conran-designed trophy in your office? Nominations for the awards are now open and we welcome entries for all categories: Company of the Year, Innovation, Entrepreneur of the Year, UK–Japan Partnership and Community Contribution.

Who wins the awards will be decided by our independent panel of five judges from a diverse background of business, sport and government. Philippe Fauchet OBE (chairman of GlaxoSmithKline K.K. and a BBA winner 2016), Lady Barbara Judge CBE (chairman of Institute of Directors), Astrid Klein (partner at Klein Dytham architecture and BBA winner 2016), Bill Sweeney (chief executive officer of the British Olympic Association) and Esther Williams (first secretary and head of trade at the British Embassy Tokyo) will be looking for clear examples of business success, but also for commitment to diversity, sustainability, ethical business and community.

All award entrants will be featured in the event programme, as well as on screen at the event, and the awards will be presented by the UK Ambassador to Japan Paul Madden CMG.

Full details about how you can enter, along with the criteria for nomination, are on our website. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me.

Holiday time
An extremely busy first half of the year means the BCCJ team are all looking forward to some time off to relax and recuperate. I will be heading to California for some sunshine, wine and hopefully no unexpected encounters with bears. I wish you all a relaxing summer break and look forward to seeing you at a BCCJ event soon.