Leaders December 2016

A change in season

New year brings new events

Winter has certainly arrived in Tokyo over the past couple of weeks. One of the many things I, like so many others, love about Japan is the clear distinction between the seasons.

The onset of winter brings not just a noticeable and sudden drop in temperature, but an abundance of seasonal foods in supermarkets and restaurants, bare trees stripped of their beautiful autumn foliage, and a deluge of goods to ward off the chills.

Christmas is coming
In my opinion, one of the best things about December in Tokyo is the flamboyant lead up to Christmas—the decadent, exquisitely decorated trees in hotel lobbies and shopping centres, the amazing illuminations all around the city and the Christmas tunes playing out in many shops, bars and restaurants.

The British Chamber of Commerce in Japan (BCCJ) team is also fully immersed in the Christmas spirit—the office advent calendar is out and there already may have been some mince pies consumed. We will be taking a well-deserved break over the festive season, and look forward to returning refreshed and ready go in January.

New Year events
With the change in season, comes a change in focus at the BCCJ. The flurry of another successful British Business Awards is behind us and we have started to plan a range of events for the new year.

We are delighted that, on 18 January, we shall be holding our shinnenkai (new year’s party) on the 51st floor of the Andaz Hotel in Toranomon Hills. With its magnificent panoramic views across the city, the beautifully stylish Tavern lounge is the perfect spot to catch up with old friends and business contacts, and to meet new faces. Please join us to welcome 2017, and raise a glass to the good fortune of the UK–Japan business community for the year ahead.

The BCCJ will be continuing its commitment to diversity, equality and inclusion through a number of events in January. We will be demonstrating how firms can combine technology and HR policies to promote flexible and remote working for their staff, and we will be sharing tools which will help businesses recruit and manage staff in a fully inclusive way.

In addition, we will be hearing from a panel of cross-industry experts on trends and forecasts for 2017, and the challenges and opportunities the new year might bring. Please keep up to date with all upcoming events on our website. I hope to see you at an event soon.

Merry Christmas!
I would like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to all those members who have supported us this year, and to everyone who has helped me settle in at the BCCJ. I wish you all a very merry Christmas and look forward to seeing you in 2017.