AGM 2020

Webinar reflects challenges, greets new Excom

On 4 June, the British Chamber of Commerce in Japan (BCCJ) held its Digital General Meeting 2020—an online adaption of the Annual General Meeting, which had been scheduled for 21 April but was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Hosted online while we continue to observe the situation around Covid-19, the meeting was opened by BCCJ Associate Director Sarah Backley. Her comments were followed by an address from British Ambassador Paul Madden CMG, who reflected on the struggles that businesses and individuals are presently facing and shared updates from the British and Japanese governments. This included news from the Global Vaccine Summit, hosted the same day by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and attended by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. At the event, leaders from 31 govern­ments and eight foundations, as well as firms and organi­sa­tions pledged more than $8.8bn to immunise 300mn children and support the global fight against Covid-19.

President’s Annual Report

BCCJ President David Bickle presented achieve­ments and developments from the past year. He reminded members that the chamber’s fundamental purpose is to bring to its members people who matter, as highlighted by a host of distinguished speakers who have participated in some of the 42 BCCJ events hosted over the past fiscal year.

To achieve core BCCJ goals, he said, the chamber aims to promote trust and opportunities in bilateral UK–Japan business through:

  • More diverse and inclusive workplaces
  • Proliferation of digital business and innovation
  • Responsible business practices

Together, these three themes form the pillars of the BCCJ 5.0 project.

The president praised the BCCJ office team for embracing virtual event formats and digital commu­nication channels. He also praised ACUMEN, saying that he still enjoyed reading the BCCJ magazine in hard copy format as well as online.

He also detailed the chamber’s approach to the challenges that Covid-19 poses for the business community. The BCCJ moved swiftly to adjust its event content to themes relevant to our member companies as they reacted to the crisis, and to digitise the format of our events for delivery as webinars and podcasts. In rolling out new techno­logical innovations, and through new collabora­tions, we have seen a sharp increase in our ability to reach more people.

As part of the response, the BCCJ has also created a new section on our website—Covid-19 and Responsible Business—designed to connect and highlight innovations from members.

The BCCJ has also:

  • Forged new partnerships with British chambers of commerce across Asia
  • Completed a comprehensive and widely shared Covid-19 survey
  • Contributed to a position paper to the Japanese government detailing initiatives we believe will benefit all firms in Japan

New Leaders

Backley welcomed the newly elected 2020–21 Executive Committee (Excom) and Ex-Officio members, all of whom gave a short self-introduction. First-time members are indicated in bold.

  • David Bickle, Deloitte Tohmatsu Tax Co. (President)
  • Alison Beale, University of Oxford Japan Office (Vice President)
  • Haruhiko Tsuyukubo, Rolls-Royce Japan Co., Ltd.
  • Heather McLeish, EY Japan
  • Iain Ferguson Lloyd’s Japan Inc.
  • James Dodds, KPMG
  • Junko Kubokawa, Croda Japan KK
  • Ken Katayama, individual member (Microsoft Japan Co., Ltd.)
  • Kentaro Kiso, Barclays Securities Japan Limited
  • Paul Lirette, GlaxoSmithKline KK
  • Reiko Sakimura, Clifford Chance Law Office
  • Richard Lyle, Intralink KK
  • Richard Thornley CBE, individual member
  • Sven Palys, Yuzu Kyodai
  • Tove Kinooka, Global Perspectives K.K.

Read each candidate’s pledge in our PDF election booklet: