Leaders September 2011

An Autumn to Look Forward to

With summer coming to a close, what can you look forward to as we enter the final third of the year? Our events programme has some exciting speakers signed up until the end of the Chamber year in March, so please see our schedule on the BCCJ website. Naturally, our highlight event is the 4th annual British Business Awards (BBA) and much work has been done by Vice-President Paul Atkinson and his team to ensure that the evening will be exceptional in terms of excitement and entertainment. A glittering event awaits at the ANA InterContinental Tokyo on 4 November. Our guest speaker will be Mrs Moneypenny—the renowned FT Weekend columnist. Her witty style and down-to-earth outlook—on business as well as personal issues—will keep us entertained as she compares her life in London and Tokyo over the years.

British Ambassador David Warren has confirmed he will present the awards to the winners of this year’s five categories:

• Company of the Year

• Design & Innovation

• Environmental Contribution

• Social Responsibility

• Person of the Year

The trophies will once again be unique sculptures designed and made by Kate Thompson. The design combines the concepts of achievement, hope and togetherness—elements that reflect the Japan–UK relationship, now more than ever, as the rebuilding of Tohoku starts. The evening will include a charity auction for the Tohoku relief effort. I am delighted to say that, as one of the star prizes, we have secured a signed shirt from Homare Sawa, captain of the Nadeshiko Japan national women’s soccer team that, in July, won the FIFA World Cup in Germany. To open the auction and set the scene, we will be showing a video, Hope for Japan, made by Kai Hewitt, a 12-year-old boy from Tokyo.

And a very big thank you to all our BBA sponsors so far: ANA InterContinental Tokyo, Berry Bros & Rudd, British Airways, Custom Media, the Financial Times, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Jaguar Land Rover and Whisk-e.

If you have not yet lodged an application or nomination for the awards, please think about doing so now! You have to be in it to win it, and there really is no better way to demonstrate your commitment to being one of the best by becoming a British Business Awards winner in fine style.

BCCJ Executive Director Lori Henderson has been on board for seven months and it has been a bit of a baptism of fire following the earthquake. I am delighted to say that she has risen to the many challenges she has faced and is working hard, along with Samatasan our operations manager, to review existing procedures and methodologies. Several new ideas have already been implemented to make the work of the chamber better and to serve our members more effectively.