In addition to our monthly executive committee meeting in January, members of the executive committee were invited to the British Embassy Tokyo to participate in the BCCJ Away Day—a forum for exchanging ideas on this year’s organisational strategy.
Led by BCCJ Vice-president Alison Jambert and facilitated by Jon Sparks, Pathways K.K. chief executive officer, the session focused on one question: do we, as an organisation, seek to live sustainably and solidly over the coming year, or do we seek growth?
Through a combination of lively group discussions and break out sessions, the team agreed that growth for growth’s sake should always come second, following our commitment to members, as we work to bolster the relevance of the BCCJ to the greater UK–Japan relationship for the benefit of all.
According to the European Business Council 2013 Stakeholder Fees, the BCCJ is one of only six European chamber of commerce memberships to have grown during 2012. Over the past two years, the BCCJ has set a clear, effective framework in two key areas: membership and events.
This has been bolstered by a sound and genuine social responsibility proposition, which has allowed us to develop wide and deep links with the Japanese private, public and civil sectors.
At the Away Day, the executive committee was asked to consider what the BCCJ would need in order to maintain and build on our qualitative success, and how this might work in practise.
Suggestions will be put forward at the committee’s February meeting, and shared with the membership in due course.
I’m often asked about the role of the executive committee, so below is a guide in a nutshell.
• Set organisational aims and objectives
• Agree to policies, targets and priorities
• Set a budget that allows the BCCJ to fulfil its objectives
• Appoint the president and vice-president
• Monitor and review the overall performance of the BCCJ
The executive committee comprises a minimum of 12, and a maximum of 15, members. In addition to the BCCJ executive director, there are two ex-officio members who represent the British Embassy Tokyo and the British Council.
The committee seeks an appropriate balance of members from the UK–Japan business community, with specific skills and experiences that will benefit the BCCJ and the membership at large.
Members pledge to serve for a one-year term (April–March), and membership is reviewed annually (during February and March).
All strategic decisions are made by a majority vote of the committee members, with the president having a casting vote in the event of a tie. No individual member has a right of veto and most decisions are reached by consensus and are unanimous.
Including the annual general meeting in April, the committee meets 11 times during the year (no meeting is held in August).
In addition, the members are expected to attend as many BCCJ events as possible throughout the year (we expect to host 32 events this year), help maintain and increase chamber membership, and liaise between the membership and the committee.
The committee, together with the executive director and secretariat, are wholeheartedly committed to open communication with the BCCJ membership and the wider domestic and international business community in Japan.
If you are interested in learning more about becoming a member of the executive committee, please email: