Leaders December 2010 / January 2011

Big Plans for a Better BCCJ

Extra benefits and opportunities that won’t cost Members more

It was with great pleasure that I sent letters recently to all Members announcing exciting plans to increase the value of BCCJ membership and to expand the scope of the Chamber’s operations.

Although the BCCJ is one of Japan’s most active chambers of commerce — serving a network of more than 700 individuals, comprising British and Japanese nationals, as well as people of other nationalities — we are not about to rest on our laurels.

Our goal is to create a larger, more vibrant Chamber, offering additional high-value events plus networking and promotional opportunities. We also aim to strengthen our advocacy capabilities, working in closer coope-ration with the British Embassy Tokyo and the European Business Council in Japan. Briefly, our plan involves:

  • Revised membership categories. These will comprise Corporate, Individual and Honorary groupings, with the Corporate category divided into four sub-categories: Platinum, Corporate Plus, Corporate and Entrepreneur. Current Corporate and Associate Members will automatically become Corporate Plus and Corporate Members, respectively.
  • Substantial added benefits. These will be for all Members in the new Corporate category and will include complimentary seats at Chamber events, the right to bring an unlimited number of company representatives, plus some guests, to Chamber events at Member rates, and free or discounted advertising and promotion opportunities.
  • Broader membership eligibility. The revised criteria is designed to attract more non-British Members.
  • Equal voting rights for all Members. Instead of the current system of up to four votes per Member, depending on the category to which he or she belongs, it will be one vote for each Member.

Perhaps the best news of all in these straitened times is that the changes can be made without raising annual fees.

Moreover, it is my sincere belief that our plans will contribute to the expansion and revitalisation of the Chamber, and substantially increase its value to all current and prospective Members.

Approved recently by the Executive Committee (Excom), the plans are the result of months of work by a taskforce led by Excom member Alison Jambert. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Alison and all members of the taskforce for this very important contribution.

As stated in my letter to Members, the planned changes will require modifications to the Chamber’s Constitution and will, therefore, be subject to a vote at an Extraordinary General Meeting to be held on 19 January, 2011. All Members will, of course, receive notification of this meeting and be invited to attend.