I mentioned in my first column last month how privileged I feel to have the honour of representing BCCJ members this year as president. One of the opportunities I enjoy in my role is being invited to seminars, meetings and functions, and it was at just such an event this week that I realised how much we can all benefit from what the chamber offers.
Held in the ambassador’s residence at the British Embassy Tokyo, British Telecom hosted a reception to mark the visit to Japan of their chairman, Sir Michel Rake. It commenced with a speech by Haruno Yoshida, president of British Telecom Japan K.K., and later Ambassador Sir David Warren extolled the virtues of British Telecom’s long-standing commitment to the Japanese market.
I found the event an excellent example of how we can all benefit from chamber membership: by working together, we can be stronger together. Whether we are a large multi-national, a local entrepreneur, an individual member, or one of our great friends at the embassy or British Council Japan, the chamber gives us a chance to benefit from the strengths and synergies its opportunities create.
At the Executive Committee’s first meeting of the chamber year last month, we launched a number of task forces that will help us work and be stronger together. Alison Jambert, leading the British Business Awards Task Force, is making preparations for the chamber’s showcase annual awards presentation, this year planned for 2 November at the Conrad Tokyo hotel in Shiodome. Our CSR Task Force, meanwhile, will plan our charitable and socially responsible activities for the year.
Two more task forces are looking at ways to expand opportunities for members. We wish to offer more networking opportunities both for those outside the Tokyo area, and for those seeking to network with Japanese firms. We start with the upcoming Olympic 51 Night (at the Conrad Tokyo hotel), which we will be co-hosting with the Tokyo Chamber of Commerce. The event should provide opportunities to try out some of the athletic challenges (details to follow). I don’t know whether I should be hoping to take part in some wrestling or beach volleyball …
I hope that you will write to us and let us know how you would like to benefit from your membership. We look forward to continued and better collaboration, so that we might become stronger together.