Executive Director August 2019

Excited about BBA

Summer sets the stage to honour excellence

Between wrapping up our successful Travel and Tourism Think Tank on 29 July and the beginning of the summer holidays, we were excited to announce this year’s British Business Awards (BBA) categories. This comes just as we’ve allocated more than 65% of seats for our headliner black tie gala on 8 November, which will mark the 70th anniversary year of the British Chamber of Commerce in Japan (BCCJ).

For 12 years, the BBA has celebrated excellence and promoted cross-industry success, as well as showcased firms which have made important social contributions through their commitment to community and ethical behaviour. Our BBA judges will be looking for winners who have, over the past 12 months, shown commit­ment to the core pillars of BCCJ 5.0: Diversity & Inclusivity, Digital & Technological Innovation and Responsible Business.

For the 10th year, Kate Thomson of Ukishima Sculpture Studio will create custom BBA trophies for:

Company of the Year

Nominees are required to show excellence across all aspects of their organisation in Japan, focusing on outstanding achievements over the past 12 months.

UK–Japan Partnership

Nominees should be joint ventures, alliances or other partnerships that have made demonstrable contributions to the enhancement of the UK–Japan economic or commercial relationship.

Entrepreneur of the Year

Nominees should be individuals who exemplify entrepreneurialism and have created commercial success through an entrepreneurial spirit. Nominees will typically be leading non-listed organisations in Japan with 25 employees or fewer.

Positive Impact

Open to any eligible firm that has driven exception­ally effective social/environmental programmes or initiatives in Japan. This could include diversity and inclusion activities.


Open to any eligible firm that has driven exceptionally effective digital and technological innovation, services or solutions in Japan.

The deadline for nominations is noon on 18 October. For more information on submitting a BBA nomination, visit www.bccjapan.com


One of the many highlights of the BBA is the dazzling array of prizes generously donated by our member firms. This year, we have invited prize sponsors to offer experiences rather than “things,” in line with a move towards the experiential economy.

It’s been shown that offline, real-world experi­ences lead to more personal growth and spur social connections. Through this year’s BBA, we aim to foster meaningful engagement by connecting donors with recipients.

Thank you so much to every firm that’s donated a prize so far.

A big thanks also to our main event sponsors:

  • Robert Walters Japan K.K. (Gold)
  • STH Japan K.K. (Gold)
  • SI-UK (Study in the UK) (Bronze)

Thanks to their support, we’re now working to create a fabulous BBA experience.

Want to join them? BBA2019 sponsorship packages are still available. For more information, please email me at lori@bccjapan.com


The BCCJ office closed for the first two weeks of August and I’m currently writing this column from Fiji. BULA! I hope you and yours have enjoyed a relaxing, peaceful and cool summer season, and are feeling ready for the buzz of the Rugby World Cup 2019, the Tokyo International Conference on African Development, the official Imperial Enthronement Ceremony on 22 October and—of course—the BBA!