Leaders January 2017

Happy new year

Wishing a successful 2017 to BCCJ members

I would like to wish all British Chamber of Commerce in Japan (BCCJ) members and BCCJ ACUMEN readers a very happy new year—akemashite omedetou gozaimasu. Here’s hoping that 2017 will be a successful, happy and prosperous year for you all. Normal service resumed at the BCCJ office after a wonderful festive break, and we are back to business in organising some great events for our members.

As is customary in Japan, we will be kicking off the year with a shinnenkai (new year’s party) on 18 January at the Andaz Hotel in Toranomon. This is a chance to express our thanks to one another for last year, and to wish everyone the very best for the year ahead. Do join us in the Tavern Lounge to meet members and non-members alike and find out more about our work at the BCCJ.

As is also customary—perhaps not so much in Japan, but certainly in the UK—I have made some new year’s resolutions. I am a keen cyclist, and every year resolve to get faster and stronger. But each time my plans to train my way to peak fitness are thwarted by work, family commitments and a love of nice food and wine. Maybe, just maybe, 2017 will be the year?

Looking ahead
I think we are perhaps all wondering what 2017 will hold. The global events of 2016 caused disruption and uncertainty in all business sectors, and quite how this year will pan out remains to be seen. Will Donald Trump’s presidency bring the boost to global growth that the markets are anticipating? Will China’s credit bubble burst and give rise to even greater levels of economic uncertainty? In Japan, we wait to see what impact the breakdown of the Trans-Pacific Partnership may have on growth, and how the Bank of Japan will continue in its efforts to reflate the economy.

All these issues influence the business of our members hugely. As such, the BCCJ will strive to continue providing high-value events with great speakers who can offer expert opinions on a range of topics such as globalisation, the new US presidency and the unfolding story of Brexit.

Last year, I was very excited to see Japan gain momentum in its commitment to diversity and equality in the workplace. I hope that 2017 will deliver further progress in this area. It has been long recognised that diverse teams are more successful and profitable, and I’m very proud to say many BCCJ member firms are pioneers on this front.

This year we will also be running a series of events around UK–Japan partnerships, starting with the nuclear decommissioning work involving TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Company) and Sellafield Ltd. Japan and the UK enjoy a great relationship in many sectors and there are numerous success stories from which we can all learn. We hope to cover partnerships in the fields of life sciences, education, financial services and more. Please do keep an eye on our events page on the BCCJ website for details of all our upcoming offerings.