Leaders February 2016

Leadership vote

New financial year on the horizon

No sooner does the New Year period end than we start to consider the end of the operational year for the British Chamber of Commerce in Japan (BCCJ). This involves an independent financial audit of the chamber office, election of our Executive Committee (Excom) for the 2016–17 year, and our annual general meeting (AGM).


This year, the AGM will take place on the evening of 27 April at the Shangri-La Hotel Tokyo. We warmly encourage all members to attend the event, which will include a presentation by David Bickle, president, as well as the election of our Excom and president.

The formal part of the proceedings will be preceded by an address from British Ambassador to Japan Tim Hitchens CMG LVO, and followed by a cocktail party for attendees, compliments of the BCCJ. Secure your seat at www.bccjapan.com.

Excom elections

This year’s nomination period—when candidates submit their applications to serve on Excom—will run on 14–25 March.

BCCJ companies and individual members will be asked to take the opportunity to vote anonymously for their favourite candidates in an online poll on 11–22 April.

Under our constitution, Excom is run by a minimum of 12 and a maximum of 15 individuals. Since moving to use a fully transparent and democratic voting system in 2013, the competition for Excom seats has heated up.

In three years we have welcomed 62 candidates for a total of 45 seats. Last year, over 40% of members voted for their preferred candidates.

Hot contest

In recent weeks, our members and friends have asked the following a number of times: “Why did you choose an afternoon slot for the BCCJ shinnenkai this year?”

Quite simply, even with a lead time of more than two months, and a healthy dose of Scottish negotiation skills, it is becoming increasingly challenging to find event space in the evenings in Tokyo.

Hot competition for venues is great news for our 12 hotel member firms, but not always so for our hard-working chamber team, who continually strive to bring members 40 business and social events throughout the year that provide value-for-money.

However, the team at the Hilton Tokyo in Nishi-Shinjuku, led by Mike Williams, were on hand to help. They accommodated our gathering’s needs with style at the hotel’s bar, Zatta, on 27 January, and we offer them a big thank you.