Associate Director Sept / Oct 2020

Meeting challenges, making changes

At the time of writing, Japan has just come out the other side of Typhoon No. 10, which, down in Kyushu where I have been, meant a long night of piercing emergency alerts as it passed through. Following our summer break in August, with what we hope is the worst of this year’s weather now passed and myself on the mend after a minor accident in July, the British Chamber of Commerce in Japan (BCCJ) team is back—and we are raring to go. All details of upcoming events can be found on the BCCJ website.


Following the success of last year’s Rugby Alliance, the BCCJ has kickstarted the Paralliance, an initiative to support Japan’s delivery of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

Alongside 19 other international chambers of commerce in Japan, the BCCJ played lead host for the inaugural Paralliance event on 24 August to mark one year to go until the start of the Paralympics 2020, in 2021. We welcomed Interna­tional Paralympic Committee (IPC) President Andrew Parsons, Governing Board Member Yasushi Yamawaki and Chief Brand & Communications Officer Craig Spence to share their insights on both the positive and negative impacts of the Tokyo 2020 postponement, and what the IPC hopes the upcoming Games will achieve.

The speakers demonstrated how previous Paralympic Games have been a catalyst for societal change—awareness of parasport and people’s perceptions of disability, better educational oppor­tunities and increased employment of people with a disability, as well as improved accessibility in public spaces, to name just a few. The BCCJ will continue to work alongside our Paralliance partners to ensure the values that the Games represent are upheld in Japan’s delivery next year.


The flagship event on the BCCJ calendar each year is the British Business Awards (BBA). After months of toing and froing between a socially distanced gathering and cancelling altogether, we are pleased to announce that the BBA 2020 will take place 7–8:30pm on 5 November and will be held entirely digitally.

This time will be without the tuxedos, ballgowns and endless flow of drinks, but rest assured we are working hard to deliver a unique twist on what has become a staple and tradition for so many of us. The principle behind the event will remain the same: to recognise, celebrate and reward business success and bilateral relations between the UK and Japan.

This year’s tagline is “Meeting challenges, making changes,” and our six carefully selected judges will be looking for winners who have showcased excellence and best practices accordingly, throughout what has been a challenging year. The categories are:

  • Company of the Year
  • Entrepreneur of the Year
  • Diversity & Inclusion
  • Digital Tech & Innovation
  • Responsible Business
  • UK–Japan Partnership

The nomination period is 16 Sept–23 Oct. We invite you to nominate your­­selves as well as your favourite organisations and individuals for a BBA trophy by completing the online form at:

A full overview of the event and news of this year’s winners will feature in the November/December issue of ACUMEN.