Leaders May 2015

New chamber year begins

Excom elected for 2015–16

The results of the 2015–16 BCCJ Executive Committee (Excom) elections were announced at our Annual General Meeting (AGM) on the evening of 27 April.

Held at the Shangri-La Hotel, Tokyo, the AGM was opened by British Ambassador to Japan Tim Hitchens CMG LVO. He spoke of the success of the UK–Japan relationship over the past year, and said that the British embassy team was particularly delighted to be working with the BCCJ on projects related to the Rugby World Cup (RWC) 2019 and the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

2014–15 BCCJ highlights

President David Bickle then presented his annual report, outlining how the BCCJ has increased business and networking opportunities for all members during the 2014–15 chamber year. This has included hosting a record-breaking number of 39 high-value events and welcoming around 2,000 attendees, with a higher proportion of non-members attending than ever before.

David said that membership numbers have continued to grow year on year, and that the chamber remains committed to connecting members with opportunities surrounding RWC 2019 and Tokyo 2020.

He also highlighted the BCCJ’s community activities, including the Books for Smiles programme, which has raised over ¥8.6mn to help support young Japanese leaving social welfare facilities to enter higher education and employment; a BCCJ Community Hub event powered by PechaKucha that provided a platform for seven non-profit organisations; and career development events for young people from across Japan.

Finally, he paid tribute to Excom members who stood down this year: Phil Gibb OBE (Canning), Anna Pinsky (individual member and vice-president for the past year), Haruno Yoshida (BT Japan Corporation) and Jim Weeks (Kreab). He gave particular thanks to Phil and Jim for their long-standing contribution to the chamber—over 11 and 10 years, respectively.

Election results

Over 40% of members voted—a record turnout. David was elected for a second term as chairman of Excom and BCCJ president.

Sue Kinoshita, director of UK Trade & Investment at the British Embassy Tokyo, and Jeff Streeter, head of the British Council in Japan, will continue to sit as ex officio members.

Excom taskforce heads will be decided over the coming weeks.

The election of Excom, statement of accounts and appointment of auditors (Okamoto & Company, Inc.) were all approved by majority. Thank you very much to nominees, voters and attendees. We look forward to serving you throughout another exciting chamber year ahead.

Updates on the outcomes of the UK’s general election—including an open letter to Prime Minister David Cameron from the British Chambers of Commerce—can be found at www.bccjapan.com