Executive Director Nov / Dec 2021

New horizons

A return to in-person and B2B activities

Although we are approaching the year end—a time for wrapping up and reflec­tion—we’ve recently entered a new and energising phase at the BCCJ. Over the past few weeks, under the judicious guidance of the Executive Committee (Excom) we’ve been stepping back into the world of in-person activities and events.

On 13 October we held our first hybrid Excom meeting, with around 50 percent of our board mem­bers attending from Barclays offices in Roppongi Hills. Although some of the people in the room had been on Excom since the beginning of the 2020–2021 financial year, they were meeting in real life for the first time.

On 5 November we delivered another first—a hybrid black tie gala, the BBA2021, streamed live from the Ambassador’s Residence at the British Embassy Tokyo. Thank you to everyone involved in making it such a memorable evening, including our 250 attendees and 38 nominees. A hearty congratulations to our winners.

Breakfast Club

Earlier this month we were very pleased to launch a new in-person networking series, the BCCJ Breakfast Club.

The first event, held on 17 November, was the chamber’s first in-person one since February 2020. After a 20 month hiatus, 20 BCCJ members enjoyed exclusive access to the Conrad Tokyo’s China Blue restaurant, on the 28th floor, for breakfast with festive touches, including a delicious mince pie!

Each of our three bonenkai (year-end party) breakfasts is to be loosely themed around one of our BCCJ pillars: Digi-Tech Innovation, Responsible Business and Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. BCCJ President David Bickle, Excom members, and leaders from the British Embassy Tokyo will join us.

We invite members to attend the last of the specially arranged year-end breakfast gatherings on 7 December at the ANA InterContintental Tokyo. The focus will be on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. To book, please visit the BCCJ website. 

The BCCJ continues to closely follow govern­ment guidance around Covid-19 pre­cautions. Our team is working diligently with BCCJ members’ venues to follow the necessary health and safety protocols.

Business travel

Welcoming the change to the Government of Japan’s inbound travel policy that took effect on 8 November, the BCCJ and other international Chambers of Commerce in Japan issued a joint statement, on 12 November, concerning the country’s entry restrictions. The BCCJ and the chambers of commerce in Japan of America, Canada, Germany, France, Italy and the European Business Council in Japan all agree that allowing business travellers and students to once again enter Japan is a critical step towards Japan’s post-Covid-19 economic recovery. The joint statement invites the Government of Japan to:

  • Simplify and provide greater transparency for the decision-making process of obtaining visas for business travellers
  • Move as rapidly as possible to eliminate quarantines and to simplify and eventually eliminate sponsorship procedures for vaccinated travellers
  • Consider increasing the limits placed on the number of business people entering the country in the near future
  • Take immediate steps to simplify, expedite and lower costs for the entry of students into Japan

The full statement can be read in English and Japanese on www.bccjapan.com

Festive wishes

In the final issue of BCCJ ACUMEN for 2021, on behalf of the BCCJ team, allow me to wish you a wonderful festive season ahead. After almost two years in hibernation, we are ready for the Year of the Tiger!