Interim executive director June 2017

Seize the chance

Parasports good for firms and society

The British Chamber of Commerce in Japan (BCCJ) this month hosted two engaging speakers from the Nippon Foundation Paralympic Support Centre (NFPSC). Chairman Yasushi Yamawaki (also president of the Japan Paralympic Committee) and Project Manager Eri Yamamoto-MacDonald spoke about how to better engage the public and corporate partners in the Paralympics through the experience of parasports and focusing on the ability of the incredible athletes rather than their disabilities.

Yamamoto-MacDonald, who hopes to represent Japan as a powerlifter in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, spoke passionately about her personal experiences of being introduced to sport, which she had grown up believing was off limits to her. She explained how being involved in parasports had changed her life. Through the work of the NFPSC, she wishes to not just give other young disabled athletes a chance, but to encourage more people who do not have disabilities to get involved in this type of sport.

She noted that firms who introduce internal initiatives around inclusion, and in particular involvement with parasports, engage and motivate their employees. And they can help to create a more inclusive society.

Many BCCJ members are doing great work to support and promote inclusivity and we encourage all businesses to see engagement with parasports as an opportunity rather than a responsibility. The NFPSC offers awareness-raising workshops that can help you get started, so please do contact them to see how they can help your business.

Deal with change
How many of you have encountered resistance to change in your career? As a leader, how do you get “buy-in” from your employees for the sometimes unpopular decisions you must make for the good of the business?

No matter how well thought out an initiative is, a common reason for failure is internal resistance, and managing change takes special leadership skills. On 28 June, we will be holding a toolbox session on how managers can successfully implement organisational change while retaining trust, credibility and authority. In these uncertain times, can you afford to miss it?

Pimm’s o’clock
The sun is out and Tokyo is heating up. It can mean only one thing—it’s nearly time for the BCCJ summer party! This year, with the support of BCCJ corporate member Diageo, we will be holding a Great British Pimm’s Party at the Hilton Odaiba on Thursday 6 July.  Join us for a fun evening of relaxed networking while enjoying a breathtaking summer’s evening view of Tokyo Bay and the Rainbow Bridge, and, of course, enjoying a good old Pimm’s.

The summer party will also be a chance for you to bid a fond farewell to our fabulous marketing and communications whizz, Joanna Lundt, who will be leaving the BCCJ for pastures new in Europe. She has been a great asset to the team for nearly two years, and although we are sad to see her go, we wish her all the best for her new adventures.