Executive Director January 2020

Shaping the twenties

Start as we mean to go on

wish a very happy and healthy new year to all members and friends of the British Chamber of Commerce in Japan (BCCJ) and readers of ACUMEN magazine!

With your feet now firmly back under the desk, you’re invited to kick off the decade with fruitful business exchange and networking opportunities by becoming ever more involved with the work of your chamber.

For starters, we’d be delighted if you and your colleagues attended our two January events. Both are designed, as always, to connect you with new people, ideas and energy.


Book your place for one of our annual favourites: the shinnenkai (New Year Party). This year’s event will take place on the evening of 23 January in the elegant surroundings of the Ginza Grand Hotel. Some 100 chamber members and guests from across the Tokyo business community will join us to celebrate the beginning of the Year of the Rat as we raise a glass to a year of successful business partnerships ahead.

Global forecast

Over lunch on 30 January, we will set the stage for 2020 and consider what the next 12 months might have in store for industry, geopolitics and the economy.

Led by the Economist Corporate Network Japan team, our 2020 Global Forecast session promises to delve into topics such as artificial intelligence and 5G technology, as well as how the private sector will move from obligation to opportunity on the matter of climate change and the UN’s sustainable development goals.

In politics, now that the Conservative Party has secured a powerful new mandate to “get Brexit done,” we will assess how the UK can move forward to shape a new era in its relationship with Europe and other trading partners, such as Japan. We’ll also consider how the relationship between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and US President Donald Trump could have implications for the rest of the world as we move towards the some­what dramatic 2020 US presidential elections.

For more details on both of these—as well as all upcoming BCCJ events—do visit our new website and let us know what you think!


Have you ever considered how you could make more meaningful contributions to the work of the BCCJ? In the pursuit of bolstering UK–Japan relations, our Executive Committee (Excom) meets monthly to set and steer the strategic direction of the chamber.

Hot topics for Excom this year will include a UK–Japan trade deal, our BCCJ 5.0 initiative and a new, exciting coalition formed with other international chambers of commerce in Japan focused on the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

The 2020–2021 Excom nomination period will run from 14 February to 16 March, when the BCCJ office will be accepting nomination forms stating how candidates intend to serve the BCCJ membership during the coming year. In particular, we value nominations from female and younger members.

The election results will be revealed at our Annual General Meeting at the British Embassy Tokyo during the week of 20 April.


This month we look forward to welcoming two new leaders to the core BCCJ team—a senior adviser and an associate director—who will take the reins while I’m on maternity leave, starting in February. Please register for upcoming events and meet the two candidates who’ve been recruited for these exciting positions.

I look forward to seeing the chamber going from strength to strength under their leadership in 2020, and to returning to work towards the end of the year. I hope it’s a great one for you and yours!