Leaders May 2014

Special thanks

Members, ex-officio and outgoing leaders deserve recognition

It is a great honour to have the opportunity to address readers of BCCJ ACUMEN as the newly elected president of the British Chamber of Commerce in Japan (BCCJ). One of the privileges of this role is that I am able to publicly acknowledge the efforts and achievements of those individuals who have contributed to the chamber, its mission and its operation.

Most important, I would like to begin by thanking all of the nominees who stood in the recent executive committee (excom) elections, and all of the BCCJ members who exercised their right to vote. The level of participation was tremendous, which reflects the vibrancy that makes the BCCJ such an important and effective organisation.

As a chamber, the BCCJ is very fortunate to enjoy the valuable support of the British Embassy Tokyo and UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) Japan.

I would like to express my gratitude to both British Ambassador Tim Hitchens CMG LVO and UKTI Director Sue Kinoshita for demonstrating that support by attending the recent annual general meeting (AGM) at the Shangri-La Hotel, Tokyo.

The past year has been a successful one for the chamber, and my final words of thanks are to our outgoing president and vice-president.

Alison Jambert’s leadership has been instrumental in the chamber’s strong performance over the past 12 months, while
Suzanne Price’s selfless and dedicated commitment was crucial in delivering the magnificent 2013 British Business Awards—the highlight of our annual events calendar.

Both have been ably supported by various BCCJ task forces throughout the year, but I am sure members will agree that their contributions are worthy of special mention.

To the members of the 2014 excom, I offer my sincere congratulations. It is a tremendous honour to chair the committee, and we have a busy and exciting year ahead. Collectively, as stewards, we have a duty to preserve the many and varied achievements of the chamber to date, and also an obligation to be a catalyst for its future development.

These duties and obligations present a perennial challenge to the chamber’s leadership. However, when I see the talented people who have joined the 2014 excom and the tremendous ability and energy in the secretariat, I am confident that the BCCJ will continue to offer an unrivalled platform for business interaction.

We will also look to further expand our membership in the year ahead, to create a richer, deeper and more diverse community focused on fostering bilateral relations.

I look forward to working with the excom and secretariat to make this another great chapter for the BCCJ. But more than anything, I look forward to the continued commitment of our members. I encourage you to participate in the events organised by the chamber, and to tell us how we can better support your business.

It is your success that helps drive the commercial relationship between the UK and Japan, and that success is the lifeblood of our chamber.