Leaders February 2015

Stimulating business relations

Excom members and VIPs play role

Now into the year’s fourth quarter, the British Chamber of Commerce in Japan (BCCJ) has less than three months before its annual general meeting in April. Although that will bring to an end the current term of the executive committee (excom), I am pleased to announce that we find it more focused than ever on effectively serving BCCJ member needs.

As I communicated in a recent email to the membership, former President Alison Jambert and 2014–15 excom member Yoko Kosugi recently stepped down from the committee.

We thank them for not only their dedication and commitment, but also the tremendous contribution they have made to the BCCJ throughout their respective tenures. We wish them well as they embark on exciting new opportunities.

New faces
In response to these departures, excom has invited Susumu Kaminaga and Ajab Samrai to join the committee for the remainder of the chamber year.

The decision is based on an assessment of both excom capabilities and the resources required to support the executive director and secretariat in achieving BCCJ goals.

Kaminaga and Samrai bring valuable skills and experience to excom, thereby strengthening our collective capabilities and enhancing our ability to provide BCCJ members with a more effective platform for business exchange and networking.

As a chamber, we are exceptionally fortunate to have within our membership a large number of very talented individuals, who are passionate about nurturing, stimulating and developing business relations between Japan and the UK.

Top tips first-hand
As a result of the hard work of the BCCJ secretariat and events task force, we are delighted to be able to provide our members with access to important figures in British business. On 17 February, we will welcome two such personalities.

In the morning, we will host Lord Deighton KBE who was chief executive of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. This occasion will enable us to hear first-hand what it takes to host a successful mega-tournament to which the world are invited.

For the second part of our double header, BCCJ members, at an evening gathering, will have the chance to hear from Paul Polman, chief executive of Unilever. He will discuss the challenges of building businesses that are not just financially profitable, but also sustainable, from social and environmental perspectives.

Seize chances
As I hope you will agree, there is much to fit into the remainder of the chamber year.

Together with a rejuvenated excom, I relish the opportunities that await our members over the coming three months, and urge you to participate in the exciting programme that the BCCJ is offering.