Leaders August 2014

The benefits of collaboration

Shakespeare night was third annual summer fete

Three months have passed since the BCCJ’s Annual General Meeting in April, and we were proud to round off our Q1 events programme with a celebration of the 450th birthday of William Shakespeare.

Co-hosted with our partners from the Tokyo Chamber of Commerce and Industry (TCCI) and the Japan British Society, the event attracted 200 guests from a wide cross-section of Japanese and UK business. Attendees were treated to a magnificent Elizabethan-themed buffet that provided an ideal networking opportunity.

Now firmly established on the BCCJ calendar, this was the third summer social that we have hosted with the TCCI. Following on from our successful warm-up to the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012 and our celebration of 400 years of Japan–UK relations in 2013, the popularity of the format demonstrates the benefits of collaboration.

Leveraging the BCCJ’s relationships with other organisations that support commerce and promote the Japan–UK relationship is one of the ways we hope to provide enhanced opportunities for business interaction.

I am delighted to acknowledge the support from VisitBritain, which does so much to promote the UK brand, and also the Japan Fellows’ Network of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA).

Formed in London over 250 years ago, the RSA has a rich history of promoting creativity and innovation, and the BCCJ was honoured to receive a welcome message from RSA Chairwoman Vikki Heywood CBE in support of the event. This message can be read in full on the BCCJ website.

Staying with the theme of anniversaries, we celebrate this month the 50th issue of BCCJ ACUMEN.

In this modern digital world, where smartphones and tablets are ubiquitous and we enjoy the benefits—and tolerate the distraction—of round-the-clock connectivity, I am pleased to note that there are many people, myself included, who look forward to their paper copy each month.

Always informative, and most important entertaining, the magazine is a key communications channel for the BCCJ.

Its success is due in large part to the editorial skill and professionalism of its publishers, Custom Media K.K., and I sincerely hope this golden anniversary is just one of many more milestones for our chamber’s magazine.

For BCCJ members who are away over the summer months, I wish you safe travels and look forward to welcoming you back to a packed events programme in September. The BCCJ secretariat will take a well-deserved break in August, but our executive committee task forces remain active on your behalf.

Preparations for the annual British Business Awards on 14 November will go into overdrive in the coming months. I urge you to showcase your success and achievements by submitting an award nomination, and hope that you are planning to join us in person at what again promises to be the highlight of the BCCJ year.