Associate Director Nov / Dec 2020

Unique BBA a virtual success

As we near the end of a year that will, undoubtedly, be logged in the history books as one with more twists and turns than we could ever have imagined, it is important that we reflect on how incredibly resilient and innovative our society has proven itself to be. Global social and economic disruption has forced individuals and organisations to adapt and evolve, in how we live and conduct business. It is to honour this endurance and forward thinking, that we created this year’s British Business Awards (BBA) tagline: Meeting challenges, making changes.

To echo the words of British Ambassador Paul Madden CMG at the BBA, “When the pandemic is over, and we look back, I think the thing that we will remember most will be the huge out­pouring of kindness during this time, and I hope that will be the lasting memory”.

This is certainly true for us, and it has been a genuine privilege to work with this year’s generous sponsors, without whom the BBA would not have been possible. We thank Robert Walters Japan K.K. for sponsoring this year’s virtual gala, Kate Thomson at Ukishima Sculpture Studios for donating all seven exquisite marble trophies, LIFE.14 for their media support and transforma­tion of the BCCJ office space and Louis Pommery for donating a bottle of sparkling wine to each of the 37 nominees. On top of this, we were overwhelmed by the support of this year’s 10 prize sponsors, who helped raise ¥342,000 for our chosen two charities: Refugee Empowerment International and Shine on! Kids.

Another highlight was the unique audience. Taking advantage of the online nature and timing of the event, we were joined by a number of long-time chamber supporters, including former BCCJ presidents and Executive Committee members who are now back in the UK. Thank you to everyone who made time to contribute and attend, and also to those who took the time to write in afterwards. As we turn our attention to the 2021 BBA, any feed­back you have on how we can improve is very much appreciated.

Coming up at the BCCJ

One of the many benefits of joining the BCCJ is the strong relationships that are built through involve­ment in chamber activities. We have started delivering virtual networking events, including a collabo­ra­tion with the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan on 17 November and, on 24 November, our third EduGroup event, entitled Education 2020: Crisis Driven Change, in collaboration with Talk Education Tokyo and the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce.

Next year, we will also be incorporating some in-person and hybrid events to cater to the diverse preferences of our members (evident in our recent survey).

Please keep a close eye on the British Chamber of Commerce in Japan website for all upcoming events and activities.

Once again, on behalf of the BCCJ team, a huge thank you to everyone who contributed to the success of our first (and hopefully last!) completely virtual BBA. Since this is the final issue of ACUMEN for 2020, I would like to thank all those members who have supported the BCCJ over this past year, and also for the kind welcome I received when joining the team. I’d like to wish you all the best for a wonderful festive season, and we look forward to seeing you in 2021.