The schedule for this chamber year is already off to a busy and star-studded start, as we welcomed the first female Governor of Tokyo Yuriko Koike, who in April was included in Time magazine’s “The 100 Most Influential People”. It was an honour to meet and interview Koike.
The other exciting business for April was to welcome our new Executive Committee (Excom), who help us with continually growing and improving the chamber. I was delighted to see David Bickle re-elected as president of the British Chamber of Commerce in Japan (BCCJ) and I look forward to working with him and each of the Excom members in the year ahead.
Women at work
From the power woman of Japan, we turn to the power women of the BCCJ. We recently invited female members to the office and asked them to tell us what they would like the chamber to do, what kind of events appeal to them, and what would help engage them more. It was a fun evening and produced plenty of great ideas for me to develop. I promised that I would deliver the three things that were the highest priority from the evening’s brainstorming, so expect to see more interactive workshop-style events, practical self-development sessions, and a women’s network at the BCCJ.
The BCCJ prides itself on being a welcoming, inclusive organisation that promotes and encourages diversity. Feedback from our membership is crucial in keeping our events programme and activities relevant and valued, so please stay engaged and let us know what we are doing well (or not!).
We’re nearly half way through the year, and so are already starting to think about the British Business Awards (BBA). This year the awards will be presented on 2 November in the newly renovated ballroom of the Grand Hyatt Tokyo. Those of you thinking, “why are they holding the BBA on a Thursday?” can relax; the following day is the Culture Day national holiday. So come and enjoy the evening to the full, knowing you have plenty of time to recuperate. Tickets will go on sale in June, so keep an eye on our website for more details, and in the meantime mark the date in your diaries.
Being the 10th edition of the awards, which have become the highlight of the BCCJ calendar, you can expect a true red carpet experience, with fabulous entertainment, delicious food and wine, and an award ceremony to celebrate the very best of international business achievements. We are delighted to welcome the iconic British firm Jaguar Land Rover as our headline sponsor once again. If your business is interested in using this event to showcase your brand, please contact me to discuss sponsorship options.
The second week of May was a wonderful opportunity to shine the spotlight on a truly international sporting competition that will be coming to Japan in just over two years—the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
We held a very well-attended joint event with the Australian and New Zealand Chamber of Commerce in Japan around the results of the pool draw on 10 May, and will be keeping the momentum going with our next rugby-focused event on 1 July—a live screening of the second British and Irish Lions test match against the New Zealand All Blacks. If you are not able to get to New Zealand for the real thing, this is the next best option.