Working together

Benefits and challenges of partnership

One of the possible business models available to UK firms that wish to do business in Japan is to collaborate with a Japanese firm. In such cases, the Japanese partner might bring customers, valuable contacts and local market experience.

Although each situation is unique, the British Chamber of Commerce in Japan (BCCJ) was delighted last month to host a fascinating event for members and guests on successful joint ventures, moderated by Hogan Lovells partner Jacky Scanlan-Dyas. Also on the panel were Dan Hamilton, representative director and general manager of Diageo Japan K.K. and Akihiro Itoh, assistant general counsel of Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.

As an experienced outside legal adviser to participants in numerous successful joint ventures and alliances, Scanlan-Dyas guided participants through the life cycle of such transactions. At each stage, however, Hamilton and Itoh provided depth and perspective gleaned from their own careers spent not only building joint ventures, but also operating them.

Providing an opportunity for BCCJ members to gain practical business insight like this from experienced practitioners is one of the formats through which the chamber seeks to provide a platform for business exchange and networking. In delivering on its ambitious objective of hosting 40 well-attended events each year, one of the strategies the BCCJ uses is to partner with trusted organisations and stakeholders to co-host selected events.

Sharing knowledge
This approach not only enables the chamber to curate high-quality knowledge and insight-based content for members, but also provides a conduit through which they can enjoy access to a greatly expanded participant base with whom to extend their personal networks.

Notable examples in recent months include our event co-hosted with BCCJ member firm Finsbury, at which co-founder and Global Managing Partner Rupert Younger tackled Reputation Capital with the former and current correspondents of the Financial Times Michiyo Nakamoto and Leo Lewis, respectively.

This was followed by a topical event on developments at the London Stock Exchange (LSE), featuring LSE Group’s Jon Edwards, Chris Wells of event co-host STJ Advisors, and moderated by Emi Onosuka of Goldman Sachs.

Get together
I sincerely hope that BCCJ members and their guests enjoyed these events and that they will be eager to hear more about the BCCJ’s achievements during the recently ended 2017–18 chamber year. In that respect, and on behalf of the entire BCCJ Executive Committee, I paraphrase one of the great alliance builders of the modern motor industry, Carlos Ghosn: “We try to satisfy [BCCJ members] in the best way possible, and as much as possible make sure that they understand our strategy and appreciate our results”.

So, to hear about recent results and the future direction of the BCCJ in its 70th anniversary year, I urge all members to attend the chamber’s Annual General Meeting at the Conrad Tokyo Hotel on 26 April. I look forward to seeing you there and hope that many of you will be open to exploring mutually beneficial opportunities for enhanced collaboration with the BCCJ in the year ahead.