ANZCCJ had an exciting start to the Rugby World Cup 2019 season with a very special guest visiting Japan. The Chamber, together with the New Zealand Embassy and Japan New Zealand Business Council (JNZBC), had the honour of hosting the Prime Minister of New Zealand, the Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern for a business luncheon at the Conrad Tokyo. The lunch was attended by over 200 guests and the Prime Minister spoke about New Zealand working together with Japan on renewable energy, in particular thermal energy, encouraging young Japanese women in agriculture and business, and the success of a number of partnerships between the two countries through R&D. Four of these R&D partnerships, covering a broad range of research areas including AI and robotics, bio-fuels from microalgae, functional foods and health supplements, were formalised with the signing of MOUs at a ceremony after the lunch. Akira Ichikawa, Chair of the Japan Committee for the JNZBC and Representative Director for Sumitomo Forestry Co Ltd., also spoke at the lunch, expressing his gratitude and well-wishes for the PM’s visit to Japan. Our Co-Vice Chair Catherine O’Connell was MC for the event. The full joint statement issued by both countries is online here. A copy of the PM's speech is available in English here and Japanese here.