• 04 Jun 2018 11:52 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    On 24 May, ANZCCJ welcomed members to our Office Warming Party at the Chamber’s new location, WeWork Shimbashi. ANZCCJ Chair, Andrew Gauci, and Executive Director, Judith Hanna welcomed and thanked ANZCCJ sponsors in attendance for their continued support of the Chamber and the direction the Chamber Secretariat is taking to remain relevant to our members and the Japanese market. Members had the chance to tour the facilities and a number commented on the convenience of the office, including its hot desks, a membership app that connects all We Works members together and more. 

    A special thank you goes to Treasury Wine Estates and Harnets Corporation for the delicious Australian and New Zealand wines and also specialty cheeses. It was good to see over 70 members enjoy another opportunity to network with one another, catching up with old and new friends as well as some guests from the We Work network. 

  • 04 Jun 2018 11:48 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    On 9 May, the Sports for Business Committee met at PWC’s office in Kasumigaseki to discuss exciting upcoming events surrounding the countdown for 2019’s Rugby World Cup in Japan. At the meeting, we announced that ANZCCJ will run a joint chamber event to celebrate One Year To Go in September. 

    Others shared about the number of opportunities arising as we get close to the big event. One such event is the upcoming Minato Rugby Festival on 17 June at Chichibu Stadium. For those who are interested in buying tickets, please email We had special guests from the RWC2019 Organising Committee give an update on the recent promotion events to build momentum leading up to the RWC in Japan. One of which was Tokyo City Governor Yuriko Koike who celebrated 500 days to go by unveiling a countdown clock that is now shown in the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building. Celebrations are being held in Yokohama, Sapporo, Fukuoka. 

    A video was played to the committee explaining the construction of the Recovery Memorial Stadium in Kamaishi and the significance this has in the community’s recovery after the devastating 2011 Tohoku earthquake. A game to open up the new stadium will take place on 19 August. The Secretariat will investigate how members of the Chamber can purchase tickets. 

    If you would like to join the Sports for Business Committee, send an email to Please be advised that priority will be given to Chamber members where attendance space is limited, and non-RSVPs will be unable to join these meetings so do make sure you RSVP. The next meeting will be held on 5 July, so watch out for the event announcement.

  • 28 May 2018 12:59 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Dream Collective, whose aim is to drive long-term change in women’s representation at the leadership level, is hosting a Global Diversity Solution Sharing Day here in Tokyo on June 18. They are offering the discounted early bird price to ANZCCJ members. This session , which is particularly suited to HR, Managers and Diversity inclusion professional who want to develop female leaders who want to network and share their experiences, include keynote speeches and a panel discussion from partners such as Unilever and Suntory on how they achieved diversity and developed female leaders. Tickets are available here and include solution workbook, books, drinks and a catered meal.

  • 25 May 2018 12:04 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The second instalment in the ANZCCJ’s Youth Empowerment Programme took place on 26 April 2018, this time hosting a discussion and Q&A with leaders in Japan’s legal and finance industries. Held at the cozy Yahoo! Lodge in central Tokyo, the comfortable atmosphere helped to ensure that conversation flowed smoothly throughout the night and attendees were able to easily form connections with other like-minded guests.

    Sam Brustad, moderator for the discussion, began the event by introducing the evening’s guest speakers. From the legal field, Catherine O’Connell, ANZCCJ Vice Chair and founder of Catherine O’Connell Law, and Tracy Whiriskey, from Ashurst and member of ANZCCJ Executive Council shared their experiences. Speaking in relation to the finance sector in Japan were Kohei Tsushima, head of Challenger Japan and ANZCCJ Executive Council member, and Aya Haruyama, Macquarie Capital Securities analyst and ANZCCJ member.

    The panel discussion began with the speakers discussing their relation to and the importance of the ANZCCJ in their respective fields. Sam Brustad asked speakers to expound on what skills they found key to a career in Japan. Ms. Whiriskey began by highlighting cultural sensitivities as an invaluable trait for foreigners working in Japan, even noting that it was a trait that she had seen enable some people to succeed even without Japanese language skills. Ms. O’Connell commented on the massive amount of paperwork present in Japan, a difficulty she found she had to overcome, in an increasingly digital world.  As the panel discussion came to a close, speakers were split into their respective sectors of Finance or Law for a Q&A session.

    The night was brought to a close with a great opportunity for guests to discuss and network with the guest speakers and with other young professionals in their fields of interest.

  • 25 May 2018 11:48 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    On 24 April, ANZ Japan and the ANZCCJ co-hosted an economic outlook luncheon. This was ANZ Japan’s first official ‘Horizons’ session, an economic outlook series aiming to share views on crucial macro and market-moving issues, and how they may affect the relationship between Australia, New Zealand and Japan in particular.

    The luncheon began with opening remarks by ANZCCJ Chair Andrew Gauci, who highlighted the role ANZ Japan takes in helping Australian and New Zealand businesses operating here. He also noted the significant increase of Japanese investment made into Australia in recent years, emphasising the importance of Japanese ties to the Australian economy.

    Richard Yetsenga, ANZ Chief Economist and Head of Research, gave the keynote address on global macro trends, covering themes for the Asia Pacific region. Regarding the global economic future, Yetsenga noted: “The sun is out… this is about as good as it gets”. He noted aging populations and slower bank lending growth as factors that will have a key impact on the future of economies worldwide. Mr Yetsenga emphasised in particular the issue of Japan’s aging population, as it is now inside the investment horizon.

    Mr Yetsenga discussed China’s structural reforms, and how they managed to maintain their GDP growth during this development by taking advantage of an upward trend in exports. Discussing exports more globally, he said that not all countries can grow through exports together, as someone has to be the end consumer, a role currently played by the US.

    With these trade trends,  Mr Yetsenga noted that unhappy voters globally were placing blame on free trade agreements, and stressed the need for answers as to why free trade is good for them to be provided.

    After the presentation, a discussion panel was held with Mr Yetsenga and guest speaker Hajime Ueda, Senior Corporate Managing Director of the Nomura Research Institute. Moderated by Andrew Cornell, Managing Editor of bluenotes, the panel further discussed the macro themes, and regional trade and investment opportunities for Australia, New Zealand and Japan.

    Of key interest during the discussion were the value of Australian management talent and Japan’s AI investments. Mr Ueda remarked that management teams acquired in Australia were valuable, and looked forward to expanding such talent internationally. He also noted Japanese society’s present acceptance of robotics as a promising sign in global AI competition.

    Following the panel’s Q&A session, Andrew Gauci asserted in closing remarks that Australia goes beyond mining and resources, and that this is being proven today.

  • 25 May 2018 11:34 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    ANZCCJ was pleased to host Ms Raelene Castle in her first visit to Japan as CEO of Rugby Australia at the chic R2 Supper Club in Roppongi for a Q&A session on 24 April. Joining her was Olympic Gold Medalist and Women’s 7s Captain, Shannon Parry, as well as former Men’s 7s Captain, Ed Jenkins.

    After some light refreshments and networking, ANZCCJ Chair Emeritus Melanie Brock commenced the event by welcoming our Rugby Australia guests and moderated the Q&A session, which focussed on the important issue of diversity both on and off the field.

    During the Q&A, Shannon noted the promising growth she has seen in women’s rugby in Japan. She said that she had felt really welcomed by Japan during her Kitakishi tour. The group discussed the similarities in codes between sports, and how these strategic parallels allow for an easy understanding for growth in the sport in Japan.

    Ms Castle said that it was an honour to be the first female chief executive of Rugby Australia, and noted the significance of Australia recognising the upside of diversity, an area in which she claimed New Zealand had been leading. The group further discussed the encouraging change seen in the world, and especially in sports, in terms of female representation.

    Following questions from the audience, the discussion turned to the interplay between sport and business, with the panel noting the opportunities and willingness of the Australian Rugby community to work with Japanese business. Melanie Brock and Ms Castle agreed that sport represented a bridge between Japanese executives and Australian and New Zealand ones.

    ANZCCJ would like to thank Ms Castle, Shannon Parry and Ed Jenkins for sharing their insights. We would also like to thank Melanie Brock for moderating and all attendees for an enjoyable night.

  • 11 May 2018 11:47 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The results from the Spring 2018 edition of the Foreign Chambers in Japan Business Confidence Survey have now been released. The expectation of healthy growth in the Japanese economy that has been held by businesses since the Autumn 2016 survey has again continued, though this time at a slightly lower level than in the previous survey conducted in October of last year. Respondents remain positive about the outlook for the Japanese economy. Over the next six months, 50 per cent of respondents are expecting some improvement in the economy, while 7 per cent are expecting strong improvement. 

    The response from ANZCCJ members mirrors these aggregate results. 73 per cent of members who responded are expecting improvement and 7 per centare anticipating strong improvement over the next six months. The outlook is similar for the coming 12 months. This optimism is reflected in the performance of companies as well, with 55 per cent of ANZCCJ member respondents having experience improvement in profitability over the past six months, and 54 per cent expecting this to continue over the next six months. 65 per cent of ANZCCJ members who responded are aiming for continued growth in Japan, and we are excited to continue working with our members to help them achieve their business goals here in Japan.

    The full report on the survey and commentary is available here, and a breakdown of the results from the responses submitted by ANZCCJ members is available here. Thank you to all members who took the time to contribute to the survey, which continues to serve as useful barometer of foreign business in Japan.

  • 12 Apr 2018 12:53 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Industry representatives gathered to hear updates on trends and opportunities as part of the ANZ Food, Beverage and Agribusiness Seminar, co-hosted by ANZCCJ. ANZCCJ was pleased to welcome a delegation from Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries and the Honourable Ken Vowles, Northern Territory Minister for Primary Industries and Resources.

    The afternoon began with opening remarks from ANZCCJ’s Executive Council member and Chair of the Food, Agriculture and Hospitality Committee, Tim Barnstable, Patrick Vizzone, ANZ International’s Head of Food, Beverage & Agribusiness, and Hiroyuki  Yamaguchi, from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. All three spoke to the importance of investment and trade ties between Australia, New Zealand and Japan, highlighting the central role of the food, beverage, and agriculture sectors.

    In the first session, Michael Whitehead, Head of Agri Insights at ANZ, spoke about Australian Agri supply chains as a world leading industry. Michael reminded attendees of the longevity of the now over 150-year relationship between Japan and Australia.  He gave an in-depth overview of movement in activity sectors, including beef, grain, sheep, dairy, cotton, horticulture, fisheries, craft beer and banking and tech. Michael identified consolidation within the industries, innovation, differentiation and increased investment as key opportunities.

    In session two, Con Williams, NZ Agri Economist at ANZ, gave a detailed presentation on the dynamics of and forecasts for major agri sectors in NZ. Con emphasised his key message of the alignment of Japanese demand and what NZ produces and highlighted NZ’s strength in unique trade-marked IP product, identifying particular growth areas as viticulture, avocados, kiwi fruit, pit fruits and forestry. Con also provided thorough analysis of traditional strong performers, the livestock and dairy sectors.

    Session three was a panel discussion moderated by Patrick Vizzone featuring ANZCCJ Executive Council members Brett Cooper and Tracy Whiriskey along with Ian Hanrahan Executive Director, Consumer & Agribusiness, Institutional Banking at ANZ. Thanks to Patrick’s sharp questioning, the panel addressed Japanese investment in Australia and NZ in terms of free trade agreements, the regulatory regime and the evolution of investment structures. The take away was that Australia and NZ are well and truly open for business to Japanese investors, who are held in high regard by both the public and private sectors.

    The final session focussed on how Japanese corporates can outsmart the competition to take advantage of M&A opportunities in Australia and NZ. Martin Hanrahan, Head of Corporate Advisory at ANZ, gave a full assessment of the strengths of Japanese investors and offered frank advice on areas for continued improvement, as well as an overview of recent M&A activity.

    Following closing remarks from Patrick Vizzone, participants took the opportunity to network whilst enjoying a fitting spread of refreshments, including exclusive craft beers not yet available for purchase in Japan, along with NZ lamb chops and kangaroo wraps and sakura lamingtons for dessert.

  • 30 Mar 2018 11:14 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Japan Market Expansion Competition (JMEC) is a program to support foreign businesses (project clients) start-up or expand in Japan and to develop the business skills of 'up-and-coming executives' (participants). 

    The participants start the program in November with a 5 week lecture series on how to write an effective business plan and also how to do business in Japan – often called a "Mini MBA".  The second part of the program starts in January when the participants are divided into teams and allocated a project client for whom they will spend four months preparing a business plan to present to a panel of JMEC judges (the competition).  The project clients have included businesses from start-ups through to some of the most famous international brands.

    JMEC was initiated by the ANZCCJ in 1993 and is now supported by 18 foreign chambers of commerce in Japan and receives corporate sponsorship from various members of the business community.  The program is now in its 25th year and applications for JMEC 25 open in August.

    Participants from over 15 countries have been involved in the competition and whilst the average age is 33, there has been a broad range of ages involved from 25 – 52.  Participants are evenly balanced between genders and also between Japanese and foreigners. This diversity in backgrounds and the participants' strong interest in Japan and business have resulted in numerous success stories for the project clients.  As testimony to the value of the program, several project clients have participated in multiple competitions over the 25 years and many participants have taken on new roles or careers as a result of their experience on the program.

    As a participant in the program 15 years ago (JMEC 10), I can highly recommend the program to both potential project clients and participants.            

    2018’s JMEC program starts 11th November (Saturday), with applications due 15th October.                           

    More details on the program, including information sessions, can be found on the JMEC website (

  • 19 Mar 2018 11:51 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    In a recent interview with The Australian’s John Eales for his column, ‘The Deal’, ANZCCJ Chair Emeritus Melanie Brock discussed the business activities of Australians in Japan. Chair Emeritus Brock provided her professional insights on what it takes for businesses to succeed in a society and culture often considered uniquely different from Australia. Melanie provides valuable advice about the quintessential do’s and don’ts of conducting business in Japan.

    To read the article, please click here.

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