• 16 Dec 2015 8:23 AM | ANZCCJ (Administrator)


    16 December 2015

    Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will travel to Tokyo on his first trip to North Asia as Prime Minister on 18 December.

    Australia’s relationship with Japan is a sophisticated special strategic partnership built on common values and a shared view of the world and the region.

    Japan is our second largest two-way trading partner and a major investor in Australia. Our economic relationship is broad-based, encompassing joint business ventures, trade and investment, education and science, sport and culture, energy and agriculture.

    The first year of the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement, which entered into force in January 2015, has seen an increase in exports of a range of products. Australia and Japan are both parties to the recently-concluded Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, which will usher in a new era of economic growth and opportunity across our region.

    Japan is a leading innovator, and the Prime Minister’s visit to Japan will be an opportunity to build strong ties in creating a research and business culture that incentivises and rewards innovation and entrepreneurship.

    In their bilateral discussions, Prime Ministers Turnbull and Abe will discuss all aspects of the Australia-Japan relationship, including economic and trade relations, security and defence cooperation, and Australia’s concerns about Japan’s decision to resume whaling in the Southern Ocean this summer.

  • 11 Dec 2015 1:05 PM | ANZCCJ (Administrator)

    A Call to Action

    Pacific countries are highly exposed to the impacts of climate change and extreme natural events. Through this $2 million Challenge the Australian Government is calling on innovators, entrepreneurs, designers and scientists to rethink humanitarian response.

    Find more details here

  • 09 Dec 2015 1:00 PM | ANZCCJ (Administrator)

    Street Rugby at Chichibunomiya Stadium

    On 8 November, Club Australia and the ANZCCJ collaborated with the

    Street Rugby Alliance to host the Street Rugby at Chichibunomiya Stadium event.

    The event commenced with a number of speeches by key Japanese sports and Government figures:

    • Mr Saburo Kawabuchi - Chairman, Cheer Nippon (major event sponsor)
    • Mr Kazumi Ohigashi - President, Japan Sports Council
    • Mr Akira Shimazu - CEO, RWC 2019 Organising Committee
    • Mr Kimura Tetsuya - LDP
    • HE Mark Sinclair - New Zealand Ambassador to Japan
    • Ms Melanie Brock - ANZCCJ Chair and President of the Australian Rugby Foundation Japan Chapter
    Also in attendance were representatives of the 12 cities that will be hosting Rugby World Cup matches in 2019.

    Following the ceremony, an impressive performance of the Haka was delivered by staff of the New Zealand Embassy Tokyo.

    The event, which was covered by a range of Japanese media including NHK News, Fuji TV and TV Asahi, attracted participation by approximately 100 teams, including 14 foreign teams. ANZCCJ member teams in the event were New Zealand Trade & Enterprise, the New Zealand Embassy to Japan, Rio Tinto, Nippon Steel, Macquarie and Peninsula Tokyo, as well as teams consisting of Chamber members' family and friends.

    The Chamber, alongside Club Australia also organised a number of food and beverage stalls:

    • Lamb Chops by Club Australia
    • Meat Pies by 'Pie no le'
    • Wine by Jeroboam Fine Wine Club
    • Craft Beer by Gotemba Kogen Beer
    • Tea by Nerada (KOB)

    The ANZCCJ has been involved with Street Rugby Alliance since the launch of the first event in Nihonbashi earlier this year, and we look forward to continuing to work alongside both the Alliance and Club Australia to increase awareness of Rugby in Japan and to develop a pool of bilingual and experienced volunteers in the lead up to RWC2019 and 2020.

  • 07 Dec 2015 11:54 AM | ANZCCJ (Administrator)

    Portraits of Success: Australians and New Zealanders leading global business

    On Friday 4 December 2015, ANZCCJ’s “Portraits of Success” event brought together 3 distinguished Australian and New Zealand global business leaders to present to us their international business success stories in Asia, with a focus on Japan.

    The panel consisted of  Ms Leanne Cutts, President and Representative Director of Mondelez International;  Mr Ross Rowbury, President and Representative Director of Edelman Japan; as well as Ms Vanessa Wallace, Japan’s Chairman and Senior Partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). The discussion panel was moderated by Mr Edward Cole, Managing Partner of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s Tokyo Office and ANZCCJ Vice Chair.

    The panel discussion began with a question on how changes to the relations between Japan and its neighbouring countries in the Asian Pacific region have effected businesses and what new opportunities and challenges arose for their (and their client’s) businesses. The implications of the newly formed Japan-Australia TPP and the constantly ageing/ shrinking Japanese population were of particular focus. The panel also highlighted the importance of informal networks in helping to respond to these changes and provided insights on how to look for information/ techniques to help understand the Japanese markets better.

    Challenges in recruiting talent, both within Japan and from overseas (eg internal secondments), as well as the benefits of having a diverse workplace were discussed.  Ms Leanne Cutts and Ms Vanessa Wallace also examined the challenges and advantages of being a senior business woman in Japan.

    For future business strategies, the panel acknowledged the differences in risk-taking behaviours in Japan and how changing plans are not often welcomed by more conservative Japanese managers and staff. The panel then provided advice on how to manage risk-taking behaviour and whether “strategy” talk is helpful or not from their own experience. The event concluded with a conversation about business prospects for 2016.

    ANZCCJ was honoured to host this panel and would like to thank all participants who attended the event. Special thanks to our 3 panel guests, Leanne, Ross and Vanessa as well as our Vice Chair, Ed.  We look forward to seeing you at the next Portraits of Success event.

  • 02 Dec 2015 4:06 PM | ANZCCJ (Administrator)

    Japan to welcome 12 New Colombo Plan Scholars in 2016


    1 December 2015

    A total of 12 New Colombo Plan scholars will study in Japan under the 2016 round of the Australian Government’s New Colombo Plan.

    “I am delighted Japan will welcome 12 of Australia’s best and brightest undergraduate students as New Colombo Plan scholars to live, study and undertake work placements in various cities across Japan,” Australian Ambassador to Japan Bruce Miller said.

    Alexander Best from Edith Cowan University will study at Kyoto Sangyo University, and plans to undertake an internship with a Japanese sporting association.

    Lachlan Kenway from the University of Queensland will study at Waseda University.

    Megan Lock from the University of Adelaide will study at Osaka University, and
    plans to undertake an internship in the field of foreign language education.

    Clarence Ma from the University of New South Wales will study at the University of Tokyo, and hopes to undertake an internship with an international or Japanese law firm.

    Casey Macfarlane from Griffith University will study at Hiroshima University, and plans to undertake an internship in the field of waste management, specifically recycling management.

    Estelle McCabe from Griffith University will study at Saitama University, and plans to undertake a communications internship within the oil and gas sector.

    Alexander McLeish from Monash University will study at the University of Tokyo, and plans to undertake internships with international law firms.

    Rosemary Menzies from the University of Sydney will study at Kyoto University, and hopes to undertake a laboratory based internship.

    Kingsley Nguyen from the University of Western Australia will study at Nagoya University, and hopes to undertake an internship with a major Japanense company.

    Diane Salim from the Australian National University will study at the University of Tokyo, and plans to undertake an internship with a leading research physicist in Japan.

    Kayla Rain Williams from University of Technology Sydney will study at Yamaguchi University, and plans to undertake an internship with an organisation related to international development in the Pacific.

    And Grace Yee Yan Yeung from Griffith University will study at Meio University, and plans to undertake an internship with an international non-profit organisation.

    “The strong interest of Australian students in studying in Japan reflects the bonds of friendship and opportunity that exist between Australia and Japan,” the Ambassador said.

    New Colombo Plan scholarships are highly prestigious, with only 100 awarded in 2016, and recognise students’ exceptional academic performance, community engagement and commitment to deepening relationships with our neighbours in the Indo-Pacific.

    “This talented group of students will be impressive young ambassadors for Australia in the Indo-Pacific region, as they undertake studies, gain industry experience and learn about another culture while fostering friendships and networks that will last a lifetime,” Minister Bishop said.

    “Australia is investing in the next generation of leaders who will continue to advance and build on our important bilateral relations in the Indo-Pacific region”.

    The New Colombo Plan is a signature initiative of the Australian Government to lift knowledge of the Indo-Pacific by supporting Australian undergraduate students to study and undertake internships in the region.

    The Australian Government has committed $100 million in new funding over five years to implement the New Colombo Plan.

    For more information on the New Colombo Plan, visit or follow @NewColomboPlan on Twitter.


  • 30 Nov 2015 4:00 PM | ANZCCJ (Administrator)

    Breakfast with Hon Martin Pakula, Attorney General and Minister for Racing, Victorian Parliament

    30 November 2015

    On 30 November, the ANZCCJ hosted a breakfast event with the Hon Martin Pakula, Attorney General and Minister for Racing, at the Grand Hyatt, Tokyo.

    The Minister, who was visiting Japan for the first time to attend the 2015 Japan Cup (Horse Racing) and to meet with representatives of the Japanese equine industry, delivered a well-received speech and Q&A regarding the opportunities in Victoria for two-way trade with Japan, especially in the racing industry. 

    The Minister began by outlining a number of positive aspects of Victoria's economy, such as:

    • Its mature and diversified nature, proving resilient to external shocks
    • Triple A credit rating and a forecast growth in surplus exceeding AUD 1.2 billion 
    • Billions of dollars invested in current infrastructure projects, complementing Melbourne's liveability score of 97/100, making it the world's most liveable city (for the fifth consecutive year)
    Following this, the Minister referred to the wide range of world class events hosted by Victoria and which are fundamental to the State's tourism industry, especially highlighting the Melbourne Cup. He continued by reflecting on Japan's notable involvement in the racing industry, which he has a strong desire to see increase in the future. The Minister also noted his interest in Japan's rigorous integrity standards in the racing industry, which would be an area of focus during his visit to Japan.

    In finishing his presentation, the Minister noted the strength of

    Victoria's two-way business connections with Japan, evident through the abundance of Japanese culture and cuisine in the State, as well as Japan's popularity as an international study destination.

    He went on to say that the Victorian Government's commitment to the Japanese market is strong, as evidenced by five Ministerial visits by Victorian Ministers in the past twelve months and Melbourne's appointment as the host city of the 2016 Australia Japan Business Cooperation Committee (AJBCC) Conference.

    ANZCCJ would like to thank all those who participated in the event, with a special thanks to Hon Martin Pakula, Attorney General and Minister for Racing for addressing our members this morning.

    Photos of the event can be viewed here

  • 23 Nov 2015 8:45 AM | ANZCCJ (Administrator)
    Let Me TELL You About Mental Health Care in Japan


    I first heard about TELL just over four years ago when I participated in a post-tsunami panel discussion with Dr. Linda Semlitz, then TELL’s Clinical Director. [I also learned about Second Harvest Japan that day, listening to Charles McJilton’s presentation in the same discussion, and have been a strong supporter ever since.] Although in 2011 I had lived in Japan nine years, I hadn’t heard of TELL (thankfully I hadn’t had a need), and that’s a continuing challenge for the organization, which is Japan’s leading mental health services provider for the international community, and has operated an English-language Lifeline since 1973.


    This May, I moved from TELL's board of directors into the Executive Director role, and after looking more closely at what we had been doing (and not doing) in recent years, I realized we needed to do a much better job of communicating to our audiences – to the community, to potential volunteer telephone counselors, and to potential donors and partners. [Like the physician who tries to fit every patient problem into his or her area of specialty, I’ve been a communications consultant for over 25 years in Asia-Pacific, so to me everything looks like a communications problem!]


    The challenge is that the international community is constantly turning over, and as people who know about TELL return home, or move on to another overseas posting, they take with them their knowledge about TELL, about the Lifeline, about our comprehensive children and families programs, and about the confidential face-to-face counseling we provide. And because mental health issues are not always easy to talk about, the replacements of the people who leave often have to discover TELL on their own. If I move to Tokyo to replace you as regional marketing manager, chances are that during our 3-4 weeks of overlap, I won’t mention to you that my son is autistic, or that my spouse is suffering from postpartum depression. Or whatever.


    So here’s the other thing I have found in the six months I have been serving as TELL’s Executive Director: most international companies, even though they have global EAP (Employee Assistance Programs) providers, do a poor job of offering mental health care to international employees (and here I am including English-speaking Japanese, who comprise 60% of callers to our English-language Lifeline) and their families. EAP in Japan is understandably focused on the 95% of the market that speaks Japanese, and for the most part expats are left to their own devices. This is especially an issue for trailing spouses and children, who come to Japan and are not offered a desk and a salary and 50-80 hours a week of work and travel, and very likely have to figure out how to deal with problems that arise to home without speaking and reading Japanese (which as you may have noticed, is the sine qua non of communication in this country, despite rumors that the Olympics are coming to town). 


    And so, I am grateful for the opportunity to write to ANZCCJ members about TELL and the services we offer. Our prices start at free, for the Lifeline, and for many of our outreach programs that reach schools and other organizations (thanks to companies and individuals that provide support for these programs because they feel they are important for the community). 


    If we can help you in any way, get in touch. If you think you may be interested in volunteering to serve the community as a Lifeline phone counselor, or in some other way, please get in touch. If you think we can help your organization, write me an email and let me know. 


    Finally, if you simply want to help by spreading the word about the mental health services that are available to the international community in Japan, like our Facebook page and share our posts. Tell your friends and colleagues. We’re here to listen.


    Roberto De Vido 
    Executive Director

    Roberto De Vido is Executive Director of TELL. For more information about TELL, please visit their website, or write to Roberto at


  • 19 Nov 2015 4:36 PM | ANZCCJ (Administrator)

    Japan-Australia M&A Year in Review 2015

    On November 18th, over 70 guests packed into the Australian Embassy for ANZCCJ Platinum Sponsor Ashurst's popular annual 'Japan-Australia M&A Year In Review'. 

    Ashurst Australia's legal experts Natsuko Ogawa, Arabella Dove and Geread Dooley gave us a thorough rundown of current trends in Japan-Australia cross-border M&A, key legal updates, and 2016 M&A predictions and deal opportunities. 

    The presentation was very well received by the audience, as evidenced by a lively Q&A session which continued during the post-seminar canapés.  The session was introduced by Executive Council member Gerard Adams and Austrade’s Senior Trade Commissioner Leonie Muldoon, and concluded by Ashurst's Global Vice Chair Mary Padbury. 

    Many thanks to everyone who contributed to the success of the event, and congratulations to Ashurst on its recent 25th anniversary in Japan.

    Download the seminar presentation slides in English and Japanese

  • 17 Nov 2015 3:12 PM | ANZCCJ (Administrator)

    Street Rugby in Minamisanriku with Japanese rugby legend, Jiro Ishiyama

    By Tim Barnstable, FAHC Chair

    Street Rugby Alliance, Club Australia and the ANZCCJ teamed up to bring Street Rugby games for the first time to Tohoku. As a special guest, Japanese Rugby legend, Jiro Ishiyama, who currently serves as Chairman of Scrum Kamaishi, joined the Street Rugby on the Sunday.


    The group traveling from Tokyo met at Koala House in Minami Sanriku and together visited a local fisherman, Naoya Takahashi  ( for some volunteer work. Upon arriving, Mr Takahashi's family shared a number of photos of the tsunami, some showing their small business being inundated and swept away. While they had rebuilt a shed for processing the scallops and wakame it was clear that a lot of the equipment needed to make the job more efficient had not yet been replaced.


    The group helped pack wakame and prepare ropes used for growing scallops by inserting a plastic hook arrangement into the ropes. Both kids and adults went away with a sense of accomplishment after completing this work.

    On Sunday morning the group traveled from the Minshuku accommodation to the sports stadium behind Koala House for Street Rugby games. In total there were around 50 participants in the rugby with the local children and their parents getting involved in the fun.  After the rugby, the families were treated to kangaroo burgers, chicken and cheese from various parts of the world. Thank you to our sponsors, Roo Meat, JBS, Murray Goulburn and Kirin for your generous food and drink donations.

    Our next Volunteer Weekend is scheduled for May 2016. Look out for the event announcement in the coming months for details!



  • 13 Nov 2015 2:26 PM | ANZCCJ (Administrator)

    Japanese small and medium sized companies (SMEs) were 'inspired' to do business with Australia and New Zealand at the launch of ANZCCJ's SME Support event series on 10 November. 

    The event was a resounding success as Japanese SMEs benefited from free, impartial advice from international trade experts on how they can succeed in importing, exporting or investing in Australia and New Zealand.


    The World Wine Bar venue and event sponsor, Penfold’s, ensured that the ambiance was relaxed and the wine flowed as did the conversation and networking.  The 40 Japanese SMEs who attended tapped into the business expertise of a large number of Business Advisors, who shared their passion and experience in doing business between Australia, New Zealand and Japan. 


    Global Business Circle’s (GBC) Asia-Pacific Director, Jacqui Gray attended as a business advisor and was impressed by the event, “It’s great to see so many Japanese SMEs here tonight taking the first step towards exploring the many business opportunities that exist in Australia and capitalising on the support that is available here in Japan to help them do this”.  Working in the UK, Japan and Australia, GBC provides international sales and marketing support and services alongside technical expertise to drive business growth for both public and private sector clients in multiple sectors around the world.


    Mr Kimura and Mr Kiyotomi from the Australian and New Zealand Embassies, highlighted the many opportunities available to Japanese companies wanting to do business in Australia and New Zealand alongside the wide range of Government support that is available to help them achieve success in these markets.


    Yukina Hirai, President of Foru Style Inc. spoke about her work with Bills restaurant in Sydney, and the experience and inspiration that it gave her when setting up her own cafe and online shop in Japan. Yukina’s passion for her business is contagious and she continues her focus to grow her business in Australia and Japan.


    Global Sky Group President Nagata Ko, who has received ongoing support from the Queensland State Government trade office in Tokyo to grow his company in Australia, New Zealand and Japan, shared his tips for business success.


    The close relationship enjoyed between Australia, New Zealand and Japan, particularly in the wake of the commencement of the Japan and Australia Economic Partnership Agreement (JAEPA) earlier this year, and the recent conclusion of negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, means that it has never been easier for Japanese companies to do business with Australia and New Zealand. 

    For further information about how your company can succeed in Australia and New Zealand please contact the Chamber at  The second SME Support event, under the theme 'Discover', is scheduled to be held in February 2016.  Watch this space for updates.


    Inspirational Japanese SME case studies by Yukina Hirai, Foru Style Inc and Ko Nagata, Global Sky Group

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