• 30 Jul 2018 10:24 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Australia Japan Foundation grant recipient Felix Karmel spoke to ANZCCJ Members and guests at Mitsubishi Energy Corporation on his findings regarding Australia’s energy deregulation experience and what lessons Japan can take from it. Australia began its reform process in 1991, it was not until 1998 however that the national energy market opened. Since the time of reform, Australia has learnt much from the process, and Felix spoke to members about five key lessons the Japanese government could take from the Australian experience.

    1. Energy markets are complicated due to the mix of the monopolistic nature of transmission and distribution networks but in the generation and retails sectors, there are a number of competitive forces at play. This complexity underpins the need for careful regulation of the industry.
    2. Federal government and other political factors make it difficult to achieve successful reforms without there being a proper transitional process in place dampen price shocks to consumers and reduce the financial risk to government as well as private investors.
    3. Australia’s experience shows that there is substantial interest from the private sector to invest into the energy sector, including from overseas.
    4. Price volatility must be expected. Political instability and environmental policy changes have substantial impact on prices in the wholesale and retail markets.
    5. Customers may very well experience a price increase because whilst the competitive market will assign resources more efficiently, this does not always correlate to lower prices.

    Looking back on research data, Felix identified key moments in which energy prices had increased dramatically, and the causation of price shock. Key factors included: low quality air conditioners joining the market, retailers being allowed to own generators, the introduction of the carbon tax, gas shortage and introduction of federal environmental policies.  Felix spoke in detail to members about energy retailers being allowed to own generators. He argued that in his opinion this was a mistake as it allowed retailors to create a monopoly on the market and to price gauge (ACCC findings on the National Energy Market can be found here).

    In his presentation Felix noted a number of government benefits that deregulation could bring, including: the freeing of government resources, an increase in private investment into the sector and a reduction in service delivery prices. When asked what the single most important lesson from the Australian scenario that Japan could learn from would be, Felix said it would be that Japan should deregulate the market slowly, don’t go too fast. There are a number of factors to consider, many of these interdependent and hard to predict, so regulators should take their time to deregulate this sector.

    Link to full presentation here.

  • 30 Jul 2018 10:18 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    ANZCCJ in conjunction with the Japan Australia Business Cooperation Committee and the Australian Embassy welcomed Australian Trade, Tourism and Investment Minister Steven Ciobo for a lunch and key note address to discuss trade and business opportunities between Australia and Japan on 2 July.

    The Minister commented on how Japan had emerged as a frontline advocate for trade liberalisation and Japan and Australia had together led the successful conclusion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, against all odds. The Minister also highlighted Japan as one of Australia’s most valued economic and security partners. Looking to the future, the Minister mentioned the ways in which Australia and Japan could cooperate in third countries mainly through developmental assistance and infrastructure projects. He also noted the non-traditional investment opportunities for Japanese investors such as health insurance, renewable energy, medical technology and retail.

    Of particular note was that this was Minister Ciobo`s second year in a row to visit Japan on official duties and his second time to hold a luncheon with the Chamber. ANZCCJ Chair, Andrew Gauci also commented on how youthful Minister Ciobo`s delegation was which would be key for the future of Japan and Australia`s future commercial links. ANZCCJ`s own youth was well represented at the event which included JABCC-AJBCC Future Leader`s Co-Chairs, Kohei Tamura (Rio Tinto and Kanna Mihara (Macquarie) and ANZCCJ`s very own Youth Empowerment Co-Chair Eve Bentley. Ongoing participation and involvement in the new and emerging business leaders would be important for helping drive forward the commercial relationships between Australia and Japan.

    The Minister was in Japan for 6 days and included a meeting with his counterparts from the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership and the first meeting of the Ministerial Economic Dialogue with his counterpart Minister Seko. Minister’s Seko and Ciobo, discussed how Australia and Japan can strengthen Australia and Japan’s economic partnership including through influencing the Asia Pacific’s regional trade architecture, infrastructure within and between countries, and the digital economy.

    Japan-Australia Business Cooperation Committee Chairman, Dr Akio Mimura also spoke about the warmth of Australian-Japanese trade relations, commenting that he saw room for the commercial links to grow. He also said there was a real need for absolute solidarity between these two countries as we were facing a time of uncertainty in the trade world and a `China First` and `US First` approach from the world`s two largest economies. The Australian Ambassador to Japan, HE Richard Court commented on the strength of the economic relationship between Australia and Japan and the importance of their commitment to work together towards economic transparency and the promotion of a rules-based order in the Asia Pacific.

  • 24 Jul 2018 12:50 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    On 5 July the SFB committee welcomed Senior Director at the Rugby World Cup Planning Committee Koji Tokumasu to speak with members. Tokumasu was a driving force behind Japans successful RWC19 bid. During his discussion, Tokumasu noted that Australia and New Zealand played a significant role in helping Japan at various times, even at the cost of breaking away from traditional supporting alliances. Tokumasu said that whilst it was a long journey for Japan, after two failed bids to host, Japan’s successful bid in 2019 had a double positive effect, both enhancing the popularity and importance of rugby in Japan and Asia and paving the way for rugby union to be accepted as an official sport in the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympics, a decision made by the Olympics Committee in 2009 right after the announcement of the 2015 and 2019 RWC hosts. Full SFB minutes can be found on the members resources page here.

    The full story shared by Tokumasu can be read on the ANZCCJ linked in here.

  • 11 Jul 2018 3:54 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    On the evening of Thursday, 28 June, the ANZCCJ, together with the New Zealand Embassy, had the pleasure of hosting the Deputy Secretary for Trade and Economic Affairs from NZ Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Mr Vangelis Vitalis. Vitalis, previously served as New Zealand’s Chief Negotiator for the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) (MFAT's CPTPP website) and was the NZ Permanent Representative to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Geneva and provided great insights on the current state of the global economy and trade trends. 

     Vitalis noted that Japan’s economy is the third largest in the world while NZ is fifty-fourth, and yet the two worked well together on global trade issues. He said that there was unease and uncertainty about trade and the impact of globalisation in many Western democracies which reflects a challenge to the two basic assumptions underlying the global economy, which New Zealand’s trade policy has been informed by since the establishment of the WTO in 1995. Number one is that trade rules in place since 1995 would expand and strengthen to reinforce stability, transparency and predictability for trade and second, that markets would expand and stay open (and increase in this way). Vitalis also noted that for 2018, there were expectations that this would be the worst year in terms of additional protectionist measures adopted in a long time, highlighting that while rules matter, they are currently being challenged. In addition, the enforceability of the rules-based system was under threat as a result of the ongoing difficulties regarding the WTO Appellate Body.

     Vitalis then turned to the NZ Government’s trade policy framework for these tumultuous times (see statement to parliamentary select committee). By way of context, he explained that CPTPP was a key element in this and that NZ like many other countries, wants it to form part of the regional architecture and be used to shape the future of trade in the region. Japan was a key commercial priority for NZ not least given the preferences some other countries like Australia and Chile had in the Japanese market through their bilateral FTAs. CPTPP offered a great deal of benefit to NZ exporters to the Japanese market. Zespri alone was set to save $26 million in the first year, as an example. In the dairy sector, which has long been a key industry for the New Zealand economy, whilst NZ negotiators weren’t able to secure all that it wanted in this area, they had still secured estimated tariff savings of $86 million per year once the agreement is fully implemented. Reductions in customs clearance times (48 hours) and self-certification for rules of origin were also noted as a key benefit.

     Vitalis then turned to address NZ’s trade policy, outlining its six inter-related elements: 1) Intensified effort to defend the rules-based trading system; 2) Embedding New Zealand in the evolving Asia Pacific trade and economic architecture; 3) Supporting and sustain global and regional ‘public goods’ that can reinforce the rules-based system, such as ADB, OECD, AIIB and APEC (and NZ’s commitment includes hosting APEC in 2021); 4) Supporting open plurilateralism as a building bloc for the WTO and multilateralism; 5) A new "Trade for All" agenda which has a domestic focus centred on increasing the benefits of trade for Maori, women, SMEs, the domestic regional economy and sustainability; and 6) An invigorated New Zealand economic diplomacy to support New Zealand firms internationally with practical tools and assistance on issues like non-tariff barriers (such as the NTB portal at The comprehensive speech by Mr. Vitalis was then followed by a dynamic question and answer session with the audience.

  • 29 Jun 2018 10:46 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    On Tuesday, 26th of June the Tokyo Chamber of Commerce and Industry, along with the Japan External Trade Organization, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and ANZCCJ held a NZ Business Seminar in Marunouchi. The seminar provided insight on how to promote business in New Zealand and focussed particularly on Japanese companies that are engaging with high-tech companies in New Zealand and also companies that are importing attractive New Zealand products to Japan.

    The event was opened by New Zealand Ambassador Stephen Payton, and  participants then heard from a number of guest speakers;  Koji Hikosaka Investment Manager at NZ Trade and Enterprise, Isamu Hasegawa from Luminous Productions (Square Enix), Don Roxburgh from Wholesum Japan Company, and Hiroshi Nishijo from Yamaha Motors Ventures and Laboratory Silicon Valley.

    Although the speakers were from a diverse range of industries (Software, Food Importing, and Robotics/Engineering) the presentations dovetailed together with a similar message painting NZ as a country that celebrates diversity, innovation, and providing wide-ranging opportunities for Japanese businesses to partner with innovative companies in a low risk and low regulation environment.

  • 25 Jun 2018 12:22 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    On Thursday, 7 June, this year's installment of the Joint Chamber Summer Cocktails was held at the Roppongi Hills Club and attracted more than 300 business people from different chambers.

    As always, this was an incredibly popular event with tickets selling out very quickly. Attendees enjoyed a wide range of food and drinks while networking and reconnecting with business people from other chambers against the beautiful view of the Tokyo skyline seen from the Roppongi Hills Club.

    This year the event was hosted by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Japan and supported by all of the following chambers:

    American Chamber of Commerce in Japan

    Austrian Business Council

    Australian and New Zealand Chamber of Commerce in Japan

    Swiss Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Japan

    Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Japan

    German Chamber of Commerce in Japan (AHK)

    South African Chamber of Commerce in Japan

    Tokyo Chamber of Commerce and Industry

    British Chamber of Commerce in Japan

    Greek Chamber of Commerce in Japan

    Netherlands Chamber of Commerce in Japan

    Finnish Chamber of Commerce in Japan

    French Chamber of Commerce in Japan

  • 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.

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