• 24 Oct 2018 3:08 PM | ANZCCJ (Administrator)

    On 2 October the Roppongi Bar Association hosted a panel together with Foreign Chambers of Commerce in Japan to discuss recent changes in Japan’s fintech environment. The panel was comprised of financial technology (fintech) related vendors, users, thought leaders and legal practitioners. The discussion started with an introduction from each of the panel members providing a brief background of what role their organisations play in fintech. The event was held at Nishimura & Asahi.

    ANZCCJ Member, Mr. Paul Chapman, CEO & Founder of Moneytree shared insights from an Australia and Japan perspective. Moneytree is a Japanese fintech company founded by an Australian and three Americans and acts as a financial data platform. People and businesses store and share their confidential financial information like cashflow data, credit ratings, banking transaction history and other digital financial data which can be used for a wide range of purposes.

    Other speakers included:

    Ms. Christine Lee of Ground X, a blockchain related subsidiary of Kakao, and an attorney admitted in Japan. Kakao is a platform that covers various industries such as taxi, bank, and music. They have been working on developing the system to ease the usage of Fintech in Korea. More info online:;

    Mr. Spyridon Mentzas, former head of equities at Mizuho Securities, and current fintech entrepreneur. Founded a company called ‘Hijojo Partners’. This company offers an online platform for investors to buy and sell securities. More info online:;

    Ms. Anri Okamoto, General Counsel for Mercari, and an attorney admitted in Japan and New York. Mercari is an online second-hand market place (mobile version of E-bay) operating in Japan, US and UK with around 1,000 employees. In the future, the company is looking to to implement a mobile payment system which would allow customers/suppliers on the net to use up their credit at the convenience store. More info online:;

    Mr. Jeff Wentworth, Co-Founder of Curvegrid which uses a blockchain server to make it easier, faster and less expensive to build business application on the blockchain.  The company is based in Tokyo, Japan. it;

    Ms. Kristina Yasuda, Director of Digital Identities at the and Consultant with Accenture Strategy; was founded “to be a bar organisation for the Internet. Traditionally, bar associations connect, educate and define professional standards for those who are members (lawyers). Because the Internet is global and involves a multi-faceted set of participants, all contributing to the normative behaviour of online interaction, IBO includes anyone – activist, lawyer, technologist, advocate, student, entrepreneur – who wants to be a part of making the Justice Layer become a reality through education, prevention, access to tools, and empowerment of the individual in the justice system through arts and culture”

    Mr. Tony Andriotis of Hughes Hubbard & Reed and the Greek Chamber of Commerce in Japan (Moderator); and

    Mr. Susumu Tanizawa (Moderator) and Ms. Chika Igarashi (Alternate Moderator) of Nishimura & Asahi.

    A number of issues were discussed and by the end of the night it was clear there were a number of opportunities for fintech start-ups in Japan, especially in light of Japanese banks increasingly opening themselves up and digitising their services more. Panelists had a range of views about Japan being “behind” other developed economies on fintech development. A large economy like Japan’s takes time to adjust to market forces – the major banks cover a huge customer base. Paul Chapman thought this was perhaps “The 1.5 Dilemma” for Japan. Japan invents something at 1.5 when the rest of the world is focused on 1.0 – the Japanese flip phone that connected to the internet as an example - but the result being Japan would tend to delay its adoption of 2.0 once the rest of the world had got to this (for example the “smart phone” as we now know it today took time to penetrate the Japanese market).

    The Japanese consumer is somewhat reluctant to shift away from a predominantly cash-heavy society, to using online financial services and web platforms, despite the Japanese government’s efforts to modernise the Japanese banking system. This is due to a number of factors: In terms of credit cards, Japanese consumers are reluctant to spend money they can’t see. Instead, the typical Japanese consumer wants visual acknowledgement of how much they spent, when and what. So Japan has seen a slower uptake of credit cards and online payments. Consumers also have security concerns, questioning how safe their online financial details are, furthermore the transaction fee associated with credit cards or online payments are still too expensive in Japan, because they are relatively new to this market. Whilst there has been rapid implementation in the last 2-3 years. The change in Japanese mind-sets toward electronic payments will eventually shift but until they do, fintech software/Apps and the like will continue to develop slowly. Open banking (which refers to increased financial services/e-payments being offered by banks to consumers) will need to play its part to increase consumer confidence and uptake, but likewise fintech companies like MoneyTree can do their part to develop systems that close gaps in the banking system and make a consumer’s life easier.

    MoneyTree Co-Founder, Paul Chapman said one solution would be if banks continued to open up more through greater deregulation, this would foster more innovation and stimulate growth in Japan. It would also ensure Japan keeps pace with the rest of the world. Who knows, maybe Japan may start to lead in this area one day with banks having the advantage of a big customer base, allowing Japan to play an increasing role as an investment hub in Asia, a role still very much dominated by Hong Kong and Singapore. 

  • 05 Oct 2018 2:56 PM | ANZCCJ (Administrator)

    Members of the Chamber met with the Odawara Hakone Chamber of Commerce & Industry (OCCI) on 4 October. The visit was to build relationship between the two chambers as the Wallabies and Australian Sevens teams will be using Odawara (the Shiroyama rugby ground) as their Japanese training base for the next three years. A group from ANZCCJ, including Chair Andrew Gauci, Chair Emeritus Melanie Brock, Food, Ag and Hospitality Committee Chair Tim Barnstable, Executive Director Judith Hanna, Australian Embassy Public Diplomacy Counsellor Michael Hoy, Murray River Organics’ Joe Gayton, Harnets Corporation’ Frank Hart, Melanie Advisory’s Shoma Kubo, and Club Australia’s Tad Watanabe travelled to Odawara for the meetings.

    With key matches and tournaments to be played in Japan in 2018, 2019, and 2020, we met with counterparts from OCCI including Mr Teisuke Suzuki, President of the Odawara and Hakone Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Executive Director Hiroshi Yamaoka, representatives from Yokohama Bank and local company representatives from their own sports for business committee (DACS). We were also pleased to meet with the Deputy Mayor of Odawara Yasuhiko Kabe and the Mayor of Hakone Nobuo Yamaguchi. Andrew Gauci was interviewed by the local news. Our Chamber’s interest in and visit to Odawara was reported by local media. In anticipation of our visit, a group of children with disabilities created a Wallabies banner for us, something we were so touched by that our Chair Emeritus Melanie Brock arranged to have up on display at our ANZCCJ Bledisloe Cup Charity Gala Dinner on 25 October. Read more online about the visit from the Odawara Official Website, Kanaloco,  and Town News.

  • 26 Sep 2018 1:58 PM | ANZCCJ (Administrator)

    On 13 September, ANZCCJ together with the Tokyo Chamber of Commerce and Industry co-hosted the Gourmet Food & Wine Garden Party at the Australian Embassy. The night marked the eighth anniversary ANZCCJ had hosted the event, every occasion being hosted in the Australian Embassy gardens. This year, the event was also included as part of the Australia now programme, attracting an even more diverse range of guests than usual, along to the event.

    The night drew 240 guests from over 60 different industries to celebrate enduring business connections between Australia, New Zealand and Japan.

    ANZCCJ Chair, Andrew Gauci, addressed attendees, commenting on the diversity in audience as a reflection on the diversity in business relations between Australia, New Zealand and Japan, something he has seen as an ongoing trend over the past 21 years that he has been in Japan.

    This diversity was reflected in the evening’s menu, catered by Salt restaurant, which showcased a broad range of Australian and New Zealand ingredients and flavours.

    Iconic businesses Fonterra, Harnets, ANZCO, Zespri, Meat and Livestock Australia, and Citrus Australia all contributed ingredients for the occasion. Additionally, door prizes were generously gifted by ANZCCJ members Qantas, Salt and KOB.

    Speeches for the evening highlighted the value of cooperation between countries and organisations. Australian Embassy Chargé d’Affaires, Bassim Blazey, emphasised the mutual effort made by the chambers of commerce and embassies to strengthen bilateral ties.

    And adding to this, New Zealand Ambassador, HE Stephen Payton, spoke of the importance of Australia and New Zealand continuing to work together to maintain their strong reputation for quality products and services in Japan – especially in the face of growing competition from Japan’s other key trading partners with increasing trade access (for example, the EU’s EPA with Japan).

    A common thread or theme throughout the night was how important it was for all stakeholders to continue building and leveraging on the brand and reputation that Australia and New Zealand have in Japan, especially in the food and beverage industries. This would continue to be important for Australian and New Zealand companies who were seen, to date, as producing high quality, environmentally friendly and innovative food and beverage products. And on this note  ANZCCJ Chair Emeritus, Melanie Brock, gave a toast, thanking Japanese consumers for their ongoing commitment to Australian and New Zealand products.

    Guest speaker and Goodwill Ambassador for Australia now, Toshio Shiba shared about his own perspective as a Japanese consumer. He said the quality had continued to rise from products brought in from Australia and New Zealand and encouraged collaboration to take place that would educate Japanese consumers about the kinds of products we can offer. Shiba started Club Australia, a not-for-profit organisation, ten years ago. Since then, he’s gathered 2200 members who voluntarily share their love of Australian culture with Japan.

    The top door prize for the night – an economy ticket to Australia, flying with Qantas – was won by Tomoko Haga from Lendlease Japan. Reiko Kiuchi won the lunch for two at Salt Grill & Tapas Bar (soon to be renamed IronBark Grill & Bar) and Kenichi Harikae from the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group won the selection of teas and honeys from KOB.

    The evening was brought to a close by ANZCCJ Food, Agriculture and Hospitality Committee Chair, Tim Barnstable, who thanked the vendors for making the evening possible.

    This included Treasury Wine Estates, Jeroboam and Village Cellars who provided the wine selection; Little Creatures, Mojo and KOB who provided beer, coffee and tea; Dello Mano and Pana Chocolate who served guests sweet treats throughout the night; and Verde who supplied the flowers that decorated the venue.

  • 26 Sep 2018 1:00 PM | ANZCCJ (Administrator)





    ·  日本と諸外国のビジネス社会の交流とネットワーキングを推進します。
    ·  日本の地方を観光地としてアピールします
    ·  関係者のために、ラグビーに関連する予定を取りまとめ、開示します


    ·   在日オーストラリア・ニュージーランド商工会議所
    ·   在日米国商工会議所
    ·   在日英国商業会議所 
    ·   在日カナダ商工会議所
    ·   在日フランス商工会議所
    ·   在日イタリア商工会議所
    ·   在日アイルランド商工会議所
    ·   在日南アフリカ商工会議所




    在日南アフリカ商工会議所の会頭ヤコ・ミナールは次のように述べています。「ラグビーワールドカップ2019は、アジアで開催される初のラグビーワールドカップとなり、世界中の何十億人というラグビーファンに、日本の文化や地方のビジネスをアピールするとてもいい機会となります。ラグビー・アライアンスは、日本国内のインターナショナルビジネスコミュニティを通じて、地方の発信力を強め、多様性や異種を受け入れる文化を醸成していきます 。今回ラグビー・アライアンスが初めて開催したイベントで、このエキサイティングな冒険のスタートを切ることができました。また、アライアンスが今後、日本、RWC2019、そしてビジネス全体の発展のために力を尽くす決意であるということを証明するものとなりました。」


    今回のイベントは、ラグビー・アライアンスを構成する8つの在日商工会議所のほかに、東京商工会議所の協力の下、開催されました。 また、大会の開催地となる各都市の商工会議所もイベントに参加し、旅行やツアーの誘致を行いました。 ラグビーワールドカップ2019の開幕までに、ラグビー・アライアンス主催のイベントが3つ予定されていますが、今回はその第一弾となりました。 




  • 20 Sep 2018 9:00 AM | ANZCCJ (Administrator)

    Launch of Rugby Alliance, coalition of 8 international Chambers of Commerce, supporting Japan's Rugby World Cup 2019

    Tokyo, Japan (September 20, 2018) With only one year until the Rugby World Cup 2019, 8 foreign Chambers of Commerce in Japan have formally announced the creation of a coalition, The Rugby Alliance, launched at a special event “Rugby World Cup 2019 – One Year To Go” on Wednesday, 19 September at Happo-en.

    The mission of The Rugby Alliance is to support Japan’s delivery of next year's Rugby World Cup, fostering a legacy of more inclusive communities that embrace opportunities for international business and exchange.

    The pledge

    To solidify the intent of the coalition, an official certificate was received by the CEO of the Rugby World Cup 2019 Organising Committee, Mr Akira Shimazu, accepting The Rugby Alliance's pledge to:
    • Promote exchange and networking among the Japanese and international business community;
    • Highlight Japan’s regions as tourist destinations;
    • Compile and share a master calendar of rugby related events for the benefit of all stakeholders; and
    • Channel combined resources into the delivery of at least three events to be co-hosted by the Chambers between September 2018 and September 2019.

    Rugby Alliance members

    Representing 10 of the 19 nations that will be playing in the Rugby World Cup 2019, The Rugby Alliance is comprised of the following Chambers of Commerce in Japan.

      One year to go

      Rugby World Cup 2019 – One Year To Go” was attended by over 300 guests, including special guests World Rugby Chairman, Bill Beaumont, World Rugby Vice Chairman, Agustin Pichot, World Rugby CEO, Brett Gosper, World Rugby COO and Head of Rugby World Cup, Alan Gilpin, and World Rugby Executive Director - Rugby World Cup 2019, Rob Abernethy.

      In addition to the formal announcement of The Rugby Alliance, guests were treated to a panel discussion with Japan Wheelchair Rugby player and bronze medalist, Hiroyuki Misaka, and former Sakura Sevens player, Aya Nakajima.

      Andrew Gauci, Chair of ANZCCJ said last night, "Whether you’re an official World Cup sponsor or a small company working with tourism organisations in the prefectures, rugby is a vehicle that brings our businesses together and RWC19 will be proof of that. ANZCCJ was proud to see the Rugby Alliance partners come together for the first time last night as we commit to make sure RWC19 not only benefits Japanese and foreign companies but also builds toward Japan’s legacy and future.”

      Melanie Brock, Chair Emeritus of the Australian New Zealand Chamber of Commerce in Japan said, “The Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan provides Japanese business and our joint Chamber members a rare opportunity to work together and that’s exciting and a privilege. Moreover, the Japan-wide nature of the World Cup, allows us to engage with and learn more about regional Japan. RWC 2019 will reshape the way the world sees the country.”

      Jaco Minnaar, Chair of the South African Chamber of Commerce in Japan said, "Rugby World Cup 2019 will mark the first time this prestigious event will be held in Asia, and this provides Japan with a unique opportunity to highlight its culture and promote local business to millions of rugby fans globally. Through support of the international business community in Japan, the Rugby Alliance is set to build out the reach of local communities and to foster diversity and inclusion.  This first event marked the start of that exciting journey, and was a testament to the Alliance’s commitment to Japan, RWC 2019, and business overall."

      Lori Henderson Executive Director of the BCCJ said, “We believe that this event is a key moment in time for communities and businesses – both Japanese and foreign – to celebrate the potential of the RWC 2019 as a once-in-a-generation opportunity and an agent for societal innovation. We’re excited that the Rugby Alliance Chambers have pledged to support Japan's 12 host cities in delivering an outstanding tournament next year.” 

      Local stakeholders

      In addition to the eight Japan-based international Chambers of Commerce that comprise the Rugby Alliance, this event was co-hosted by the Tokyo Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Local Japanese Chambers of Commerce from host cities also joined the event, utilising it as a chance to promote their regions and network with the international business community.

      This event marks the first of three collaborative events to be hosted by the Rugby Alliance between now and the start of the Rugby World Cup 2019, which will take place in Japan from September 20 to November 2. The next large-scale session will take place in March 2019, with the theme Women in Rugby. 

      Akira Shimazu, CEO of the Rugby World Cup 2019 Organising Committee said he was surprised and delighted by the cross-Chamber initiative.

    • 19 Sep 2018 8:32 PM | ANZCCJ (Administrator)



      Legalising marriage equality would be economically good for business in Japan

      Five foreign chambers of commerce call for marriage equality for same-sex couples in Japan in proposal published today

      (TOKYO, JAPAN – SEPTEMBER 19, 2018) The American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ACCJ) today published a Viewpoint recommending to the Government of Japan the extension of freedom to marry to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) couples as good for business in Japan and strengthening the country’s status on the international stage. The Viewpoint has also been endorsed by the Australian & New Zealand Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ANZCCJ), British Chamber of Commerce in Japan (BCCJ), Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Japan (CCCJ) and Ireland Japan Chamber of Commerce (IJCC).

      Specifically, the Viewpoint calls for the removal of handicaps facing companies doing business in Japan in recruiting and retaining talent, and in treating the full diversity of their workforce equitably.

      The five chambers of commerce see the benefits of a commitment to marriage equality as three-fold:

      1.       International Competitiveness: The Cost of Attracting and Retaining LGBT Talent

      Japan is competing for talent on a worldwide scale. Currently, 25 countries that legalised marriage equality have a competitive advantage over Japan because they offer LGBT talent a more inclusive environment, granting same marital rights to all couples, regardless of gender.

      2.       Encouraging a More Diverse and Productive Workplace Environment

      Expanding the freedom to marry would help close the gap in treatment between LGBT couples and their married peers, supporting the former to feel more comfortable being true to themselves and allowing them to contribute their full creative energy in the workplace.

      3.       Supporting a More Diverse and Inclusive Community

      In the workplace, 47% of LGBT individuals who are not “out” feel isolated, and this “invisibility” is considered a major psychological obstacle to their sense of wellbeing at work.

      These five chambers of commerce believe these commitments to be foundational elements of a work environment conducive to maximum productivity, and to achieving workplaces that are demonstrated to be more productive for all employees.

      Public support for same-sex marriage is growing, both within Japan and internationally. Legislating the requisite changes would result in concrete benefits for the LGBT community, for all companies doing business in Japan and for Japanese companies doing business abroad. In addition to benefitting the country’s overall economic competitiveness, extending the right to marry to same-sex couples would positively impact Japan’s reputation on the world stage by demonstrating its continued commitment to individual liberty and progressive ideals.

      For these reasons, the ACCJ, ANZCCJ, CCCJ and IJCC strongly recommend to the Government of Japan that it adopt the extension of freedom to marry to same-sex couples.

      With the 2020 Olympics fast approaching, they recommend that the time to do so is now.


      Aston Bridgman

      The American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ACCJ)

      Tel:+81 (0)80-4124-7460 /


      *Specific inquiries to each of the chambers of commerce in Japan can also be directed to:

      • American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ACCJ) Aston Bridgman: 080-4124-7460 /
      • Australia & New Zealand Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ANZCCJ) Judith Hanna: 03-4400-2972 /
      • Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Japan (CCCJ) Jim Zhang: 03-6811-2391 /
      • Ireland Japan Chamber of Commerce in Japan (IJCC) Paul Gilsenan: 03-3263-8520 /

    • 30 Aug 2018 1:10 PM | ANZCCJ (Administrator)

      On 19 August we saw an important milestone reached for the city of Kamaishi in Iwate Prefecture - the opening of the Unosumai Memorial Stadium. ANZCCJ has been a long term partner and supporter of the Kamaishi community and the  Tohoku region. It was an honour to witness the opening match at the newly constructed stadium between the local Kamaishi Seawaves Rugby Football Club and Top League side Yamaha Jubilo. The inaugural event was enjoyed by a crowd of 6,000 people, reaching the stadium's current capacity. Kamaishi has a long and proud history of rugby, with the previous local team, Nippon Steel having won seven consecutive national championships between 1979 and 1985.

      The two teams have a strong bond with the Yamaha Jubilo being the first team to visit Kamaishi just three months after it was hit by the devastating 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Although the result did not go the way of the home town Seawaves (29-24), there was an overwhelming sense of pride and hope on display from the supporters and community of Kamaishi. Unosumai Stadium will play host to two matches for the RWC19, and is the only newly-built facility out of the 12 RWC19 venues.

    • 30 Aug 2018 1:06 PM | ANZCCJ (Administrator)

      General Manager for Sarment Japan, Manuel Rodriguez shared about his four years in Japan as head of wine at the Grand Hyatt for three years, and at Sarment since 2016. Founded in 2012, Sarment is the fastest-growing luxury company in Asia whose Tokyo office was opened in January last year. In 2014, Sarment established itself as a reference to manage and curate luxury products and experiences for high-net-worth individuals based on a unique service know-how and tapping into its unparalleled network of service partners. Sarment launched their AI-driven digital luxury platform Keyyes in April of this year. 

      With the global shift towards technology and AI, Sarment has identified an opportunity to create an application (Keyyes) that connects international enterprise, preferred partners and individuals to a gated digital platform. The Keyyes app currently has 18 different lifestyle categories including Wine, Dining, Bars, Boutiques and Automotive with content curated by the Sarment team in each of its city. Sarment currently operates in five cities (Tokyo, New York, Singapore, Hong Kong and Paris) with a goal of 19 cities globally by 2020.   

    • 30 Aug 2018 12:56 PM | ANZCCJ (Administrator)

      On 8 August, ANZCCJ members and guests were invited for a discussion with Panasonic Wild Knights and Super Rugby Coach Robbie Deans, with special guests Sunwolves CEO Yuji Watase and Senior Director at the Rugby World Cup Planning Committee, Koji Tokumasu. Deans` Super Rugby coaching career was the most successful in Super Rugby history having coached the Crusaders through a number of wins as well as coach to the Wallabies, Assistant Coach to the All Blacks and currently the Panasonic Wild Knights.

      When Deans first joined the Crusaders (as Manager), they were ranked last on the ladder. He was simultaneously appointed to the role of Coach of the Canterbury Provincial team and won the NPC Title for the first time in 14 years. To motivate his new squad, they decided to start with the end in mind in other words, what would it look like when they have mastered the competition? For the Crusaders the core focus was coaching. Deans went on to outline 5 key points that helped nurture the winning culture of the Crusaders which included: Viewing challenges or obstacles as stepping stones; Promoting a learning environment with a long-term focus; Creating a collective purpose with a shared vision; Peer-driven leadership; And fostering a ‘live it’ culture. Robbie finished his Super Rugby coaching career with 7 championships (two as a manager and 5 as coach).

      Moving discussions to his current role at the Panasonic Wild Knights, he mentioned that it had been a privilege and pleasure to coach in Japan. Japan has the unique situation in which it captures the rugby culture of old, amateurs and professionals blend together and play for the love of the game. 

    • 28 Aug 2018 9:28 AM | ANZCCJ (Administrator)

      The Australian Rugby Foundation would like to invite ANZCCJ Members and Non-members to the Pre-match Bledisloe Lunch at Wallaby Bar (ANA InterContinental MIXX Bar L36). Enjoy some of the best views Tokyo has to offer, an amazing internationally renowned menu and the Wallaby House atmosphere with special appearances by Classic Wallabies.

      Tickets includes a two hour all-inclusive lunch package and private bus transfer to and from the match. To book please follow the link.

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