• 13 May 2019 10:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Ashurst​, a Platinum member of the chamber, has released these helpful M&A guides last month, highlighting key regulatory issues for foreign investors looking to establish or acquire general insurance or life insurance businesses in Australia. Ashurst has completed major life insurance acquisitions by Japanese investors including: Nippon Life Insurance's acquisition of MLC in 2016 and Daiichi's acquisition of TAL in 2008.

    Learn more here:

  • 03 Apr 2019 12:01 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    In Tokyo on 3 April, Australian Ambassador H.E. Mr Richard Court AC launched the AUS+RALLY campaign, an Australian Government sports diplomacy initiative celebrating Australia and Japan’s shared sporting passions, values and the connections sport unlocks in 2019 and 2020.

    Ambassador Court was joined in Tokyo for the launch by AUS+RALLY special guests, Wallabies Head Coach Mr Michael Cheika, Olympic gold-medal-winning swimmer Ms Leisel Jones OAM (London 2012, Beijing 2008, Athens 2004, Sydney 2000), Paralympic gold-medal-winning para-canoeist Mr Curtis McGrath OAM (Rio 2016) and Japan’s Minister for Reconstruction H.E. Mr Hiromichi Watanabe.

    Launched in partnership with Rugby Australia, the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) and Paralympics Australia, the AUS+RALLY sports diplomacy initiative celebrates Team Australia in Japan in 2019 and 2020. The AUS+RALLY campaign name combines the Japanese name for ‘Australia’ with a rallying call for Team Australia as the world’s sporting attention turns to Japan. AUS+RALLY brings together new and existing sports diplomacy activities through a communications and events program. The program is intended to support Japan’s hosting of the world’s greatest sporting events and their important legacy.

    Ambassador Court launched the AUS+RALLY campaign, saying: “As the world’s sporting talent descends on Japan, there has never been a better time for Japan and Australia to engage through sport. From 2019 into 2020, sport can be a window into all that Australia and Japan celebrate – innovation, lifestyle, education, food and culture. I invite you to rally around the best of Australia in Japan!

    AUS+RALLY supports the Australian Government’s pioneering work on sports diplomacy, reinforced in the Sports Diplomacy 2030 strategy launched on 1 February by Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator the Hon Marise Payne and Minister for Sport, Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie.

    Welcoming the launch from Australia, Minister Payne said AUS+RALLY would build on Australia’s already strong sporting ties with Japan.

    By bringing together Team Australia in Japan, the Australian Government’s AUS+RALLY sports diplomacy initiative shows our support for Japan’s leadership in focusing the world on our shared Indo-Pacific region through the power of sport,” Minister Payne said.

    I know Japan will deliver on its reputation for excellent hospitality as it hosts the world’s greatest sporting events in 2019 and 2020.”

    Minister for Sports McKenzie said that Australia is known as an active and healthy sporting nation, producing a broad range of athletes and sports administrators with integrity and character.

    Our love and dedication to sport can provide us with unique opportunities to engage our neighbours, whilst advancing our national interests. Australia, like Japan, recognises the power of sport to bring people and nations together. While the focus of our sports diplomacy is global, at its heart this strategy is about engaging with our neighbourhood,” Minister McKenzie said.

    The AUS+RALLY launch took place at the Australian Embassy’s Australia Day in Spring celebration, attended by over 1,000 friends of Australia in Japan, including senior representatives of Australian and Japanese business, government and community organisations. Representatives of the Cabinet Secretariat’s Host Town Initiative, ChildFund Australia (Pass it Back initiative), Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (TOCOG), and Rugby World Cup 2019 Organising Committee were present for the launch.

    Rugby Australia, Chief Executive Raelene Castle said that Rugby Australia is uniquely positioned to provide strong engagement in Asia through Australia’s national teams and athletes and Rugby Australia is very proud to be doing so.

    The Qantas Wallabies are one of the world’s most recognised sporting brands and the Rugby World Cup in 2019, coupled with Rugby Sevens to be played at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, puts Rugby in a strong position to further enhance our relationships with Japan and the wider region,” Ms Castle said.

    The launch of AUS+RALLY will allow Rugby Australia, in partnership with the Australia Government, to enhance our diplomatic and trade outcomes with one of our closest partners. I know that tens of thousands of Australians are looking forward to travelling to Japan to support the Wallabies and Sevens Teams over the next two years, which will enhance the friendship between the two countries and provide significant revenue to Japan’s economy.”

    AOC Chief Executive Officer, Mr Matt Carroll AM, welcomed the AUS+RALLY launch, noting the AOC can play a valuable role building bridges in the Asia/Pacific region and beyond.

    Whether this is through our representation on regional sporting bodies or our participation in multi-sport Games, the AOC has forged strong relationships. And there is no bigger stage than the Olympic Games in Tokyo next year. With our family of 44 sports, the AOC has both the capacity and the desire to make a contribution on the ground in a substantial way.”

    Paralympics Australia Chief Executive Lynne Anderson said the AUS+RALLY campaign will make a long-lasting impact.

    The people of Japan now have a golden chance to build a more inclusive society for people with a disability through Paralympic sport; to challenge stereotypes and transform attitudes; to increase participation and engagement by breaking down social barriers and do so in a way that sets a new standard for the rest of the world to follow,” Ms Anderson said.

    Paralympics Australia is excited to help the people of Japan achieve that goal alongside the Australian Embassy Tokyo, the Australian Olympic Committee and Rugby Australia.”

    AUS+RALLY will increase the interest in Rugby World Cup 2019 and create opportunities for more people to engage with rugby. As two-time world champions, we look forward to welcoming the Wallabies and wish them the best of luck. Many international fans will visit Japan and we hope they travel the length and breadth of the country to explore its diverse culture and history. They will engage with local people across our country and build connections that will lead to friendships lasting long after the tournament,” Rugby World Cup 2019 Organizing Committee CEO, Mr Akira Shimazu said.

    The spirit of AUS+RALLY is already alive. Matt Carroll AM, AOC Chief Executive Officer was involved with the Organising Committee from the very early days as we were established our organisation. He provided valuable support and advice and we very much look forward to welcoming him back to Japan to experience the Rugby World Cup.”


    AUS+RALLY is a sports diplomacy initiative of the Australian Embassy Tokyo, run in collaboration with the Rugby Australia, the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) and Paralympics Australia in 2019 and 2020. The AUS+RALLY communication and events program brings together new and existing sports diplomacy activities to support Japan’s hosting of the world’s largest sporting events.

    Running until September 2020, AUS+RALLY unites Australia’s sportspeople, sports leaders and sports fans in support for Japan’s hosting and important legacy of the world’s three biggest sporting events. The campaign emphasises themes that match our common sporting and cultural values, like inclusiveness, respect and follow-through.

    As one of Japan’s closest regional partners, Australia already enjoys a deep sporting connections and a healthy sporting rivalry with Japan. Through the Australia-Japan Foundation, Australia played a leading role in the introduction of life-saving and touch football into Japan in the 1970s and 1980s. Since then, Australian and Japanese sports people have enjoyed a steady exchange of competitions and players. In 2017 and 2018, national teams from Australia and Japan played each other 23 times in Japan and around the world. Over the same period, eleven Australian teams visited Japan, and many elite Japanese athletes travelled to Australia to train and play, including in baseball, tennis, golf and surfing.

    Japan’s time zone, proximity and familiarity for many Australians mean that upcoming sporting events in Japan will engage a new generation of Australians with international sport and Japan. Australia and Japan’s A$72 billion trade relationship and growing defence and strategic ties also give these sporting events added meaning and potential to Australia.

    Australia and Japan’s close sporting ties were recognised in the signing of the Australia-Japan Sports Memorandum of Cooperation signed in January 2017. The Australian Government has pioneered international sports diplomacy efforts, recognised in the Australian Sports Diplomacy 2030 strategy, the Australian Sport 2030 - National Sport Plan and the Australian Foreign Policy White Paper, all of which recognise the diplomatic value of sport.

  • 03 Apr 2019 12:01 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)




    AUS+RALLY」キャンペーンでは、オーストラリアラグビー協会ならびにオーストラリアオリンピック・パラリンピック両委員会と連携し、日本が世界のトップアスリートを受け入れる2019-2020年、スポーツ界のオーストラリア代表選手らで構成する「チーム・オーストラリア」の日本での活躍を称えます。世界のスポーツ関係者が日本に注目する中、今回のキャンペーン名は、国名のオーストラリアと「チーム・オーストラリア」に声援を送る際のかけ声(RALLYING CALL)を掛け合わせて生まれました。「AUS+RALLY」キャンペーンでは、交流やイベントのプログラムを通じ、新規および既存のスポーツ外交活動を一つに取りまとめていきます。このプログラムでは、数々の世界的なスポーツイベントの日本開催と、大会後の重要なレガシーを支援していきます。



    ペイン外務大臣は「AUS+RALLY」キャンペーンについて、「すでに強固な日本とのスポーツ交流をより発展させたものとなる」として歓迎し、次のように述べました。「チーム・オーストラリアを日本に結集させることで、オーストラリア政府によるスポーツ外交キャンペーン『AUS+RALLY』は、スポーツの力を通じて世界の目をインド太平洋地域に向けさせ、日本のリーダーシップへの支援を示すものである。2019 年と2020 年に世界的なスポーツイベントを開催するにあたり、日本はおもてなしの国としての高い評価を行動で示すことであろう」


    AUS+RALLY」キャンペーンは、オーストラリア大使館が開催する「Australia Day in Spring」レセプションの場で開幕しました。このレセプションには、両国のビジネス界や政府、関係機関などの代表者ら1,000 名以上が出席しました。キャンペーンの開幕式典には、ホストタウンを推進する内閣官房やNGO「チャイルド・ファンド・オーストラリア」(パス・イット・バック)、公益財団法人東京オリンピック・パラリンピック競技大会組織委員会、公益財団法人ラグビーワールドカップ2019 組織委員会の代表らが出席しました。

    オーストラリアラグビー協会のレリーン・カッスルCEO は「当協会は代表チームや選手を通じ、アジアで深い関与を実践できる独自の立場にあり、実際にそうしている点を大変誇りに思っている」とし、次のように述べました。「代表チームのワラビーズは、世界で大きく認められたブランド的存在である。2019 年ラグビーワールドカップや2020 年東京オリンピックでの7 人制ラグビーの実施によって、我々と日本および他の地域との関係を強化するラグビーの役割はさらに重要なものとなるだろう」

    「キャンペーンの開始により、当協会はオーストラリア政府との協力を通じて、わが国の緊密なパートナーである日本との外交や貿易面での成果を高めることができるだろう。何万というオーストラリア国民が今後2 年間、代表チームやセブンズ・チームに声援を送るために日本を訪れるのを楽しみにしている。これにより両国間の友情は深まり、日本経済に大きな利益がもたらされる」

    オーストラリアオリンピック委員会のマット・キャロルCEO は、「当委員会はアジア太平洋地域の内外で、架け橋として貴重な役割を果たせる」とキャンペーンの開始を歓迎し、次のように述べました。「地域のスポーツ組織への代表派遣や複数競技の大会への参加を通じ、当委員会は強力な関係を築いてきた。来年の東京オリンピックはまたとない大舞台である。44 のスポーツ競技とともに、当委員会は現場レベルで著しい貢献を果たす力と意欲の両方を持ち合わせている」

    オーストラリアパラリンピック委員会のリン・アンダーソンCEO は、「『AUS+RALLY』キャンペーンは長期的な効果を生み出す」とし、次のように述べています。「日本の方々は今やパラリンピック・スポーツを通じ、障がいを持つ人々のための、より共生的な社会を実現させる格好の機会を得ている。固定観念に挑み、人々の態度を変えさせる。社会的障壁を打ち破り、参加や関与の度合いを高める。またこれにより、世界が追従するような新たな基準を打ち出すことのできる絶好の機会である。当委員会は日本の方々が、オーストラリア大使館やオーストラリアオリンピック委員会、オーストラリアラグビー協会と共に、こうした目標を実現するのを支援していきたい」ラグビーワールドカップ2019 組織委員会の嶋津昭事務総長は次のように述べました。「このキャンペーンを通じて、ラグビーワールドカップ2019 日本大会への関心が高まり、より多くの人々にラグビーに触れて頂ければ素晴らしいと思います」。

    「大会本番では、日本代表とともに、過去2 回の優勝を誇るオーストラリア代表が大活躍することを期待しております。そして、観戦に訪れる方々には、日本中を巡り多様な文化や歴史に触れ、楽しんで頂きたいと思っております。それらを通して育まれる国や地域を超えた交流が、大会後も末長く続いていくことを願っております。また、オーストラリアオリンピック委員会のマット・キャロルCEO は、私達と一緒になってラグビーワールドカップ2019 日本大会の立ち上げを指導して頂いた方です。2019 年にお会いすることを楽しみにしています」


    AUS+RALLY」キャンペーンは、オーストラリア大使館によるスポーツ外交キャンペーンで、2019-2020 年、オーストラリアラグビー協会ならびにオーストラリアオリンピック・パラリンピック両委員会と連携して実施されます。数々の世界的なスポーツイベントの日本開催を支援するために、交流やイベントのプログラムを通じ、新規および既存のスポーツ外交活動を一つに取りまとめていきます。

    2020 9 月までの期間中、世界最大の3 つのスポーツ大会の日本開催と大会後の重要なレガシーを支援する点で、「AUS+RALLY」キャンペーンはオーストラリアのスポーツ関係者や指導者、ファンの皆様らを一体として取り込んでいきます。また共生や尊敬、貫徹といった両国のスポーツ、文化が重視する共通の価値観に見合うテーマを前面に押し出します。

    オーストラリアは地域における緊密なパートナー国として、すでに日本との間にスポーツを通じた深い絆や健全なライバル関係を築いています。豪日交流基金を通じ、オーストラリアは1970 年代から80 年代にかけて、ライフセービングやタッチフットボールを日本に紹介する上で大きな役割を果たしました。それ以来、両国のスポーツ界では、大会の開催や選手の派遣を通じた交流が絶えず行われてきました。両国の代表チームが日本国内外で2017 年と2018 年の間に対戦した試合の数は23 にも上ります。この期間、11 のオーストラリア代表チームが日本を訪れる一方、野球やテニス、ゴルフ、サーフィンなどの競技では日本から多くのトップ選手がオーストラリアに渡り、合宿や試合に臨んでいます。

    多くのオーストラリア国民にとって日本は時差が少なく、地理的にも近接する馴染み深い国であり、今後日本で開催されるスポーツ大会は、若い世代が国際スポーツや日本との関わりを持つ機会になると思われます。両国間の貿易は720 億豪ドル規模に及ぶほか、防衛・戦略面での関係も進展しており、こうしたスポーツのイベントはオーストラリアにさらなる意義と大きな可能性を与えることでしょう。

    両国間の緊密なスポーツ交流は、2017 1 月に署名されたスポーツ分野での協力に関する覚書でも確認されています。オーストラリア政府は、世界的なスポーツ外交を他国に先駆けて展開しており、「オーストラリア・スポーツ外交2030 戦略」や「オーストラリア・スポーツ2030-全国スポーツ計画」、「オーストラリア外交政策白書」のいずれにおいても、スポーツの外交的価値が認められています。

  • 03 Apr 2019 11:46 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Are you a business owner looking for a business plan tailored to the Japanese market for your market entry or business expansion? If so, take part in the Japan Market Expansion Competition (JMEC). The ANZCCJ is a proud founder and sponsor of the JMEC programme and encourages our members and the greater business community to get involved.

    As a JMEC Project Client, you can receive a professional business plan developed by some of Japan's brightest up-and-coming business leaders for a fraction of the cost of hiring outside consultants. To learn more about this opportunity, including eligibility requirements, visit the JMEC homepage at You can find the application form here: Project Client application deadline: November 30, Project Client Fee: ¥1,500,000. Early Bird Special application deadline: 30 September, Project Client Fee: ¥1,200,000.

    JMEC is also looking for individual applicants to participate in the program and learn how to research and develop a professional business plan. This ‘mini MBA’ style program includes classroom training with experienced executives and successful entrepreneurs as lecturers—as well as hands-on experience in writing a business plan for a real business project, submitted by a real company. Interested applicants can find more information and apply here: Apply on-line by 15 October.

    ANZCCJ is open to receiving applications for those interested in participating but looking for sponsorship to cover the participation fee of JPY150,000. Applicants must send through details to the Executive Director, Judith Hanna, stating what they hope to get out of the opportunity and how they will use this to further the Chamber’s mission - to represent, inform and provide commercial connections for its members. The successful applicant must be Australian, New Zealand or Japanese as well as a member of the Chamber.

  • 28 Mar 2019 10:55 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Estimated population numbers in Japan are staggering - In just over 20 years (2015-2040) the population is expected to drop from its estimated 127m to 111m, and by 2090 down to approximately 67m, according to the National Institute  of Population and Social Security Research. To address labour shortages in Japan, due to an aging population and falling birth rate, the Japanese government announced in 2018 that it will implement new residency visa statuses as early as April 2019. Currently there are 1.3m foreign workers in Japan (as of October 2017) out of a population of 2.5m foreign people, but with the decline in Japanese population, a bigger driver for more immigrants has been made. As one answer to this, the Japanese Government has established the Specified Skilled Worker(tokutei ginou, 特定技能) visa that is meant to attract more foreign workers to Japan. It covers 14 specific industries: Nursing care, building cleaning, material industry, industrial machinery manufacturing, electrical and electronic information related, construction, shipbuilding and marine equipment, automobile maintenance, aviation related, lodging, agriculture, fishery, food and beverage manufacture, restaurants. Within each category, an estimated number of acceptances for the first year of the visa being in place is 47,550 and 345,150 over the full five years that the new visa will be open for applications. Top categories expecting the greatest number of visa approvals in the first year includes: Agriculture, building cleaning, food and beverage manufacture, construction and nursing care. Overall, the nursing care industry is expected to be the largest recipient of visas granted with 60,000 over the next five years due to domestic demand. Those eligible for this visa category will need to first pass the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) N4 or higher, or the newly introduced Japanese Language Test, and also pass the skill test which is prepared by each industry sectors. In the case of technical intern training of 3 years or more, the Japanese language test and skills test are not required. These applications shall be done abroad and also within Japan. 

    The employment contract is required to be secured before application to the District Immigration Office, after which the Certificate of Eligibility is issued and this is sent to the Japanese Embassy/Consulate to receive the visa (this visa can be up to 5 years in length). If a student within Japan, or a dependent, the N4 level exam is required, in addition to the employment contract. However the process differs, where the District Immigration Office is able to issue a new Residence Card upon permission of the Change of Status.

    There are a number of great resources online to work out how these policy options may affect you or your workforce. Numbers stated above were provided by Nakai Immigration Services LPC who held a seminar on these visa changes on 12 March. If ANZCCJ members would like a referral to some of the Chamber’s contacts who specialise on immigration/visa issues, please email info@anzccj.jpand outline your specific needs so that we can assist. 

  • 28 Mar 2019 10:52 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Climate risks and opportunities have formed part of Rio Tinto’s strategic thinking for over two decades, and now Rio Tinto has published its first “Our approach to climate change” report, which illustrates how the company plans to contribute to and leverage the transition to a low carbon future. It uses recommendations from the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) as a framework to assess the potential risks and opportunities of climate change and related policies. Based on this, Rio Tinto has outlined four key areas where it will take actions:

    1. Supply essential metals and minerals for the transition to a low-carbon economy
    2. Reduce emissions from its own footprint
    3. Identify and assess physical risk exposures
    4. Partner to advance climate goals

    The company has reduced its emissions-intensity footprint by almost 30 percent since 2008, ahead of targets, and renewable sources produce nearly three-quarters of the electricity it uses. Rio Tinto believes the transition to a low-carbon society will be best managed through partnership between government, business and society. In 2018, it announced a new technology partnership with Alcoa, with support from Apple and the governments of Canada and Quebec, to develop aluminium smelting technology that emits oxygen in lieu of carbon - an industry first. The full report is available on Rio Tinto’s website, here.

  • 26 Mar 2019 12:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Rugby Alliance Japan event at the Conrad Tokyo, “Diversity In Rugby” emphasised how rugby can include all of society in a way that perhaps other sports cannot. Hearing Magnus Hansson, CEO of Jaguar Land Rover Japan,  share about Land Rover Japan’s initiatives ahead of RWC19 was inspiring; big businesses need to support grassroots initiatives to see change. Panelists discussed what makes rugby different from other sports. Values of respect, diversity of format, teamwork are all qualities that rugby eschews. Fiona Taag, Head of Global Sponsorship and Europe Marketing Communications of DHL, suggested that Japan could take a small leaf out of NZ’s book, saying that support to the local Japanese rugby communities will be what delivers value to the Japanese regions outside of Tokyo.  President of the Shibuya International Rugby Club and Senior Director at RWC19 Organising Committee, Koji Tokumasu, the "Godfather of Rugby in Japan" extended an invitation to any visiting rugby fans and teams, to visit grassroots, youth Shibuya International Rugby Club. Keiko Asami, World Rugby Board member and former Head Coach of Japan Rugby Women's Sevens Team said that for diversity within rugby to grow, we needed to learn to accept who we are, and move from there. She also said it would be exciting to see the Women’s Rugby World Cup in 2021 in NZ, which she expects will be another driving force for women rugby player numbers to grow in Japan. Rob Abernethy, Rugby World Cup Limited 2019 Executive Director, basically summed it up when he said diversity in rugby is about rugby being a sport for everyone – a copy of Rob's comments are included below. Thank you to the British Chamber of Commerce in Japan and Executive Director, Lori Henderson and our partners in the Rugby Alliance – the American, British, Canadian, French, Irish, Italian and South African chambers of commerce in Japan, and the Tokyo Chamber of Commerce and Industry.  As a chamber in Japan we enjoy participating and helping to drive these discussions because we care! Together we are working with the RWC19 Organising Committee and World Rugby Leadership to deliver the RWC2019 “Impact Beyond 2019” legacy. Photos provided by the British Chamber are online here.


    RUGBY ALLIANCE – DIVERSITY & INCLUSION – World Rugby Executive Director for RWC19, Rob Abernethy Closing Remarks

    26 March 2019

    Distinguished guests, Asami san, Shimazu san, Tokumasu san, the Rugby Alliance & joint Chamber representatives, Fiona and Magnus from our RWC 2019 Worldwide Partners DHL and Jaguar Land Rover respectively, ladies and gentlemen, friends of rugby…and friends. Good Afternoon….Konichiwa…it is my great pleasure to be here today and thank you for the opportunity to speak. My name is Rob Abernethy and I’m the RWC 2019 Executive Director based here in Tokyo working with our partner Japan Rugby 2019 to deliver the Rugby World Cup kicking off 20 September, or just 178 days from now. Firstly thank you for hosting today’s event and in turn offering another important platform for discussing Diversity and Inclusion, already a key agenda item for World Rugby and its stakeholders and supporters over some time. We believe that rugby is the perfect vehicle for inclusivity and diversity. To put it simply, World Rugby’s mission is to grow the global rugby family and vision is ‘a sport for all, true to its values’. The two statements go hand in hand – rugby is a growing, thriving, global sport because it is inclusive and fosters diversity at all levels. We are a game for all shapes and sizes – physicality’s – genders – ages and abilities from touch, to tag, to beach, sevens, tens, fifteens a side format - there is something in rugby for everyone. Rugby is the fastest-growing women’s team sport – the female fan base is growing at 6x the rate of males and for the second year in a row in 2018, more new females joined the sport than men – indeed, twice as many last year. We are proud of our work to close the gender gap. Driven by an ambitious 2017-25 Women’s game development plan, we are breaking down barriers and seizing opportunities – strengthening participation and competitions, promoting leadership and inspiring everyone to get on board. World Rugby has moved from 0% women on its Representative Council to 35% in a little over a year – progressive times indeed. We are also proud of our partnership with the International Wheelchair Rugby Federation and the shared values and projects that we are hold so dear – indeed, Japan is a trailblazer in wheelchair rugby and we will see this form of the game showcased at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics. We are also proud of our partnership with International Gay Rugby and the promotion of inclusivity and diversity projects around the world. We have heard already from the esteemed panel about the great development wins via the Impact Beyond 2019 program is delivering along with our official RWC 2019 charity, ChildFund and their Pass It Back program, the latter bringing terrific rugby and life legacy outcomes to individuals and communities not so privileged across Japan and Southeast Asia.   But none of this would be possible without purpose, people and character and that’s why I believe that the sport Rugby is a winner. We are a sport that does not just have values - of SOLIDARITY, PASSION, INTEGRITY, DISCIPLINE & RESPECT - we live them! Yes, there are always challenges, areas to improve upon or grow…that we World Rugby could do better on but we are a community that is a sum of its global grassroots to elite parts – a movement for good and I believe as it relates to us over the next 7-8 months RWC 2019 as a vehicle can further progress the sport and what is stands for here in Japan, in Asia more broadly and in doing so, around the globe. Thank you / arigato gozaimasu for the opportunity to say a few words to you today and thank you to the Rugby Alliance for hosting this event.

    Just quickly on RWC 2019 if I may:

    To date it is the most successful RWC ticketing program in RWC history! Huge international take up – 400,000 is the inbound visitation forecast, let’s hope its greater than that all can enjoy the positive benefits and impacts. Huge take up domestically not only in the big cities / 12 host cities, venues and Fan Zones  but the reach will also cover the regional areas that will also host many of the 55 Team Camps across the length and breadth of Japan. RWC 2019 will be special, it will be ever so unique, it will be a festival…it will be a celebration … a fusion of rugby and culture. Thank you all once again for your support and contribution to our cause the and the RWC 2019.

  • 20 Mar 2019 1:07 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We hosted a breakfast to celebrate International Women’s Day on Friday 8 March at the Roppongi Hills Club. Guests were treated to views across the city and a clear image of Mt Fuji. Vice Chair, Catherine O’Connell, as MC, opened the event. The theme for the panel discussion was aligned with the global International Women’s Day designated theme, “Think Equal, Build Smart, and Innovate for Change”. In order to honour and underpin the activities undertaken by many of our members, we profiled a number of women’s photos and quotes that had been included in the Celebrating Women in Japan Twitter campaign, @womenofjapan, an initiative from ANZCCJ Chair Emeritus, Melanie Brock.

    In her opening remarks, ANZCCJ Chair, Sally Townsend, reminded us of the great history of women in leadership our Chamber has enjoyed. Melanie Brock, first female head of the Chamber, who held the position for 6.5 years and now represents ANZCCJ as our Chair Emeritus. And Catherine O’Connell, Co-Vice Chair of the Chamber, who is leading the way for women through becoming the first foreign female law practitioner to open a private firm in Japan. Sally shared her own personal connection to one of the panellist’s corporations: ‘Poppins Edu-care’. As one of Japan’s first education and care providing facilities for both early childhood and elderly support, Sally said they had been making the work-family balance for women returning to work a lot easier.  Their centres are located around large universities and corporations, for example Shiseido and Waseda University. Sally said that her own son has been enrolled at ‘Poppins’ from the age of zero, and she respects and admires the services they offer. 

    The day prior to the event Sally, our second ever female to lead our chamber, was herself breaking records. On 7 March, South Australia’s Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Hon. David Ridgway MLC announced Sally as the new Commissioner for the South Australia, Japan and Korea office based in Tokyo, the same day that the Minister announced the newly established South Australia trade office was opening in Tokyo, Japan.

    The Chamber was honoured to host Australian Ambassador to Japan, HE Richard Court AC, and New Zealand Ambassador to Japan, HE Stephen Payton, who jointly proposed a joint toast to “all those women who have nurtured us, inspired us and whose work for and commitment to gender equality has brought us this far along the road, and to those who will share with us the road ahead”. Ambassador Court described his background as being “brought up in a blokey environment, supported by three strong women”, highlighting the role his mother and grandmothers played in shaping his world.  Ambassador Payton remarked that this is a day to celebrate the progress that we are making towards gender equality – “a day for women to celebrate in each other’s company, and for men to remember that when women are not involved on equal terms, it is men too who miss out”.  A copy of both Ambassadors speeches is included below.

    After the breakfast, guests heard from a range of panellists including: Chief Country Officer at Deutsche Bank, Tamio Honma; Vice Chairman, Managing Director of Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Reiko Hayashi; Deputy COO, Global Development and Diversity at Suntory Holdings, Sue Gannon; and President of Poppins Corporation, Maiko Todoroki. ANZCCJ, Chair Emeritus, Melanie Brock moderated the panel. 

    Panellists provided a range of views during the session, all pointing to the morning’s theme of “Think Equal, Build Smart, and Innovate for Change”. Reiko Hayashi started off by highlighting that it is extremely important for women to have friends and a good support network. Melanie asked whether Reiko had sensed any change in the last several years about International Women’s Day or the celebration of women in Japan. Reiko indicated that whilst Japan has been changing, more change is needed as an aging population is now becoming the next issue putting pressure on women and their careers. She said that there is more awareness of opportunities for women to succeed, however, citing the fact that junior high school students now have the chance to attend career days at her firm, as one example. This opportunity was not available when Reiko was young, with the added expectation at that time, that girls needed to grow and learn to become good wives and mothers. However, Reiko observed in recent years that girls were now very ambitious and keen to know what’s going on in the world.

    Next, Melanie introduced Maiko Todoroki, who commented on government support for women in Japan. Maiko stated that we cannot rely solely on the government to bring about change for women. She used her company, Poppins, as an example of a change agent. Through providing nursery and care services for both children and the elderly, Poppins hoped to make it easier for women to return to work and maintain their careers. Although the government offers nursery services, it was perceived as being ‘welfare’ within Japan, and Poppins had to change that mindset. For this reason, Poppins branded their services as ‘educare’, being a care service that also offers beneficial educational opportunities. To learn more about Poppins, go online here:

    From another perspective, Melanie asked Sue Gannon on her thoughts surrounding challenges facing women in Japan. Sue said that over her nearly two years in Japan and working for Suntory Holdings, she would agree with Melanie, that as foreigners we can’t come to Japan and preach to Japanese women. She said foreign women were placed in a different category than Japanese women in the workplace (where both were facing different challenges). Over her time working with Suntory University, Sue said she has been focusing on emerging young women. Her aim is to change the existing perspective that women have to choose between a career and family life.

    Melanie emphasised that it is important to cater towards Japanese women’s needs in the workplace, but asked panellists, what further could be done. Tamio Honma said that female colleagues in Japan have a somewhat different perspective from females in Taiwan, Hong Kong, China and Singapore. In these other Asian countries, there is less stigma surrounding women who get help to care for their children. However, there is an expectation for women in Japan to be ‘perfect’ and there is a great deal of guilt if they are to reach out for assistance. Tamio said we need to change this perspective by creating established role models to show female employees that they don’t have to be perfect, or that there is anything wrong with reaching out for help. Deutsche Bank Japan has been very successful in celebrating women and has elected three women into management positions within the last 5 years. Two of the three women have taken maternity leave. This supports the notion that it is ok to balance a family and a career. 

    Melanie then opened the floor for questions. Regional Director at Edelman Japan, Deborah Hayden, when raising the issue of unconscious bias, gave the example that a man who could be considered bossy, is instead considered to be assertive and/or showing his leadership skills, however, a bossy woman is just seen as being bossy. She asked how this could change. Sue answered that, in Japan, the choices of adjectives for women are an example, like elsewhere of ‘conscious bias’. However, as she went on to say, most people are completely unaware that they are doing this. She suggested we need to talk about this issue more to help people understand the image it is reinforcing. We need companies to provide support for women so they can feel confident to speak up. 

    Another question was raised about elevating men’s position as active fathers at home. The panellists agreed that particularly young men are becoming involved in parenting. Melanie said that she’d often seen dads at the park with their children on Sundays and that young fathers were playing a bigger and more prominent role in parenting but agreed we still have a long way to go.

    Melanie finished the session thanking both panellists and the audience, adding that she believes everyone has a role to play in changing attitudes and perceptions about women and this was just the beginning.  In his closing, Matthew Walker, ANZCCJ’s Executive Council member, said that as a father of an eight-year-old daughter, he too understood that there is still a long way to go in terms of unconscious biases and that no man was impervious to under-representation and other issues facing women in the workplace - it would impact the future work environment for our wives and daughters. 

    Our IWD2019 event attracted as many as 80 attendees and was one of the Chamber’s most successful events in terms of attendee participation. Guests posed a number of engaging questions from the floor, and as one of the panelists mentioned “as women, we need to build connections and support networks”. As a Chamber we hope to facilitate and encourage discussion that will deepen our understanding and work together to change our work environments toward positive change. The engagement by both female and male attendees and presenters created a diverse and open-minded environment in which we could challenge issues surrounding women in Japan. Attendees were able to take home a positive message and motivation to make a change, but it is now up to the Chamber and our stakeholders to keep the discussion and momentum going.

    We are delighted to have had the support of Erika Itaki, Overseas Department Marketing Manager at Lapidem Inc, who attended the event and also provided some small gifts for our attendees. Lapidem is a female founded and run business in Tokyo, based on an ethos that keeping the balance of life will maintain your health. You can learn more about Lapidem online at We thank Lapidem and Ms Itaki for their support.

    This event was a part of ANZCCJ’s Diversity & Inclusion event series. On 26 March, the Rugby Alliance Chambers will host a panel discussion, “Diversity in Rugby” with rugby industry representatives. The focus of the event will be on the growing need and importance of diversity in rugby, both on and off the field.

    ANZCCJ International Women’s Day Event: Official Speech from Australian Ambassador to Japan, HE Richard Court AC

    I was one of five boys in our family. On one hand, you could say I was raised in a very blokey environment. On the other hand, you could say I was raised by one very strong woman, my mother, supported by my two grandmothers- that was the case. These five boys went on to have many children, predominantly daughters. Those daughters have thrived in Australia where they have had many opportunities and choices to succeed in different walks of life.

    International Women’s Day is an opportunity for us to say thank you to those people who are making it possible for woman around the world to have more choices and options.

    ANZCCJ International Women’s Day Event: Official Speech from New Zealand Ambassador to Japan, HE Stephen Payton

    Kia ora and good morning. Thank you to the Chamber for hosting this event and for inviting Ambassador Court and I to propose this toast. This is a day to celebrate the progress that we are making towards gender equality, with the #MeToo movement and other developments. It is a day for women to celebrate in each other’s company, and for men to remember that when women are not involved on equal terms, it is men too who miss out. We miss out on the company of women, on the insights of women and on the power of women. At an event in the New Zealand Parliament this morning, the New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has joined the celebrations, but she has also reminded New Zealanders that in New Zealand too there is still a long way to go.  And she has told her audience that they should not underestimate the impact that each individual can have on the women and men around them, in their households, in their communities and in their workplaces, with what they do and what they say about gender equality.  We all have our part to play.

    So let us raise a toast: To all those women who have nurtured us, inspired us and whose work for and commitment to gender equality has brought us this far along the road, and to those who will share with us the road ahead, Happy International Women’s Day.

  • 19 Mar 2019 11:53 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    On 19 March, Fonterra spoke to ANZCCJ members and guests about their journey in Japan. Neville Falkner, General Manager (Marketing and Development) at Fonterra, who has worked for the large dairy collective for 19 years including 5 years at Fonterra Japan (the rest of his time was spent in NZ) spoke on a number of areas.  

    Fonterra is one of the top five dairy companies in the world and its contribution to New Zealand’s economy is huge, with 22,000 employees around the world and making up to 25% of NZ’s exports. There are some important market trends in Japan that Fonterra in Japan has been focusing on. This includes: The milk supply gap in domestic production, increased demand for healthy dairy products due to an increasingly aging society, and overall higher health consciousness in the population. Due to a steady increase in dairy consumption and decrease in the number of Japanese dairy farmers, the gap between supply and demand for dairy products in Japan is getting wider. To expand its sales in Japan and contribute to Japanese society, Fonterra has made several products that meet the Japanese population’s nutritional needs – for more details of the Fonterra products in Japan as well as the trend in Japanese society please refer to the PPT attached to the ANZCCJ FAHC Minutes here.

    Correcting consumers’ misperceptions and increasing market awareness around grass-fed versus grain-fed cows/dairy are also key things Fonterra has been working on. They have joined expos and collaborated with government organisations and other companies as well to try and educate consumers, but there needs to be some sensitivity to how the local market could respond if grass-fed is promoted too strongly as the healthier alternative.

    Fonterra does have a retail presence in Japan – for example there are several shops selling Kapiti products open in Tokyo now and they are trying to promote the brand here in Japan. This is an NZ iconic brand but not Fonterra’s export brand – how to expand the business to retail in Japan is an ongoing challenge for Fonterra in Japan, but they are looking for further opportunities. One thing Neville added was that Fonterra (like other Australian and NZ companies) cannot expect the Japanese to come looking to find out who they are, saying “it’s our job to let them know about us”. See the website for more details on where to buy this product:

    A more detailed report of this meeting is available for ANZCCJ Member's only, including a copy of Neville's presentation.

  • 15 Mar 2019 5:45 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Today, Friday 15 March has been a dark day for New Zealand. The attacks in Christchurch can only be described as sickening and evil, and all of us at the ANZCCJ sincerely send our love and thoughts out to those who were affected by this tragedy. New Zealand is an unlikely target for this form of violence, and today’s events have shaken both the nation and the world.

    In addressing the public, New Zealand Prime Minister the Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern has stated that, “We New Zealanders were not chosen for this act of violence because we condone this racism, or because we are an enclave of extremism, we were chosen for the very fact that we are none of these things”.

    We must not let this hate divide us. Instead we must urge New Zealanders to band together with love and support for one another.

    Kia kaha Christchurch.

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