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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • 11 May 2018 11:47 AM | ANZCCJ (Administrator)

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

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

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

  • 12 Apr 2018 12:53 PM | ANZCCJ (Administrator)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    To read the article, please click here.

  • 12 Mar 2018 12:21 PM | ANZCCJ (Administrator)

    To celebrate International Women’s Day 2018, The Australian Embassy Tokyo, in collaboration with ANZCCJ and ANZCCJ Chair Emeritus Melanie Brock, hosted a keynote address by Sam Mostyn. Ms Mostyn serves as a non-executive director on the boards of Virgin Australia, Transurban and Mirvac Residential, and is chair of Citibank Australia. Sam was also the first woman to join the Australia Football League (AFL) Commission and introduced AFL's Respect and Responsibility policies. As a part of her presentation, Sam launched #CelebratingWomeninJapan, an initiative of ANZCCJ Chair Emeritus Melanie Brock.

    The Honourable Richard Court AC, Ambassador to Japan, started the evening’s proceedings, welcoming guests and thanking the evening’s speakers for attending. Ambassador Court discussed the necessity of gender rights and women in leadership. Highlighting the 2018 flagship Public Diplomacy campaign, Australia now, Ambassador Court recognised that the Australia/Japan relationship is strengthened through cross-cultural engagement and equality, including the Women’s Touch Football Rugby collaboration. Following on, ANZCCJ Chair Andrew Gauci addressed the audience, highlighting the lack of gender parity in Japan and the importance of “levelling the playing field”. Andrew Gauci noted the need to create and maintain a pathway of success, enabling women to progress into leadership positions.

    Sam Mostyn addressed the audience, acknowledging the importance of International Women’s Day as highlighting the outstanding achievements of women, and the continuing necessity of pushing for change. Recognising Prime Minister Abe’s ‘Womenomics’ scheme, Sam noted the value of a “society where women can shine”, and argued that despite modern advancements towards gender equality, more action is necessary by Australia and Japan. Highlighting the positives of engaging women in business and sport, Sam recognised that organisations require women at all levels of leadership as they offer untapped opportunity; not only in terms of profit, but the flow of new ideas.

    Following Sam’s address, she was joined on stage by ANZCCJ Chair Emeritus Melanie Brock and Ms Rui Matsukawa, Member of the House of Councilors, with Deputy Head of Mission at the Australian Embassy Tokyo, Clare Walsh as moderator. The central themes from the discussion was the use of communications and social media as generating equality change, and the importance of values, both societal and personal, as the vehicle for instigating gender parity. The quality of the discussion was excellent, and the Chamber would like to thank all the speakers for their valuable insights.

    The event concluded with an informal networking opportunity for guests. ANZCCJ would like to express thanks to the Australian Embassy and Melanie Brock Advisory for the successful event.

  • 07 Mar 2018 3:21 PM | ANZCCJ (Administrator)

    JMEC Testimonials:

    JMEC helps individuals enhance their careers in Japan:

    Sébastien Arribe participated in JMEC 23, 2016-2017. As a software engineer, he entered JMEC to receive an introduction to business.

    Ami Watanabe participated in JMEC 22, 2015-2016. She was a Daijob Scholarship Recipient who was attracted to the academic nature and practical appplication of a JMEC certificate.

    Luis Costigan participated in JMEC 21, 2014-2015. He entered JMEC to gain practical business knowledge in order to gain new opportunities for leadership roles within his company,

  • 28 Feb 2018 10:55 AM | ANZCCJ (Administrator)

    Message from the Chair

    This month was a time for us as a Chamber to take stock of the progress made over the last year and lay the foundations of a road map for 2018. Thank you to our Platinum and Gold Corporate Sponsors who participated in our roundtable session and all of the members who provided feedback through our surveys this month. For those of us on the Executive Council, we take your feedback seriously and will be giving further thought to what you each had to say when the Executive Council meet for our annual strategy session on 6 March. For those of you who have not yet given your feedback, please fill in our survey online before Friday 2 March.

    No doubt part of our strategy this year will include bringing Australian and New Zealand businesses with our Japanese counterparts together at events surrounding key sporting fixtures. The personal engagement achieved amongst business people at these events helps to drive relationships that further business ties. For this reason I was personally quite excited to see the announcement earlier this month that the final Bledisloe test match between the Australian Wallabies and New Zealand All Blacks will be held at the Nissan Stadium in Yokohama on 27 October. A great opportunity to raise the profile of our businesses if managed well. All Black’s Coach Steve Hansen made a great comment at a joint AIG-Nikkei event on 3 February. He said that like any top performing sports team, businesses should be collaborating with one another to share ideas so that together we will all get sharper. I think as a Chamber, we’re particularly strong in this area of collaboration. I would like to encourage those of you who are interested to get involved in our Sports for Business and Food Ag and Hospitality subcommittees by joining the regular meetings and signing up to get the email announcements (which you can do through emailing This will help you keep up-to-date with one another and opportunities coming down the pipeline. Both committees meet regularly and exchange ideas, information and opportunities.

    This month I would also like to recognize the Japan Market Expansion Competition (JMEC); a business training program in Tokyo which joins companies looking for a fresh strategic perspective, with company employees looking for a once in a lifetime kind of learning and development experience. The ANZCCJ was a founding supporter of this program with Bill Hall still active in driving JMEC forward. JMEC is geared around upskilling young executives and professionals and at the same time assisting foreign companies to further penetrate the Japanese market. Lendlease benefited from being a project sponsor a few years ago and I’m a firm supporter of this program having seen firsthand what it can deliver. The 2018 JMEC program starts 11th November (Saturday), with applications due 15th October. For more information visit:

    I’d also like to announce that ANZCCJ will be moving offices in April to We Works located in Shimbashi/Toranomon. With our existing term coming up we were keen to get better value from the real estate we use but at a similar cost. After a thorough search we decided the new option provided the best price and location with an opportunity to host meetings and events more cost effectively. In addition, the work space is cutting edge and collaborative, the right feel for the kind of Chamber that we are. The team will plan some casual office warming get together for those who are around to visit in May.

    Finally, we have a few exciting events coming up in March. On 7 March is the annual Foodex networking event, where Australian food producers can showcase their products to Japanese consumers. On 9 March we have Sam Mostyn a leader in sustainability, gender equality and business management who serves as a non-executive director on the boards of Virgin Australia, Transurban and Mirvac, and chair of Citibank Australia, speaking about women in sports and business at the Australian Embassy. Sam was the first woman to join the Australian Football League (AFL) Commission and worked to implement the AFL's Respect and Responsibility policies and indigenous program, I will be very much looking forward to hearing from her next month. Keep an eye out on the ANZCCJ website for updated news and events.

    Andrew Gauci

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