• 11 May 2018 11:47 AM | Anonymous

    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 | Anonymous

    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 | Anonymous

    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 | Anonymous

    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 | Anonymous

    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 | Anonymous

    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 | Anonymous

    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

  • 01 Feb 2018 10:51 AM | Anonymous
    The Japan Market Expansion Competition (JMEC) is a business training program in Tokyo centred on a business plan writing competition. With the goal of upskilling young executives and professionals, whilst assisting foreign companies to enter the Japanese market, JMEC is designed for professionals to challenge themselves to achieve. 2018’s JMEC program starts 11th November (Saturday), with applications due 15th October. For more information visit:
  • 30 Jan 2018 2:46 PM | Anonymous

    The tone for our business year has been set positively by the Prime Minister of Australia, the Hon Malcolm Turnbull's recent visit. Importantly he reinforced the strength of Australia-Japan relations including the 55-year long commercial partnership. The Prime Minister’s address at the Japan Australia Business Council Committee luncheon emphasised the need for Australia and Japan to enhance cooperation as regional powers with global interests. This included, in particular, the need to work together to pursue the free-flow of international trade. A message well understood by our members, both Australian and New Zealand, and underpinned by the action focused initiatives of the Chamber.

    In line with the promotion of bilateral trade, one of ANZCCJ’s Platinum sponsors, Ashurst held their annual M&A in Review event on 17 January. Mergers and acquisitions directly influence the landscape and operations of businesses so for our members to hear about how the business context has shifted continues to be immensely valuable.

    And to celebrate the start of the New Year, we had our annual Shinnenkai at the Conrad Tokyo’s Twenty Eight Bar. We had the pleasure of hearing from the New Zealand Ambassador to Japan, HE Stephen Payton and Minister, Deputy Head of Mission at the Australian Embassy Tokyo, Clare Walsh, as well as the Vice Chairman of the Japan-Australia Business Cooperation Committee, Yorihiko Kojima. Having business and government leaders connecting and building relationships helps to water the seeds of new ideas and initiatives that drive our businesses forward. Thanks to all who attended.

    The Chamber’s goal for this year is to build on what we’ve achieved so far but also venture into new opportunities, try some new things and work hard with our stakeholders. I’m asking each of you as members and sponsors to think about how the Chamber can work better and smarter together. We want your feedback and over the month of February we’ll be seeking your input ahead of the Executive Council’s next strategy planning meeting set for early March. The Chamber is also keen to ensure that we effectively utilise the government led 2018 Australia Now campaign. This eight-month program running from April to November, will showcase the best of Australian innovation, lifestyle and creativity to Japan, enhancing Australia and Japan’s relationship through further collaboration and exchange. 

    I would like to welcome our new Executive Director Judith Hanna to the Chamber. Judith will be a valuable addition to the team and is really excited to be joining us at this time. And finally, please keep an eye out for our upcoming events on our website. We have a busy and exciting year ahead! I wish you all a safe and happy start to 2018.

    Andrew Gauci

  • 30 Jan 2018 1:07 PM | Anonymous

    ANZCCJ was pleased to welcome in 2018 at the elegant Conrad Tokyo’s TwentyEight Bar. We had the honour of hearing from New Zealand Ambassador to Japan, HE Stephen Payton, Minister, Deputy Head of Mission at the Australian Embassy Tokyo, Clare Walsh, Vice Chairman of Japan Australia Business Chamber of Commerce (JABCC), Mr Yorihiko Kojima, as well as our own ANZCCJ Chair and CEO of Lendlease, Andrew Gauci.

    The event enabled attendees to network and mingle with friends and new contacts, whilst being treated to spectacular Tokyo views, free flowing drinks, a full buffet dinner featuring Australian and New Zealand cuisine, insightful speeches, and excellent door prizes. Thank you to our ANZCCJ sponsors Treasury Wine Estates, Conrad Tokyo and SunWolves for their contributions.

    ANZCCJ Chair Andrew Gauci kicked off the evening with sharing about the Chamber’s priorities for 2018, highlighting ANZCCJ's goal of continually raising the profiles of Australia and New Zealand in Japan. Andrew reinforced the strength of current Australia, New Zealand and Japanese business relations, and encouraged business leaders to guide Japanese firms to realise opportunities in Australia and New Zealand. New Zealand Ambassador to Japan, HE Stephen Payton reinforced that the New Zealand Government has a desire to consolidate trade partnerships, expand trade in the energy and food sectors, and develop a renewed interest of Japan amongst New Zealanders. Minister, Deputy Head of Mission at the Australian Embassy Tokyo, Clare Walsh provided comments on the success of the recent visit by the Australian Prime Minister, the Honourable Malcolm Turnbull, giving thanks to JABCC, ANZCCJ, Meat and Livestock Australia, and Treasury Wine Estates for their assistance with the Australian Prime Minister’s business luncheon. Minister Walsh reinforced Australia and Japan’s interconnectedness on economic trade relations and security agendas, highlighting the recent development of the biennial Ministerial Economic Dialogue between both nations. ANZCCJ was glad to also hear from Vice Chairman of JABCC Mr Yorihiko Kojima who during his toast also commented on how strong the relationship between Australia and Japan was, as evidenced by Prime Minister Turnbull’s recent visit.

    The event was a nice send off to former ANZCCJ Executive Director Cristina Merino, who has worked tirelessly for the Chamber and we wish to honour her for all her good work. We have now welcomed our new Executive Director, Judith Hanna who prior to taking on the role, worked at the New Zealand Embassy in Tokyo. We look forward to working with Judith for what, we expect is going to be a busy and fruitful 2018.

Copyright © ANZCCJ. All rights reserved

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software