August 2020  



Message from the Chair

Dear Members and Friends,

I hope you are all staying safe and well. 

This month, we were delighted to finally gather in person again for our event, Challenges and Opportunities: a fireside chat with our Ambassadors, hosted at China Blue, Conrad Tokyo on August 20. After so many months only connecting via our computer screens it was wonderful to be back amongst our members, to catch up on news and discuss how Australia, New Zealand and Japan will continue to navigate the path forward through COVID-19. Thank you again to Ambassadors Richard Court and Hamish Cooper for so generously taking the time to speak with us through this event, covering their experiences with the Diamond Princess crisis, their thoughts on Japan’s handling of COVID-19, the economic challenges to come, and the opportunities for Australia, New Zealand and Japan to work together as we emerge from this difficult period. We were all uplifted by their frank but overall optimistic outlook on what lies ahead for our three countries.

Hosting this event in itself presented a number of challenges in the form of new health and safety measures – temperature checks, hand sanitizers, masks, social distancing – as well as the opportunity to incorporate a “hybrid” element by live streaming the Fireside Chat on Zoom. Despite the distance, it was wonderful to see so many of our members tuning in from all over the world, and we hope to continue with this hybrid format going forward. 

As a Chamber, we have all been aware of, and directly impacted by, the Japanese Government’s strict re-entry restrictions for foreign residents. This month, we released our own formal statement and collaborated with other foreign Chambers (ACCJ, BCCJ and EBC) to take a stance on this issue, calling for fair and equal treatment for those with residence status. We were encouraged by the words of support and cooperation we received from Australian, New Zealand and Japanese members alike, and are grateful to hear today’s announcement that these restrictions will be eased.

The end of August marks the halfway point in our membership year, and what a year it has been so far. Thank you for your ongoing support of ANZCCJ and your fellow Chamber members, and we look forward to working with you all through the new challenges and opportunities ahead in 2020/21.

今月、820日にコンラッド東京のチャイナブルーにて、駐日オーストラリア大使のリチャード・コート閣下と駐日ニュージーランド大使のヘイミッシュ・クーパー閣下をお招きし、トークイベント”Challenges and Opportunities”を無事に開催することができました。数ヶ月間、パソコンのモニター越しでしかお会いできなかったメンバーの方々と直接お会いし顔を見ながらオーストラリア、ニュージーランド、日本が新型コロナの感染が続く中、どのように前進し続けるかについて話し合うことができたのは我々にとっても非常に感慨深い瞬間でした。両大使がこのイベントの中で、ダイヤモンド・プリンセス号の新型コロナウイルス感染集団発生への対応、日本の新型コロナへの取り組みについてのお考え、今後の経済的課題、そしてこの困難な時期をオーストラリア、ニュージーランド、日本が一層協力し合い乗り越えていくことについてお話をしてくださりました。三カ国の今後の展望について楽観的な見方を共有し、これからより希望を持って前に進んでいくことができると感じました。



8月も終わりに差し掛かり、今年度の折り返しを迎える月になりますが、皆様にとってはどのような半期でしたでしょうか。オーストラリア・ニュージーランド商工会議所はメンバーの皆様の継続的なサポートを受け、今月コロナが流行してから初の対面イベント開催まで漕ぎ着けることができました。本当にありがとうございます。2020/ 21年度はまだ半年ありますので、新たな課題に立ち向かい、様々な機会を通じて皆さんとまた協力し合い、笑顔でお会いできることを楽しみにしています。

Sally Townsend



 Challenges and Opportunities: A fireside chat with our Ambassadors 

On Thursday 20th August the ANZCCJ hosted the event Challenges and Opportunities: A Fireside chat with our Ambassadors. The event was held at Conrad Tokyo Hotel and live-streamed as a webinar, making it not only our first in-person event of this membership year but also our first hybrid event. 

We were joined by H.E. Richard Court, Ambassador of Australia to Japan, and H.E. Hamish Cooper, Ambassador of New Zealand to Japan, for a discussion on the Australia-New Zealand-Japan relationship and the outlook for the post-COVID-19 world. Moderated by ANZCCJ Chair, Sally Townsend, the conversation covered topics such as collaboration between the three countries during the Diamond Princess crisis and how they have managed the COVID-19 pandemic so far.

Another point of discussion was the postponement of the 2020 Olympic Games and the effect this would have on Australian and New Zealand businesses in Japan. The Ambassadors commented that the service, tourism and hospitality industries would likely continue to see a downturn, while businesses in fields of e-commerce and tech could greatly benefit from the situation.   

The Ambassadors also responded to a question regarding the re-entry of foreign residents, expressing their appreciation that it’s a difficult time for many residents and emphasising the importance of foreign residents to Japan and Japanese communities. They also acknowledged the complexities of entry policy during a pandemic.* The discussion was then closed with a few words from Sally Townsend. 

The event was a success, with attendees enjoying the chance to meet again in-person in a relaxed and socially distanced environment. We look forward to hosting similar events in the future.   

See our Events page for a list of upcoming webinars or sign up to our newsletter here for regular updates and to have event information delivered to your inbox. 

*You can read the ANZCCJ’s individual and joint statements regarding the Japanese immigration authority’s re-entry policies here 


FAJS Rio Tinto Australia-Japan Collaboration 2021 Grant Program

The call for Foundation for Australia-Japan Studies (FAJS) Rio Tinto Australia-Japan Collaboration 2021 grant program Expressions of Interest opens between August 31 and September 30, 2020.  The FAJS mission is to encourage collaborations between academic institutions, industry and government in Australia and Japan and to support people who are transforming the bilateral relationship through these partnerships.  Rio Tinto Australia-Japan Collaboration program grants of $50,000 to $150,000 are available under five main themes, will have both industry and university partners and are a great opportunity to start up new projects or extend existing ones with Japanese and Australian counterparts.  Applications can be led by university, non-university research institute or industry partners.  The Guidelines explaining the criteria are at the FAJS website  The application form will be available on the website from August 31st.

See the full announcement for more details.


Robert Walters Surveys Reveal Changes in the Workplace Post COVID-19

COVID-19 and the ensuing surge of telework arrangements have undoubtedly shaped the future of the workplace environment. Surveys conducted by Robert Walters in August offer insights on the impact the pandemic has had on work. The first survey answered by 666 company employees, mostly based in the Tokyo and Kansai area, showed that a vast majority preferred to work remotely. According to the survey, only 3% of all respondents preferred to work daily in the office as they would have pre-COVID-19. Moreover, only 2% of employees answered that they did not want flexible working hours after the pandemic has subsided. The changing attitudes towards work was apparent, as Jeremy Sampson, Managing Director Robert Walters commented: “Even in Japan, where long working hours and underutilisation of paid leave are more pressing issues compared to other areas such as Europe and the United States, the impact of COVID-19 has become a catalyst for improving work-life balance.”

Indeed, according to Robert Walters’ second survey, 83% of employees said that their work-life balance had improved. Furthermore, a majority of employees responded that their stress was reduced, and that their productivity had increased. However, that is not to say that people have foregone the office for good. The survey also revealed that about 1 in 4 people preferred working in an office, and on average, results indicated no change in the quality of work as a result of flexible work styles. Yet, it is clear that despite the workplace, the flexibility of workstyle has become a priority for employees. When asked if they place importance of flexible working styles when changing jobs or working in the same company in the post-COVID-19 era, 96% of employees responded with “yes.” 

Read more about these survey results from the links below.

Desired work style of employees: remote work “3 days a week” and “during conventional work hours”; Remote work sparks potential for recruitment of top talent beyond borders

Work from home experience: improved work-life balance, no change in quality of work; Employees want support from company for internet and mobile phone usage


Vaccine Diplomacy: The Future of International Relations

Diplomacy based on the concept of health is not a new concept. However, the advent of COVID-19 and its effects on the world on a macro and microeconomic scale has put health diplomacy at the forefront of international relations. Moreover, as possible vaccines for COVID-19 continue to develop, questions on who is first in line to access final vaccine and how much people are willing to pay for them become more and more relevant.

A growing number of nations are already working towards securing their supplies from relationships with leaders in vaccine production. President Duterte of the Phillipines announced he had asked President Xi Jinping, whose CanSino Biologics Inc. vaccine was found to have positive results in over 500 volunteers, to give the Phillipines priority access to a finished product. The leader has also publicly promoted Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine, saying he had a “huge trust” in it and offering to undergo clinical trials himself.

What does this mean for the rest of the world? According to Simon Draper, former diplomat and executive director of the Asia New Zealand Foundation Te Whītau Tūhono, countries must work together to “find solutions where all parties benefit”. Not only has COVID-19 made health a greater part of diplomacy, it has also shown how interconnected the world has become. Now, more than ever, the wellbeing of one country - both literally and metaphorically - has knock-on effects for the global economy and social cohesion.

With the race to create the world’s first true preventative measure against it, ‘vaccine diplomacy’ has become a concept unto its own. “Working out how the global community and New Zealand develop and access a vaccine,” Draper says, “may require a new application of some tried and true diplomacy for New Zealand.”. It will require an understanding of the core values of international relations - understanding and cooperation - and a willingness to evolve alongside the widespread changes that COVID-19 has brought in order to create a better environment for the world to grow.

To see more on vaccine diplomacy, see this article. For those seeking an in-depth view on the concept of vaccine diplomacy, see here.

Serena Knight, Remote Intern


ANZCCJ Member Promotions and Updates

Are you taking full advantage of your ANZCCJ membership? Throughout August, our Promotions page has expanded to include promotions in the Wine and Hotel categories. Village Cellars, who serves as a one stop supplier with a wide-ranged portfolio, offered our members a special selection of their wines in two seperate sets. The sets include wines served by major airlines in Japan, carefully selected by their own sommelier teams, and wines representing Australia’s different wine regions, such as Devil’s Corner in Tasmania and Howard Park in Western Australia.

Other August promotions include offers from Oakwood and Park Hyatt Tokyo. Oakwood Serviced Apartments, who’s lodgings are conveniently placed in Tokyo’s fastest growing districts, has a corporate limited plan for an overnight stay to all ANZCCJ members. The Hyatt, an elegant oasis at the heart of Tokyo, is offering a package deal for members, with discounts on accomodation, restaurants, and treatments. Both Hotel promotions will end on September 3rd, so visit while you can!

Make sure to regularly check our Promotions page for the latest discounts and deals, available to ANZCCJ members only.



Executive Council Profile of the Month 

As part of our series to introduce our Executive Council to Chamber members, this month we introduce you to our Executive Council Member Brett Cooper.

Brett Cooper is General Manager, North East Asia, for Austrade, spanning a network of six offices in Tokyo, Seoul, Osaka, Fukuoka, Sapporo and Ulaanbaatar  to advance Australia's international trade, investment and education interests in Japan, Korea and Mongolia. A graduate of Seoul National University, Brett was a recipient of the Korean Government scholarship program (1997-2000). He is also a recipient of the Japanese Government scholarship program (1992-1997), completing his Bachelor of Law at Kobe University in Japan. Brett was appointed Senior Trade Commissioner Korea from 2012 to 2016, after managing Austrade’s International Issues Branch in Canberra. He transferred to Tokyo to take up his current position in August 2016. Prior to joining Austrade he worked as a Senior Advisor at the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet in Canberra, where he was responsible to international policy development and advice preparation for the Prime Minister, also as head of the International Strategy Unit.

You can connect to Brett through Linkedin.


Intern Profile - Serena Knight

Serena has been the Marketing Assistant at the Chamber for 2 months. She began her internship through the Remote Intern Programme, a new internship created by the ANZCCJ to accomodate COVID-19’s restrictions. Serena is currently applying to universities in Australia, and is planning on pursuing a dual degree in Software Engineering and Commerce. While navigating her education through a global pandemic, the internship has provided Serena with valuable work experience in a field that she plans to study and possibly seek a career in.

“Working at the ANZCCJ as a Marketing Assistant under Emily and Akihiro is something that I’m truly grateful for. Not only is it work experience, but the internship was gave me drive during a time where many of my peers are unsure of their future. It solidified my interest in Marketing, as working for the Chamber gave me insight into the dealings of business relations in a manner few get to experience this early in their life. I would like to thank Sally, for giving me the opportunity to work for the Chamber, as well as Emily and Akihiro for guiding me through these past two months.”






To keep our members connected and informed during this period, ANZCCJ is presenting an ongoing series of online Webinars. Please note that these webinars are free of charge and open to all members and friends.

(Webinar) Paralympics Australia and New Zealand: Tokyo 2020

Wed 9 Sept 2020 | 12:00pm - 1:00pm (JST) | Details to come


(Webinar) TOSBEC: Subsidy/Grant information provided by the Japanese Government!

Fri 11 Sept 2020 | 12:30pm - 14:30pm (JST) | Click here to register


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