Here we are in autumn, always a prime season for:
Meetings: In late September, I joined a Japan-Canada Chambers Council (JCCC) event in Toronto. Established in 2014, the JCCC is a place for members to build relationships, share knowledge and advocate policies that support bilateral trade and investment. More than fifty people gathered, including many government officials and business leaders. This was the first face-to-face meeting in five years since the 2017 session in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture.
This year’s theme, “Respected Friends in a Challenging World,” featured three discussion topics: supply chains, energy, and agri-foods. The panelists were leading experts on these topics who generously shared their thoughts and knowledge. Having the chance to meet and interact with them and the participants in person was a true pleasure. It’s long been said that Canada and Japan have a lot to offer each other, and this meeting was proof that it’s time to move beyond the theoretical.
I have to mention that I was privileged to serve as an emcee at the event. I’d like to thank Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI), a Japan-side secretariat, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce (CCC), a Canada-side secretariat, and Invest in Canada, who offered me this key role.
A couple of weeks before that meeting, our Honorary Board of Advisors (HBA) and Board of Governors got together to revive ties and talk about the next steps to move forward together over dinner prepared by Governor and HBA member Seiji Omote. I’ve known some of the HBA members since my time at McGill. Meeting them in person for the first time in over three years, all those memories came back. As the Chamber’s secretariat, I’ve reaffirmed my determination to reengage with them—our brain trust that makes the CCCJ unique among the foreign chambers.
Events: After the summer break, we put on a Monthly Mixer in September and another in October. Members and their colleagues and friends clearly enjoyed themselves. Looking at those happy faces, I know I’m blessed to be a part of this great organization. As the name indicates, we have one mixer a month, and if you haven’t joined one yet or brought colleagues and friends who might be considering CCCJ membership, please stay tuned for further event information!
Sports: I was thrilled to witness the Yokohama GRITS, a Sustaining Member, take to the ice and win their home and season opener at their home arena in Shin-Yokohama. It’s always good to see your favourite team win. And welcome to Japan, head coach Jeff Flanagan!
Speaking of coaches, Canadian head coach Lesley McKenzie leads the Japan women’s national rugby union team, called the Sakura Fifteen. Rugby became extremely popular in Japan after Rugby World Cup 2019, and it’s good to know about this Canadian connection with a Japanese national squad, which recently played in the World Cup in New Zealand.
New Starts: Reina Bostwick, our summer intern and office assistant from April to August, is back at school in Toronto and into her sophomore year. During her time at the Chamber, Reina helped with daily office tasks and also reviewed all the “homework” from her predecessor. I’d like to express my sincere gratitude for everything she did for us and wish her all the best.
In September, Events and Operations Manager Sumire Ito and Communications Associate Manami Takahashi joined the CCCJ team. I’m very much looking forward to working with them on behalf of our members to realize
our mandate: “To promote the development of commerce between Canada and Japan”!