Helping Hands

We hope the past few months have been safe ones for you and your loved ones. This issue features more stories that put a spotlight on the many connections between Canada and Japan.

Alec Jordan, Editor-in-Chief of The Canadian

For our cover feature, we spoke with Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Japan (CCCJ) Chair Emeritus Neil van Wouw to learn more about his time as a leader within the chamber over several eventful years, and the exciting plans that he has for the future. As someone who has kept an eye on the latest trends in technology throughout their career, his perspectives on the chamber and the direction that technology is taking are well worth reading.


It’s only natural during these times to be thinking carefully about our health. One company that has been helping people do so as its central focus is Takeda. The Japanese pharmaceutical company has a strong presence in Canada, one of the company’s key markets. To learn more about Takeda Canada’s innovative collaborations and its plans for the future, we interviewed Takeda Canada General Manager Rute Fernandes. She also spoke about the importance of supporting diversity in corporate management.

We had the chance to learn more about RBC Race for the Kids, a charity event organized by the Royal Bank of Canada since 2009. Last year, in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, they switched to a virtual format, which has allowed even more people to join in the effort to raise funds for charities that support young people. In October, they’ll be holding their second Race this year in Tokyo, so you’ll definitely want to find out how you can get involved.


Food has the power to bring people together and create a spirit of community. Canadian-Japanese celebrity vegan chef Caroline Ishii, has been able to bring her Japanese roots to bear on her cooking, while also being a pioneer within the world of plant-based cuisine in Canada. Find out more about her life and work in our coverage of her recent webinar and a review of her memoir. 

Another way in which people and nations can be joined is through a shared appreciation of craftwork. This is true of the tenugui created by a historic producer of cloth goods for the Embassy of Canada to Japan in Tokyo. It is an example of how a material item can be charged with symbolism — and mutual appreciation.

Thanks as always for your readership, and we look forward to seeing you next issue. 

Related Content

In summary

Chamber View

Letter from the Chair

Powerful Pillars