The Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Japan (CCCJ) has been particularly active recently — all in service of our mission as a chamber. Here are just a few of the things that have been happening.
On February 25, the CCCJ was invited to talk to the Tokyo Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (TCCI’s) Women’s Association. From the CCCJ, Governor Riyo Whitney spoke about Canada’s education systems, and Governor Karl Pires moderated the Q&A session and shared answers with the TCCI. Chair David Anderson introduced the CCCJ and gave an informative presentation on Japan–Canada business ties. Even though the event was designed for TCCI members, through supporting David’s presentation preparations as a member of the secretariat, I gained a wealth of information.
At the beginning of his presentation, David explained the three pillars of the CCCJ’s activities: events, communication and advocacy. This made me think about what the secretariat should do to realize those objectives.
EVENTS AND COMMUNICATION
First, let me look back on what events have taken place since September 2021 and the publication of the autumn issue of The Canadian. Despite the on-and-off announcements of various states of emergency, the CCCJ hosted several in-person events, such as the Bonenkai in December 2021, Hockey Morning in Tokyo in February 2022 and Russell Cummer’s talk on March 16. I’m also very pleased to have been a part of the resumption of Monthly Mixers. The first Mixer was held on March 24 and included members of the Swiss Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Japan. We have hosted unique virtual events, such as Career Kick Start in March 2022, hosted by the Education Committee, and the inheritance tax seminar on April 20. I feel like a blessed executive director for being able to work with such active committees.
The second pillar is communication. This is about how the chamber offers information to the world, through our website, social media accounts, and publications—of course, including The Canadian. I’m learning the best practices for putting the communication pillar into action, so please contact me if you have any information and news you’d like to share with the Canada–Japan business community!
REPRESENTING THE COMMUNITY
As David explained at the TCCI event regarding advocacy, the CCCJ “represents voices and perspectives of the Canadian business community.” In addition to the External Relations Committee, other committees, such as Global Diversity Management and Sustainability, offer numerous opportunities to express our views to the broader public. In April 2022, a new committee, the Market Access Advisory Committee (MAAC), was approved by the Board of Governors and they are working on best practices for operating the MAAC, and planning events so they can share their knowledge and expertise with members—and those who are not yet members. I have highlighted these committees, but others have been sparing no effort in cooperating to pursue the CCCJ’s mandate.
Finally, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Shaivalini Shukla, the CCCJ intern who worked with us until the end of March 2022. She graduated from UBC in spring and, before starting to study at the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy at the University of Toronto, she was visiting her family in Tokyo and contacted one of our governors for an internship opportunity back in July 2021, when I started to work at the office.
I should admit that, as a new executive director, I was not confident about being able to offer experiences that would be helpful for her future career, but I needn’t have worried. She was an active learner, was willing to help and offered many useful suggestions to keep the chamber current. Thank you, Shaivalini. After having worked with a promising person like you, I’m very confident that the future Canada–Japan relationship will be a strong one.