Your new
governors

On July 1, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Japan (CCCJ) elected a new Board of Governors for the 2020–2022 term. Among those elected are four new appointees. To help members of the CCCJ get to know them better, we’ve given each of them the opportunity to introduce themselves.

Machiko Asai

It is my great honour to have been elected governor of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Japan (CCCJ). I will consistently commit myself to contribute to the achievement of the chamber’s goals. I see my role as threefold.

First, I am strongly convinced that it is my mission to serve as a bridge between the CCCJ and the economic organizations of Japan, such as the Japan Association of New Economy and the Tokyo Chamber of Commerce and Industry (TCCI). I see my main tasks as expanding commercial opportunities and fostering mutual under­standing between different organizations.

As a TCCI councilor I am a strong advocate for diversity. Still, despite their importance, diversity strategies are not always easy to implement. For example, both the CCCJ and the TCCI are based in Tokyo and have similar objectives but — as of yet — there has been no active collaboration between these two organizations.

Second, I would like to draw your attention to the changes that Japan is going through. At present, there is an increasing trend among women to set up their own businesses and contribute to corporate social responsi­bility. At the TCCI Women’s Association, we are actively discussing the topics of globalization and innovation, and Canada is a country that is taking an active role in promoting diversity. In view of these facts, cooperation between the CCCJ and the TCCI holds great promise. 

Third, Canada is famous for its stunning natural beauty and the warmth of its people. My aspiration is to help Japanese people learn more about the world’s most appealing country: “Canada the Beautiful.”

Finally, I would like to stress again that I will make every effort to facilitate the CCCJ’s mission in Japan. I also hope that being a board member will help me to deepen my knowledge about Canada.

Thank you for your kind attention.

Marc Bolduc

Dear CCCJ members, I’m honoured to have been elected as one of your new governors. As some will remember, I was previously on the CCCJ Board of Governors from 2011 to 2015 (I was vice-chair from 2012 to 2014). So, it is with great pride that I have seen the CCCJ grow over the years. I have also had the pleasure to serve on other boards, such as the Forum des gens d’Affaires Québec-Japon [The Québec-Japan Business Forum] and the Canada-Japan Society of British Columbia before returning to the CCCJ. This year has been a very challenging time for us and our organization, but in these times it’s important to be resilient and continue to nurture relationships between our two great nations. With this in mind I will, over the next two years, continue to contribute to the various CCCJ committees that represent the present and future soul of our organization.

As per my corporate experience, I am proud to say that I have had an extensive career between Canada and Japan that goes back more than 20 years. I have worked for large multinational companies such as Nestlé, Sumitomo Corporation, Hitachi High-Technologies and Fleury Michon. Currently, I am serving as general manager for Intralox Japan. I look forward to deepening business relations between Canada and Japan in the years to come.

 

Ai Nakagawa

It is an honour to be elected to the CCCJ board of governors and I wholeheartedly look forward to engaging with companies and individuals involved in the Canada–Japan relationship. My primary focus as a governor will be to help generate business development and growth opportunities for CCCJ members by actively connecting companies and individuals.

Covid-19 has affected many businesses in unprece­dented ways. As a member of the Board of Governors, it is my mission to bring further value to our members and to help those in need — particularly during this difficult time. During my time as governor I hope to learn more about each of our members and to help identify potential business opportunities. I will be reaching out to you and I would be delighted to hear from you.

Secondly, a sustainable and thriving non-profit orga­nization requires sufficient funding, which is driven through a combination of existing members, new members, sponsors and relevant programming. These are areas I will develop and strengthen during my term. I have more than 17 years of experience in sales, marketing and management for companies in the hospitality, technology and real estate sectors. Currently, I work for Colliers International — a Canada-based global commercial real estate advisory firm — in tenant representation. With over a decade of experience in the real estate sector, I have helped hundreds of international and domestic clients, ranging from start-ups to global Fortune 500 companies, with various real estate requirements.

I am passionate about helping the Canadian and Japanese community and look forward to developing meaningful relationships with all of you.

Aaron Reist

I am honoured to have been elected to serve the CCCJ as a governor. I am humbled and excited to be a part of this leadership group as we round the corner of the global pandemic and build a new normal.

I arrived in Japan in 2004 as a part of the internship program at Sheridan College. I fell in love with the country — its culture and its people. Now, in 2020, I am proud to call Japan my second home. Upon completion of the program — I only intended to be here for four months! — I landed a role at Goldman Sachs Realty Japan as part of a new team that would work at the intersection between business and technology. I have been doing this for the past 14 years.   

Since arriving in Japan I have spent many years contem­plating whether to join the CCCJ. I found myself asking, “What can the CCCJ do for me?” It wasn’t until I met a handful of passionate members who truly engaged with me and mentored me that I pulled the trigger and joined in 2017. Through their teaching and support I realized: you get out what you put in. This inspired me to create the Investing in Innovation Committee.

The committee’s mission is to be the authority on global business in Japan — connecting businesses, investors and most importantly, people. By actively engaging our membership base we give them the inside edge. Leveraging the CCCJ’s expansive network and keeping a finger on the pulse of geopolitical trends we seek and create opportunities to drive growth and innovation. We also want to innovate from within the chamber and modernize our platform.

The key part of our mission lies in actively engaging our membership base. As governor, my goal is to see our membership base double during my first term. This can only be achieved with a “members first” approach, and I am constantly inspired by our new joiners. We are only as strong as our membership and I will do everything I can to grow, engage with and strengthen it.