The Journal The Authority on Global Business in Japan

Committee | Charity Ball

November 2013
Gala event celebrates giving, community, and New York

By Megan Waters, ACCJ Journal editor-in-chief

Once again, the American business community in Japan will mark the year-end with a glittering event. Held since shortly after the inception in 1948 of the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan, the ACCJ Charity Ball highlights the spirit of generosity that underpins so many of the chamber’s activities.

To be held on November 30 at the Tokyo American Club, the glamorous celebration will attract some of the most influential members of US enterprises in Japan.

“Our mission is to put on the premier gala event for Japan’s foreign business community, and act as the primary fundraiser of the year for the ACCJ, while supporting local charities. And we have a great time in the process,” explained Kevin Naylor, vice chair of the Charity Ball Committee.

The committee differs from other ACCJ groups in that it doesn’t represent a particular industry. The committee focuses on both charity and the goal of staging the best event possible.

Previously known as the Crystal Ball, the benefit’s name was changed after the events of 9/11. The charity event is very important on the ACCJ calendar, as it is the main fundraiser for many ACCJ-supported local and Tohoku-based charities.

One side effect of the financial crisis—that has been playing out since the Lehman shock and has hit charities very hard—is the reduced availability of funding, especially from hard-hit foreign companies.

Through it all, the Charity Ball has remained a strong supporter of many worthy causes. Last year, over ¥7 million was donated to a number of worthy charities from the cash sponsorships, raffle ticket sales, and auction collections generated by the ball.

Requests from charities remain high, and the Charity Ball is supporting a range of charities this year that are active both in the Kanto and Tohoku regions (see list).

The Charity Ball Committee organizes this valuable support for organizations that help people living here while also putting on an evening to be remembered.

The reasons for attending this year’s ball are many. Not least is the excellent opportunity the event provides attendees to network with top US business leaders and members of the Japanese business community. Then there are the terrific raffle prizes and, of course, this year’s fun theme: New York—The Empire State.

“New York State has so much to offer. Steeped in history, New York is home to the world’s premier city and one of the nation’s largest parks. From Niagara Falls to the Hudson River, the High Peaks to the Catskills we hope to give our attendees a taste of the entire state,” said Charity Ball Chair Barbara Hancock.

“Guests will be treated to New York-inspired songs by John Ken Nuzzo, and our hosts for the evening will be former Tokyoites Lisle Wilkerson and Jeff Shimamoto with more entertainment news coming soon!” Hancock added.

In addition, attendees can expect a delicious New York-inspired menu created by top chefs, as well as pairings with wines from New York State.

According to Naylor, “the full menu is still top secret, but will definitely not be a disappointment, although we have a high hurdle to clear, set by the menu and wines from last year’s event!”

Mike Makino Fund for the Homeless Community Service Fund
TELL (Tokyo English Life Line) (
Fukushima City Public School System (
Minato Council for Social Welfare (
MIT 3/11 Initiative (
Polaris Project Japan (

More information:;


DividerGlamorous attendees at the 1962 Crystal Ball.