The Journal The Authority on Global Business in Japan


Bucket List
Samuel Kidder

A little over a month ago we sent out a press release announcing my retirement at the end of this year.

It has been an eventful eight-plus years for me, and I hope a successful period for the chamber. And now, with just months to go, I am putting together my Japan bucket list.

One thing I had always considered was climbing Mt. Fuji.

I can now scratch that off my list, and nod in agreement with all the others who have climbed and learned that Mt. Fuji looks better at a distance than it does up close.

Nevertheless, the view from the summit is certainly worth the ascent. And the descent is just as arduous. Now I have to get myself up Tokyo Tower. Looming over our offices, it always seemed reserved for tourists rather than ACCJ staff.

Chamber goals
So, what’s on the bucket list for the ACCJ in the next few months? One thing I’d really like to accomplish would be seeing membership headcount hit 3,000. We’re getting close.

Before the so-called Lehman Shock in 2008, we had just over 3,000 names on our rosters.

As we closed out the numbers at the end of this July, we had climbed back up to 2,916 from a low of 2,595 after the twin shocks of the financial crisis and the tragic events of March 2011.

Another goal between now and the end of the year would be scoring an appointment with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during our Diet Doorknock this fall.

Several years ago, when the Democratic Party of Japan was in power, I was on the Doorknock team that paid a call on Mr. Abe, who was then a member of the Diet.

We will remind him that we kept him on the top of our list even while he was in the political wilderness, so that he knows the ACCJ is much more than a fair-weather friend.

In addition, after years of discussion, we expect to go ahead with a sampling of programs this fall in Japanese with English interpretation.

The motivation is not just to make it easier for some of our Japanese members and guests. It is also a way to increase our speaker pool and tap into the deep vein of Japanese speakers who are not normally available for our Japanese-challenged members.



Samuel Kidder