The Journal The Authority on Global Business in Japan


June 2014
More Collaboration and Cooperation
Samuel Kidder

So how are we doing with collaboration and cooperation? You will remember, or if you’ve forgotten you have now been reminded, that as the chamber kicked off the year ACCJ President Jay Ponazecki declared that the ACCJ initials can best be understood as standing for Collaboration and Cooperation between America and Japan. And this phrase can be applied to many aspects of the chamber’s activities.

On the advocacy front, we met with leaders of the Keizai Doyukai (The Japan Association of Corporate Executives) to discuss how we could best work together to encourage the Japanese and US governments to make progress on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations.

Our discussions led to an agreement to prepare an advocacy document. In the run-up to President Barack Obama’s visit to Japan and his meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, we issued a joint statement that made it clear to both governments that support for a robust TPP agreement is a shared goal for the business communities in both countries.

And while we are on the topic of advocacy, in March our Internet Economy Task Force, in association with Keidanren (the Japan Business Federation), put out their own US–Japan Internet Economy Industry Forum Joint Statement which clearly outlines areas where US and Japanese companies can collaborate and cooperate.

While it is helpful to have allies when we are advocating, it is imperative to have help when putting together major events.

For years our Chubu Chapter has been working with the Nagoya International School to stage the Chubu Walkathon. The chapter initiated the annual event; a tradition that has now spread to all three chapters.

The partnership with the Nagoya International School, a pairing that has been going strong for years, has made the Chubu Walkathon a very prominent event not only for our members, but for the broader Nagoya community.

Our biggest indoor event of the season, and maybe for the year, was also a team effort. Combining the organizational strengths of the ACCJ with the prestige of the U.S.-Japan Council, with its unequaled network of Japanese and American leaders, we co-hosted the Women in Business Summit. The sellout event attracted hundreds of participants in a full-day program that focused on Japan’s need to take advantage of its women as an engine of renewed economic vigor.

But not to worry. ACCJ won’t get too carried away with this collaboration and cooperation theme. If what you’re looking for is contention and competition, we have that on the schedule too.

Just sign up and show up at Atsugi Kokusai Country Club on October 10 with your putter and help us collaborate and cooperate with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Japan as the North American team prevails over our friends from the European chambers in the 12th Mercedes-Benz Japan Cup.



Samuel Kidder