The Journal The Authority on Global Business in Japan



Celebrating Hard Work And Community Spirit

As many of you know, Sam Kidder is retiring at the end of this month. The Chamber has achieved a lot over the past eight-and-a-half years, including constitutional reform, the issuance of 500+ individual advocacy pieces including white papers, viewpoints, public comments and press releases, helping members navigate the uncertainty that followed the Tohoku triple disaster, hosting the Asia–Pacific Council of American Chambers of Commerce’s 2012 U.S.-Asia Business Summit and producing the Chamber’s first Women in Business Summit.

This year the Chamber produced its largest-ever speaker event, the ACCJ-USJC Women in Business Summit, as well as implemented several important initiatives and expanded its digital footprint.

Please join me in thanking Sam for all he has done for the Chamber and in wishing him many years of good health and happiness.

Corporate Sustainability
The Chamber’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Committee was originally created to foster CSR awareness in Japan. Recently other committees have begun to address traditional CSR topics, and the CSR Committee has been less active.

Earlier this year, I questioned whether our CSR focus was up-to-date and whether we were providing a forum for members to discuss current trends in corporate sustainability and share related global best practices. I am pleased to announce that the CSR Committee has been renamed the Sustainability Committee and will contribute to the ongoing dialogue in Japan on corporate sustainability, including methods of sustainability reporting and assurance.

This reflects our belief that businesses can thrive when they contribute to the larger community, have multi-stakeholder engagement and engage in sustainable policies that take into account factors such as the environment, social change and management practices.

To learn more about or join the Sustainability Committee, please contact the Committee’s co-chairs, Charles McJilton from Second Harvest Japan and Keiichi Ushijima from EY Japan, or Laura Younger or me.

Charity Ball
I look forward to seeing many of you at this year’s charity ball on December 5 at the ANA InterContinental Tokyo. This is the Chamber’s premier social event that raises funds for Japanese charities that are doing so much to help those in need.

Thank you very much for your tremendous support of this year’s recipient charities: JKSK NPO (Empowering Women, Empowering Society), Smiling Hospital Japan, the Taylor Anderson Memorial Fund, the ACCJ-YMCA Ohisama Camp for Handicapped Children, the ACCJ Mike Makino Fund for the Homeless and the ACCJ Community Service Fund.

Please join me in thanking this year’s charity ball sponsors. They have generously contributed cash and made in-kind donations to ensure there will be terrific raffle prizes as well as silent and live auction items. We hope you will purchase many raffle tickets and bid on many auction items to support this year’s charities.

The charity ball would not be possible without the dedicated efforts of the ACCJ Charity Ball Committee: Chair Barbara Hancock, Vice-Chair Kevin Naylor, Tom Whitson, Amir Khan and Roni Krinsky.

They truly embody the spirit of volunteerism that is at the root of everything we do as a member-driven organization. Please join me in thanking them for their dedication, hard work and passion for this key event. We also appreciate all the support provided by the Chamber office, particularly by Humza Ahmad, Misaki Kondo, Ayako Nakano and George Ohyama.

Please also congratulate our Chubu and Kansai chapters for their successful charity walkathons this year. The 2014 Chubu & NIS Walkathon raised ¥7 million for 26 local charities and the 2014 Kansai Walk-A-Thon raised nearly ¥9 million for local charities supporting working women.

Thank You and Happy Holidays
This is a very positive time for the ACCJ, with increased membership growth bringing us back to pre-Lehman shock membership levels. Thank you for helping make this such a successful year for the Chamber.

I look forward to continuing to work with all of you in the spirit of collaboration and cooperation—and in a positive culture premised on mutual respect and trust—so that together we can make this terrific organization and its members shine even brighter.

I wish all of you safe travels and abundant quality time with family and friends over the upcoming holiday season, and a personally and professionally rewarding New Year.



Jay Ponazecki