The Journal The Authority on Global Business in Japan


Condolences, Opportunities and Appreciation

The Chamber extends its condolences to those in, and those who have been a part of, the international business community in Tokyo, Chubu and Kansai who are grieving the loss of loved ones and colleagues who perished on Malaysian Airlines Flight 17.

We also extend our condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of ACCJ member Yoshinori “John” Ikezoe, the CEO and Co-owner of RE/MAX Japan. John passed away suddenly in early July.

He was a panelist on the Leaders and Role Models breakout session during the Women in Business Summit in May and was very excited to be launching RE/MAX Japan.

Opportunities to Get More Involved
The 2014 Nominations Committee—with Royanne Doi serving as Chair, Harry Hill as Vice Chair and Allan Smith as Board Liaison—will be working hard over the summer to draft a proposed slate of qualified candidates for positions on the ACCJ Board of Governors.

The slate will be presented at the 2014 Ordinary General Meeting this coming fall. If you are interested in being nominated or have any questions about the nominations process or what the eligibility requirements are to hold an elected office, please contact Royanne, Harry, Allan or Sam Kidder.

This year several members have indicated an interest in reinstituting the Education Committee, given the importance of training students and employees so that they can work even more successfully in an increasingly global work environment, and to empower future generations (especially young women) to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Tourism is another renewed area of interest for many members and, given the opportunities presented by the current popularity of Japan as a vacation destination and by the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, we will look to revitalize our current Travel Industry Committee to strengthen its focus on tourism.

If you are interested in joining either committee, being a part of committee leadership, helping create new committee descriptions and/or brainstorming about possible speakers, advocacy issues or information that would be helpful for committee members, please contact me, Sam or Laura Younger. We welcome your involvement and ideas.

These are areas of interest that members have recently brought to my attention. If there are other business areas that you are interested in but do not see covered by an existing committee, subcommittee or task force, please let me, Sam or Laura know.

Sam Kidder Announces His Retirement

In case you missed the press release, Sam announced that he will retire from the ACCJ at the end of this year after serving as Executive Director for eight and one-half years.

Prior to joining the ACCJ, Sam had a distinguished career with the U.S. Foreign Commercial Service, during which, among other posts, he served as Minister-Counselor for Commercial Affairs at the Embassy of the United States in Tokyo.

Sam has helped the Chamber maintain its solid financial foundation, even in the wake of the global financial crisis, and was a primary conduit for the sharing of information between US government authorities and ACCJ members during the Great East Japan Earthquake.

During Sam’s tenure, the ACCJ has expanded its advocacy through landmark thought pieces, including the 2009 Internet economy white paper, the 2010 growth strategy white paper, as well as white papers in the healthcare and financial services sectors. He has welcomed as guest speakers two sitting prime ministers and has engaged many US and Japanese Cabinet members and thought leaders on economic and policy issues affecting the United States and Japan.

We are very grateful for Sam’s many contributions and look forward to working with him further over the next five months. 
We are very focused on ensuring a smooth transition after Sam’s retirement and the search for Sam’s successor is well under way. If you have any questions about the transition or the search process, please contact me or Sam.

2014 Diet Doorknock
This year’s Diet Doorknock (DDK) will take place on October 28–30. The DDK is the Chamber’s largest consolidated advocacy initiative, in which ACCJ leaders and members engage with Diet members and senior government officials on key issues of import to the ACCJ.

Last year more than 70 ACCJ members visited about 50 members of the Diet and other ministry officials.
It is a tremendous undertaking organized by the Government Relations Committee, which is chaired by Arthur Mitchell and vice-chaired by Larry Greenwood.

If you would like to assist with this year’s DDK, please contact Arthur, Larry, Sam or Ethan Schwalbe (the ACCJ Associate Director for External Affairs). Your committee leaders can also provide you with more information about the DDK, including how to participate. •



Jay Ponazecki