The Journal The Authority on Global Business in Japan


February 2014

Collaboration and Cooperation

Shinnenkai, meetings, and Board of Governors planning session yield key actions

Jay Ponazecki

I very much look forward to collaborating and cooperating with each of you throughout the year to make this terrific organization even better.

We are off to a good start. First we had well-attended shinnenkai in Tokyo, Nagoya, and Kobe. Then there were meetings with United States Senator for Florida Marco Rubio—Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s East Asian and Pacific Affairs Subcommittee—and Deputy Secretary of State of the United States William Burns. We took advantage of the time spent with the politicians to convey our continued commitment to fostering economic growth in the United States and Japan.

The Board of Governors had a very productive strategic planning session on January 21. I would like to share some of the key actions it took.

  • Appointment of 2014 ACCJ Chairman

The chairman serves in an advisory and external relations capacity and represents the chamber externally when the president is unable to do so.
While former presidents have served as chairman, it was never intended that this would always be the case.

I wanted to create a precedent to encourage future presidents to consider the other presidential nominee.

This respects the accomplishments of the other candidate, those members who voted for him or her, and the hard work of the Nominations Committee.

Chris LaFleur, the new chairman, and I have a shared vision for the chamber; our experiences are complementary and create a win–win situation for the chamber.

  • Formation of Membership Relations Advisory Council

This strategic body—chaired by Jeff Bernier with Rebecca Green as vice-chair—will advise the president and the board on membership-related matters including engaging, developing, and retaining existing members; reaching out to prospective new members; and increasing the number of members.

This will continue the good work of last year’s Special Presidential Task Force.

Rebecca will also lead an initiative on further developing the next generation of US–Japan and ACCJ leaders.

  • Formation of Japanese Membership Relations Subcommittee

This important committee will focus on increasing Japanese member satisfaction and participation in ACCJ events.

Thomas Shockley will be one of the chairs and the co- and vice-chairs will soon be appointed.

If you would like to join this newly formed subcommittee, please let Thomas, Laura Younger, Aki Watanuki, or me know. We welcome your participation.

  • Formation of Integrated Resorts Task Force

The board approved the formation of this task force in anticipation of a bill being adopted by the Japanese Diet this spring allowing Japan to have its first integrated resorts (large-scale, mixed-use developments including casinos and hotels, as well as shopping, convention and entertainment facilities) that will create opportunities for many business sectors.

The potential economic impact of integrated resorts in Japan could far exceed those for the 2020 Games, and ACCJ member companies from a wide range of industries are likely to benefit from this legislation.

The task force—chaired by Seth Sulkin—will represent the interests of ACCJ members and help create business opportunities through information sharing and advocacy.

There will be a series of kick-off meetings in February. If you are interested in participating, please contact Seth.

  • Women in Business Summit

The board gave Royanne Doi and the Women in Business Committee the green light to proceed with the Second Annual U.S.–Japan Council/ACCJ Women in Business Summit (May 27).

Women and men in all industries are invited to attend. If you would like to sponsor, or participate in producing, this event, please contact Royanne, Elizabeth Handover, or Deborah Hayden.

Your feedback and recommendations contribute greatly to the success and growth of the chamber. We appreciate your taking the time to submit event surveys and encourage you to contact Sam Kidder, Laura, Aki, me—or any ACCJ leader with any feedback or questions that you may have.


DividerJay Ponazecki