The Journal The Authority on Global Business in Japan

Each December, American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ACCJ) members and guests gather for a night of celebration and support for the community. Our challenge this year, in our socially distanced world, is to bring you an evening that we hope you will enjoy with family, friends, and colleagues—virtually! Working out the details has been more challenging than we first thought, but we hope what we come up with will prove to be an entertaining fundraising evening for all.

Let’s start with supporting some of the local restaurants and wine vendors that have worked with us in past years. Located in Azabu-juban, Soul Food House has been part of our Charity Ball since they opened in 2015, with owner and chef LaTonya Whitaker providing us with her special Cajun Gumbo and Nashville Hot Chicken. About this year’s struggles, she said:

“Soul Food House has always been about community and bringing the taste of home to the hearts and homes of people living in Japan. Whether you are a native Japanese or an expat living in Japan for a season, you are all family when you walk through our doors or order through a delivery service.

“Running a restaurant is not always easy. Covid-19 hasn’t made it any better, but we continue to work hard for you, our customers. Your continued support, love, and encouragement keep us going. If there were no you, there would be no Soul Food House. Thank you for loving us. We are grateful.”

Robert Rann, owner of Bistro Vino in Roppongi, has been one of our yearly wine vendors at the Charity Ball Wine Taste-off, often supplying the winning wines for the evening. He said: “Bistro Vino was developed to build a community of wine lovers in Roppongi with a sense of place where people can enjoy great food and wines at reasonable prices. We are grateful for our loyal customers who keep coming back during these difficult times, and as a community we will all get through this together.”

We hope you will reach out to them for your dinner on December 5, and will be providing details as we get closer to the event. Watch the ACCJ website and communications for more.

We have had many great entertainers at the Charity Ball over the years, and several will be performing as part of this virtual event. In our search for that remote paradise, you will be enter­tained by some of our favorites, including:

  • Mississippi blues man Steve Gardner
  • Country and gospel singer Jett Edwards
  • Jazz pianist and composer Kevin McHugh
  • Guitarist Chris Grundy
  • Latin musician Alexander LP
  • The ACCJ’s own Andrew Silberman

All these performers are thrilled to be part of the evening, and will be coming to us directly from Quarantinaville.

Steve Gardner said: “Support is nearly everything to the performing artist. Those who lend a hand, open their hearts, come out, shout out, and sing out, keep all of us going. We tighten our mask and bump our elbows to you with hats off and high hopes for better days.”

We look forward to your support for our charities and for those who are struggling to keep their businesses and livelihoods going. Continue to watch our website for updates and look forward to seeing you all there!

Save the Date: Saturday, December 5!

There are many ways that you can assist, so please visit our website for more details on sponsorship, charities, and how to be part of the evening at: