The Journal The Authority on Global Business in Japan

Advocacy work is what sets the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ACCJ) apart within the region. The ACCJ represents US business on the ground, and the perspectives provided by members lead to an unparalleled set of recommen­dations and observations on the state of global business in Japan. To further strengthen this work, the ACCJ is focused on increasing member engagement in its advocacy initiatives. This spring, the ACCJ launched the F500 CEO Advisory Council to better harness the power of one unique segment—the leaders of business in Japan—to create a better business environment.

The council will be co-chaired by Jonathan Kindred, president and CEO of Morgan Stanley Japan Holdings Co., Ltd., and Bob Noddin, president and CEO of AIG Japan Holdings KK, and is open exclusively to CEOs of ACCJ Corporate Sustaining Members that are included on the annual Fortune 500 list.

Jonathan Kindred (left) and Bob Noddin are co-chairs of the council.


The first meeting took place on April 19 at Morgan Stanley in Otemachi, where ACCJ President Sachin N. Shah welcomed everyone with an overview of the F500 initiative. Kindred and Noddin outlined the council’s goals and structure, and the CEOs then discussed an actionable advocacy agenda that syncs with the ACCJ’s five priority issues:

  • workforce productivity
  • health and retirement
  • digital economy
  • US–Japan economic partnership• tourism, sports, and hospitality.

“For many US companies, Japan is still one of the biggest global markets. That’s why we require a strong voice on policies needed to continue improving commercial ties between the United States and Japan, and the business environment here,” said Shah.

The upcoming DC Doorknock—an ACCJ event in which chamber members meet with policy­makers in Washington to discuss issues critical to the US–Japan economic relationship—was also a topic at the first meeting. ACCJ Vice President Amy Jackson and Governor Brett Gerry led a presentation and discussion of the chamber’s messaging and engagement strategy, and F500 CEO Advisory Council members provided their feedback on what topics should be prioritized when the ACCJ goes to Washington for the Doorknock in May.

“Many of the challenges and opportunities facing Japan, such as aging, require engagement across multiple industries,” said Kindred. “As CEOs of the largest US companies in Japan, we can promote cross-industry solutions that highlight the best of what ACCJ members have to offer.”

With a strong foundation, the F500 CEO Advisory Council, which next meets in July, promises to raise the level of engage­ment within the ACCJ and strengthen the voice of the chamber as it continues to work on behalf of US businesses in Japan.

The Small Company CEO Advisory Council, created by the ACCJ, held its first meeting on April 10 and represents a wide-range of experience, highlighting the diversity of small companies among the ACCJ membership. The council discussed ways to better promote small companies within the ACCJ, to more effectively link businesses, to host networking events that support their growth, and to better equip the ACCJ as an organization to support this important member segment. The Small Company CEO Advisory Council is chaired by one of the ACCJ’s most successful entrepreneurs, Harry Hill of Oak Lawn Marketing, Inc.

Christopher Bryan Jones is Editor-in-Chief of The ACCJ Journal. Originally from Birmingham, Alabama, he has lived in Japan since 1997.
As CEOs of the largest US companies in Japan, we can promote cross-industry solutions that highlight the best of what ACCJ members have to offer.