British Chamber of Commerce in Japan

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British Chamber of Commerce Japan
Abbreviation BCCJ
Formation 1948; 69 years ago (1948)
Type Chamber of Commerce
Legal status Non-Profit
Purpose Trade and Investment
Headquarters Tokyo, Japan
David Bickle
Main organ
Board of Governors

The British Chamber of Commerce in Japan is an independent non-profit organisation that promotes trade and aims to strengthen business ties between the UK and Japan. The BCCJ, which marks its 65th anniversary in 2014, is a private membership organisation serving over 800 high-calibre members - of which approximately 200 are member companies.

The BCCJ is open to members of all nationalities, and offers events, networking and promotional opportunities, information services, and access to influential individuals and institutions.

The BCCJ's mission is to strengthen business ties between the UK and Japan, support the business interests of members, and actively encourage new British business into the Japanese market as well as Japanese investment into the UK.

The mission is supported by long-standing links with the British Embassy, the British Council, the European Business Council, as well as a network of trade organisations in Japan and the UK.

2015-2016 Executive Committee[edit]

Leadership Position Member Name Company Title
President David Bickle Deloitte Tohmatsu Tax Co.
Vice President Jonty Brunner British Airways
Executive Director Lori Henderson, MBE
Executive Committee Member Steve Crane Business Link Japan
Executive Committee Member Graham Davis Individual Member
Executive Committee Member Jonty Brunner British Airways
Executive Committee Member James Dodds KPMG
Executive Committee Member Simon Farrell Custom Media K.K.
Executive Committee Member Philippe Fauchet GSK K.K.
Executive Committee Member Iain Ferguson Lloyd's Japan Inc.
Executive Committee Member Susumu Kaminaga Individual Member
Executive Committee Member Ajab Samrai Ogilvy and Mather Japan Group
Executive Committee Member Reiko Sakimura Clifford Chance Law Office
Executive Committee Member John Short Kreab Gavin Anderson K.K.
Executive Committee Member Richard Thornley, CBE Individual Member
Executive Committee Member Trevor Webster Devere Group Tokyo K.K.

Books for Smiles Project[edit]

The BCCJ's Books for Smiles Project invites firms of all sizes and across all industry sectors to support the professional development of Japan’s disadvantaged youth by donating books. All proceeds from the sale of second-hand books are used to provide tuition for youngsters leaving welfare facilities in Japan.[1] Regarding the Books for Smiles Project, the BCCJ is in partnership with NPO Bridge for Smile, a not-for-profit organisation certified by the National Tax Agency which teaches care-leavers how to build social skills, manage a budget, find accommodation and get a job.

Early History - 1948-1963[edit]

The British Chamber of Commerce in Japan was founded in the early months of 1948 by a number of British businessmen, including the late William Salter and the late Douglas Kenrick. Despite being founded in 1948, it wasn't until 1955 that the use of the name 'British Chamber of Commerce in Japan' was permitted by the Ministry of Trade and Industry. [2] The permission to use this name was followed by the granting of the organisation Foreign Juridical Person status under Article 36 of the Civil Code. The Treaty of Commerce, Establishment and Navigation between Japan and the UK ratified this status in 1963, allowing the chamber to set up a permanent secretariat.


In 1968 the BCCJ and the British Embassy Tokyo were involved in the organisation of 'British Week', which was to be held between September 26-October 5, 1969.[3] Furthermore, after 'British Week' the Japanese prime minister is said to have commented that British businesses were not trying hard enough in the Japanese market - leading to the foundation of the British Marketing Centre (BMC) in Aoyama-itchome. In the following years, the British Marketing Centre, alongside the BCCJ and the British Embassy Tokyo were involved in collaboration of campaigns such as Opportunity Japan, Priority Japan and Opportunity Japan, which ran through the 1990s. [4]


In 1987, the decision was made to hire an executive director with a media and communications background, an important turning point in terms of advertising and making the BCCJ more accessible to members. Furthermore, in 1987, the chamber office was moved to a central location with improved office space and a large meeting room at its disposal, due to the generous donations to the chamber.[5]


During the 1990s, the BCCJ produced a number of publications, such as Japan Posting, Research and Development in Japan, and Gaijin Scientist. These were the results of initiatives such as the Science and Technology Action Group and the Small and Medium Business Initiative. Moreover, in 1997 the British Industry Centre (BIC) was established in Yokohama, due to a collaboration between the BCCJ, the City of Yokohama and Nomura Real Estate, with the support of the British Government and the British Embassy Tokyo. This initiative was designed to encourage British firms to set up and do business in Japan. The 1990s also signified the first year that a Japanese member (Sukeyoshi Yamamoto of NSK Ltd.) had been asked to join the Executive Committee.


Following on from the 1990s, the 2000s were also a decade for improved diversity in amongst the BCCJ Executive Committee. This was demonstrated with the election of Alison Pockett as the President in 2004. The executive committee and staff continues to reflect the diversity and inclusion policy of the BCCJ.

High-Profile Visitors to the BCCJ[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "What is 'Books for Smiles?'" Archived March 31, 2014, at the Wayback Machine., Date accessed 14 January 2014.
  2. ^ de Stains, Ian. "Strength to Strength", BCCJ ACUMEN, Tokyo, October 2013.
  3. ^ British National Export Council(1969). British Week in Tokyo September 26-October 5, 1969: Special Advertising Offer, British National Export Council, London.
  4. ^ de Stains, Ian.
  5. ^ de Stains, Ian.