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Tue 02 February 2016

Event Report: NCCJ Shinnenkai 2016, January 28, 2016

To the strains of a boisterous “kampai”, members of the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce in Japan welcomed the new year at a lively shinnenkai (New Year’s Party) on 28 January. The event, at Brasserie Va-tout in Roppongi, was held in collaboration with the Holland Alumni Network Japan.

The Dutch ambassador, His Excellency Aart Jacobi, offered the toast and welcoming address, in flawless Japanese. The ambassador, who recently returned to Japan for the third time in his career, also accepted the title of honorary NCCJ chairman. He said he looks forward to continued cooperation between the embassy and the chamber.

“When I was here previously, I interacted with the chamber on a very regular basis,” Jacobi said. “What I like about the NCCJ is that it has the Dutch business community organized. It’s much easier if there is an organization that has the database of everything that is business and Dutch in Tokyo. That makes it easy for us, to appeal to them, to cooperate with them, instead of trying to find out individual companies.”

As members and guests sipped wine or craft beers, and tasted traditional herring and other treats, they were able to share stories and meet new colleagues in the spirit of networking that has become synonymous with NCCJ events. Chamber Chairman Hans van der Tang said the annual shinnenkai is particularly popular due to the involvement of the alumni network.

“In recent memory, this has been a well-visited event,” said van der Tang. “When the two groups meet, it gives a bit of a different atmosphere; not only business people, but also younger people. Some come from all kinds of backgrounds: musicians, people who work in R&D, and so on.”

The alumni network is made up of people who have studied in the Netherlands and connects members from different educational, professional and geographic backgrounds. NCCJ Vice Chairman Hiroshi Ishiwata says creating international opportunities for younger Japanese is important to the chamber.

“I’ve been trying to promote globalization of the Japanese people,” said Ishiwata. “[They] often visit foreign countries, but just for a trip or sight-seeing. I want to create an environment where Japanese people can exchange opinions or have an environment for discussion.

“So we can utilize the NCCJ for this kind of community to provide this kind of event.”

In all, 53 members and guests enjoyed the shinnenkai, welcoming in what they hope will be a prosperous and happy 2016.

Event Photos