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Wed 30 May 2012

Event report: NCCJ Annual General Meeting 2012

Event report: NCCJ Annual General Meeting 2012

The NCCJ’s Annual General Meeting took place this year in the Deshima Lounge at the Netherlands Embassy, with new Chairman Hans van der Tang running the gathering.

Hans started with a brief rundown of the past year’s highlights, including the chamber’s assistance to the tsunami-struck town of Yamada-machi, in particular the donation of Y6 million and a much-needed Miffy-adorned school bus to help the town’s children commute to school. He also noted some of the successful events in the last year, notably the three Lotgenoten gatherings and the recent Giving Back to Japan 2 event, as well as personnel changes within the chamber since the last AGM, including Membership Committee Chairperson Wendela Elsen Nakajima being replaced by Bjorn Courage; Chairman Duco Delgorge replaced by Hans, who was replaced as secretary by Taco de Vries; and the departure of auditor Arno Groenewoud. There were some newcomers too, such as two new auditors, Diederik Ellemeet and Pieter Janson.

The committee chairmen then gave short presentations detailing their committees’ activities, beginning with Treasurer Jan Remie, who gave a brief rundown on the chamber’s very tidy finances.

 Activities Committee Vice-Chairman Richard van Rooij talked about events in the last year organized for the benefit of members, including a variety of presentations, the three well-regarded Lotgenoten, in which businesspeople discussed their experiences, knowledge and opinions on doing business in Japan; networking events and various joint chamber activities; and the activities with the Oranda-jima Foundation and the very successful Giving Back to Japan 2 event on May 16 this year, which attracted an audience of over 400 people. Activities also included a trip to view sumo training with people from prominent micro-motor maker Mabuchi Motor in September last year, and another excursion in March this year to tour Mitsubishi Heavy Industries production facilities.

 Membership in the NCCJ, as committee Chairman Bjorn Courage noted, has been somewhat limited, though stable, and showed a slight uptick in the last year, from 66 to 72 members in total. The committee is actively trying to recruit more, however, through its new LinkedIn NCCJ group, committee expansion, encouragement of referrals by existing members and creating flyers to spark interest in the chamber, as well as a Facebook page that is under considerations.

 Communications Chairman Maarten Molenaar outlined his committee’s efforts to boost the chamber’s brand and its ability to pass on relevant information to members and people outside the chamber. This was primarily through the new website, as well as a newsletter that is closely tied to the website, online ads, including banner ads from sponsors and job postings, and professional support for updating information such as chamber news and events, member news, etc.

 The External Relations Committee was also active in the last year. Chairman Takeo Nishitani described his committee’s successful efforts to create ties with outside organizations, as well as the committee part in negotiating a special favor from Dick Bruna to use his character Miffy on the school bus donated to the town of Yamada-machi. The committee is applying its expertise to events planned for the coming year, including speakers, tie-ups with other chambers, visits to industrial sites and the Deshima Business Award 2012.
 European Business Council Representative Taco de Vries gave a rundown on the activities of the EBC and its strenuous and varied efforts to improve the trade and investment environment for European companies in Japan.

To wind up the meeting, all regular members present voted for the new 11-member Management Committee to be chaired by Hans van der Tang, as well as the two auditors, Diederik Ellemeet and Pieter Janson. All the nominees being eminently qualified and suitable, and the quorum of 13 regular members being present, the motions were passed unanimously with a show of green voting cards.

 All business thus properly addressed, the participants then retired to the nearby La tana di Bacco restaurant to partake of its superb food and drinks.