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Fri 10 June 2016

Event Report: AGM 2016

The Annual General Meeting 2016 was held in the evening of 25 May in the Deshima Lounge of the Embassy of the Netherlands in Tokyo. Our thanks are due to the Embassy for allowing us to use their facilities for this meeting.

The NCCJ Chairman, Hans van der Tang, opened the proceedings by reporting that a quorum (12 voters present, and 18 proxies) had been established and that any resolutions adopted would be binding.

Following the confirmation of the previous AGM's minutes (there were no matters arising), a brief overview of the year's events was presented by van der Tang before the Board members presented their individual reports.

The Treasurer, Mr. Tetsuo Hoshiya, provided a statement of accounts (which had been audited by Mr. Stuart Brison of Arrow) showing a significant increase in both the income and overall financial position of the Chamber, thanks to the results of an increase in membership. A few specific points were mentioned as expenditure, including support for the Web site, and JPY500,000 set aside for the Deshima Business Awards.

Next, Martin van der Linden as the Chair of the Activities Committee described the purposes of the events organised by the committee: knowledge-building; sharing experience; networking, and; CSR activities. He listed some of the activities that had taken place over the past year: presentations; lotgenoten; aperitif networking; joint chamber events, and; the Oranda-jima Foundation. Specifically he mentioned a "behind the scenes" look at the operations of the Shangri-la Hotel, and the visit to JAXA at Tsukuba.

This presentation was followed by a report from the Membership Committee, presented by Richard van Rooij, who gave an account of how the decline in membership figures had not only been arrested, but reversed, thanks to an outreach policy that was implemented through company visits, and so on. The core membership has increased to 50 from a one-time low of 41, with an overall total of 97 members, compared to 65 in 2013.

Maarten Molenaar reported on the activities of the Communications Committee, concentrating on the Web site, which has become the primary method of informing the membership of forthcoming initiatives and activities, as well as providing reports and photographs of past activities. The newsletter also provides the membership with continued news on projects and other activities.

For the External Relations Committee, Takeo Nishitani reported on the relations with external organisations over the past year, supporting the Membership and Activities committees, and providing liaison and support for other Dutch-Japanese trade organisations, and work with JETRO. In addition, the Committee could take credit for the organisation, with JAXA, of the Tsukuba visit mentioned earlier.

Akira Havermans gave a report on the Deshima Business Awards Committee, in his capacity as Vice Chairman (Han van der Tang acting as Chairman). These awards are made on a biennial basis in Japan, recognising those companies active in Japanese operations (the awards are made in the Netherlands in alternate years). He provided a brief description of the 2014 event, where their Majesties the King and Queen of the Netherlands attended, but this year, it is hoped that the Embassy will be able to arrange some suitably illustrious personage to attend the ceremonies. The winners of the Awards will be announced in early September, following judging of submissions.

Van der Tang wrapped up the reports by thanking the Embassy for their help and cooperation with the Awards, followed by a report on the European Business Council (on behalf of the Chair, Hiroshi Ishiwata whose presence was required in New York) that represents the interests of 2,500 European corporate and individual members in 30 business sectors. He detailed the ways in which the EBC can assist its members, including joining the relevant committee to facilitate access the appropriate Japanese authorities and explained the importance of these committees in enabling the trade partnership between Europe and Japan.

The next major item on the agenda was the election of the management committee, with the Chairman, Vice-Chairman and Treasurer being the same as the past year. The following were proposed as candidates and the proposal was passed (with the chairmanship of the Activities Committee remaining temporarily vacant). 

Chairman - Hans van der Tang (Japan Advisory) Vice Chairman,
EBC Representative and Vice Chairman External Relations Committee- Hiroshi Ishiwata (ASML Japan)
Secretary - Karsten Vijge (DSM Japan)
Treasurer - Tetsuo Hoshiya (ING Bank N.V., Tokyo Branch)
Chairman Membership Committee and Vice Chairman Activities Committee - Richard van Rooij (Colliers International)
Chairman Communications Committee - Maarten Molenaar (MasterMind)
Chairman External Relations Committee - Takeo Nishitani (DUJAT)
Vice Chairman Membership Committee - Martin van der Linden (van der Architects Japan)
Vice Chairman Communications Committee - Jason Broad (Philips Electronics Japan)
Chairman Deshima Business Awards Committe - Hans van der Tang (Japan Advisory)
Vice Chairman Deshima Business Awards Committe - Akira Havermans (AEGON)
Chairman Activities Committee - Vacant

Stuart Brison was proposed as Auditor (for the third year) and this proposal was also accepted. The aims and purpose of the Oranda Jima House for children was explained, and a presentation was made to Jan Waninge to thank him for his service to NCCJ over the years. This concluded the formal business of the evening, and the participants moved to the La tana di Bacco restaurant for the Aperitif of drinks and a buffet of Italian-style dishes, and informal networking.

Event Photos