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Wed 24 May 2017 19:00 - 20:00

NCCJ 2017 Annual General Meeting, May 24, 2017

An Evening of Smiles and Sayonaras

It was a night of fond farewells at the Netherland Chamber of Commerce in Japan’s 2017 annual general meeting. Several members of the NCCJ’s Management Committee said their goodbyes, including chairman Hans van der Tang, who steps down after five years.

  “I want to thank everybody I have worked with in the last five years,” said van der Tang, after the meeting. After leading the NCCJ through some important events and changes, Mr. van der Tang will now step into the background. However, he promises to stay involved with the NCCJ in the future.“I paid my membership yesterday,” he quipped, to the laughter of members in the room.

Mr. van der Tang’s successor is 28-year old Jorg van Leeuwen, Manager of International Tax Services (Dutch Desk) for PwC Tax Japan. The native of Bergen op Zoom in the South-West of the Netherlands is relatively new to Japan and the NCCJ. However, Mr. van Leeuwen said he is thrilled to be taking on the new role. “During my past year in Japan, I very much enjoyed the NCCJ events,” he added. “I was surprised to see how actively engaged the members are and I believe the NCCJ plays an important role in helping them maintain and expand their professional and personal network within the Dutch (business) community. It's a great honor and pleasure to be able to contribute to that within this new role.”

Van Leeuwen also had some kind farewell comments for his outgoing predecessor. “Hans has been Chairman of the NCCJ for an impressive five years,” he said. “I've seen him in action during various board meetings and events in the past year and there is definitely a lot I could learn from his way of doing things.”  

External Relations Committee Chairman Takeo Nishitani and European Business Council (EBC) representative Hiroshi Ishiwata are also saying “sayonara” to management roles with the chamber, while office manager Etsuko Yamanaka is also moving on.  “On this occasion, I would like to thank everybody here for their support and friendship,” said Mr. Nishitani, who was especially instrumental in the planning and organization of the biannual Deshima Awards. Nishitani-san and his committee helped recruit senior members from the public and private sector to act as judges for the awards.

Mr. Nishitani’s successor, for the External Relations Committee is Naoki Shirakawa, who has experience working for a tourism agency in the Netherlands. Mr. Akira Havermans takes over as the new Activities Committee Chairman. In his final presentation to the NCCJ, EBC representative Hiroshi Ishiwata urged members to continue to take advantage of the Council and its access to the Japanese government. “This year, 2017, industry-based committees are taking a very important role (in the EBC),” he said. “So we need to continuously strengthen this capability by having more proactive participation from members.”

Mr. Kazuhide Tanaka rounds out the new faces on the 2017-2018 NCCJ Management Committee, as he will assume the role of Vice Chairman. Mr. Tanaka, of Rabobank, has worked in the financial industry since the 1980’s.

The NCCJ’s new office manager is Kaori Kimura, who comes to the chamber after time spent working in the legal industry.

As for committee reports at the AGM, the NCCJ treasurer stated that revenue and expenses remain steady, as do the chamber’s assets and liabilities. Although membership is up slightly to 97, committee Chairman Richard van Rooij suggested there is room to grow in the area of Corporate Additional Members. Communications Committee Chairman Maarten Molenaar highlighted several of the chamber’s communications initiatives, including a regularly issued newsletter and updated website. He pointed out to members the benefits of using the NCCJ’s website for advertising purposes. The site has over 500 hits per month with 80% unique users. Members are able to place exclusive single company banners or shared rotating banner ads.       

NCCJ Management Committee 2017-2018

  • Chairman: Jorg van Leeuwen
  • Vice Chairman: Kazuhide (Kaz)Tanaka       
  • Treasurer: Tetsuo Hoshiya
  • Secretary: Karsten Vijge (represents the NCCJ in EBC’s Executive Operating Board)
  • Director:  Richard van Rooij (Chairman Membership Committee)
  • Director:  Maarten Molenaar (Chairman Communications Committee)  
  • Director:  Jason Broad (Vice-Chairman Communications Committee)
  • Director:  Naoki Shirakawa (Chairman External Relation Committee)
  • Director:  Akira Havermans (Chairman Activity Committee)
  • Director:  Martin van der Linden (Vice-Chairman Activity Committee)