Latest News

Back to List
Fri 01 February 2019

Event Report: NCCJ-HANJ Shinnenkai on Jan 30

Smiles and laughter highlighted the 2019 NCCJ Shinnenkai, as members old and new mingled and socialized at Roppongi’s Brasserie Va-tout. The event, held by the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce in Japan in co-operation with the Holland Alumni Network Japan, also celebrated another successful year. 

“We’ve been pretty active, on the one side organizing events,” says NCCJ chairman Jorg van Leeuwen, of his first full year at the helm. “Not only our own events, but in building relationships with other parties like embassies—and organizing things together.”

“On the other hand, we’ve been active in building the organization,” he adds. “We have some new board members. They are energetic and they want to see how we can improve how we organize ourselves.”

Among the 2018 highlights was the biennial Deshima Awards. Winners included Elsevier in the large company category, and Scarabee Aviation Group for small and mid-sized firms. 

Another important achievement last year was the signing of the long-awaited Europe-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement. Van Leeuwen says the EPA could have immediate benefits for Dutch companies. 

“I think the easiest example is companies that ship goods from Japan to the EU or from the EU to Japan,” he says. “Because they have the very tangible benefit of duties going down, sometimes to zero percent. Sometimes immediately, sometimes to be phased out. Over time, they reap the benefits.”

Overall, the past year saw five new members join the NCCJ. They are Control Union Japan Co. Ltd., Living CG Ltd., Origin Biotechnology Ltd., and individual members Theodorus Niemeijer and Maria de Visser. The new faces bring the total NCCJ membership to 53. 

The past year was also significant for HANJ, which now boasts over 300 members. President Yuichiro Koguchi says a highlight was a lecture on Corporate Social Responsibility. 

“The key word is sustainability. A company cannot really survive without thinking about corporate social responsibility,” he says. “At HANJ, we also think it’s an important factor for companies.”

HANJ promotes friendship and networking opportunities for Japanese who have studied in the Netherlands. The organization hold business-related events and others involving music and architecture. Koguchi says he would like to see more of these events in 2019. 

As for the chamber’s look ahead to 2019, van Leeuwen says organizational changes could be coming to the NCCJ’s fee and category structures, to make it easier for young professionals with limited resources to join the chamber and be part of the community.

The chairman also adds that much time will be devoted to preparing for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, now only a year away. 

“I think 2019 is like an in-between year because everyone’s waiting for the Olympics, kind of building up like big momentum,” says van Leeuwen. 

“But (we will) try to see if we can organize things already related to supporting what will happen. In that, we’re also working closely together with the embassy and some other parties.”  

Photo Gallery