History & Core Mission


The core mission of the EBC then and now is to promote an impediment-free business and investment environment that will make it less difficult and costly to do business here.

The advantages to Japan are obvious – an impediment-free market will serve as a catalyst for global trade liberalisation and prosperity. Unified markets are needed to create a business environment which will stimulate innovation and economic growth, more investment and create new jobs.

Japan’s decade-long economic slump, globalization, regulatory reform, and aging population have been slowly forcing welcome changes in the Japanese market. European companies now have greater opportunities for direct investment, strategic alliances, and other tie-ups than at any other time. Accordingly, the EBC’s work to encourage beneficial structural and regulatory changes has become all the more important, not only for European companies doing business here, but for Japanese industry and consumers as well.


The idea of the EBC was conceived by the early presidents of the national European Chambers of Commerce and established in 1972.

The EBC emerged against a background of growing trade between Europe and Japan at a time of nascent desire to capture the spirit of a relationship greater than just trade.

Despite the rapidly growing interest of European companies in the Japanese market, the high level of regulatory and non-regulatory barriers posed a serious impediment to their market entry, business development and investment.

In response to this situation, The Council of the European Business Community was officially established in 1983, to adequately address these common trade and investment issues facing European businesses in Japan. An Executive Operating Board consisting of elected representatives from the member Chambers replaced the steering committee and a secretariat was established to coordinate the work of various committees.

The EBC is now a major player in the Japanese trade and investment policy environment and has established strong ties with the European Commission, the EU Member States, the Japanese Government and other business organisations.

Previous Chairs

1984 W.J. Minzinga
1986 C. Bellavita
1986 Alfred Dienst, Hoechst Japan Ltd.
1990 Luciano Cohen, JET
1991 A. Brak, Shell Kosan
1992 Mark Bedingham, Jardine Wines & Spirits
1995 Alain Coine, Rhone-Poulenc
1997 Peter Woods, Rover Japan
1998 Isabelle Hupperts, Societe Generale
2002 Richard Collasse, Chanel
2009 Tommy Kullberg, Kullberg and Partners
2011 Duco Delgorge, MIE Project
2013 Danny Risberg Philips
2018 Michael Loefflad, DKSH