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 EBC marks a major milestone

June 2022


Text by Andrew Howitt

There is one simple reason behind the founding and growth of the European Business Council in Japan (EBC): frustration.

In 1970, the European Community (EC) took over responsibility for trade policy from individual member states. This change, under the Treaty of Rome, kicked off trade relations with Japan at the European level. Echoing the move towards a more unified position, the heads of European firms in Japan — who were constantly confronted with tariff and non-tariff barriers, and who were finding it challenging to build stronger businesses — realised they needed a united voice if they were to have a chance of breaking down obstacles to trade, business development, and investment.

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Jan. 2024 to presentLaurent Depus, The Organization of Global Financial City Tokyo
Jan. 2019 to Dec. 2023Michael Mroczek, NOZOMI Sogo Attorneys at Law
Oct. 2018 to Dec. 2018Michael Loefflad, DKSH Japan
Feb. 2014 to Sept. 2018Danny Risberg, Philips Japan
Jan. 2012 to Dec. 2013Duco Delgorge, MIE PROJECT
Jan. 2009 to Dec. 2011Tommy Kullberg, Kullberg and Partners
Jan. 2002 to Dec. 2008Richard Collasse, Chanel Japan
Jan. 1999 to Dec. 2001Isabelle Hupperts, Société Générale de Belgique
Mar. 1997 to Dec. 1998Peter Woods, Rover Japan
Jan. 1995 to Dec. 1996Alain Coine, Rhône-Poulenc Japanc
Feb. 1992 to Jan. 1995Mark Bedingham, Jardine Wine & Spirits K.K.
Feb. 1991 to Jan. 1992Anthony J.C. Brak, Shell Kosan
July 1989 to Feb. 1991Luciano Cohen, Japan Europe Trading
late 1986 June 1989Alfred Dienst, Hoechst Japan Ltd.
April 1985 to late 1986Claudio E. Bellavita, Intesa Sanpaolo
1984 to Mar. 1985Wierd .J. Minzinga
1983Robert Appeldoom