EBC Newsletter – January 10, 2024

EBC Newsletter – January 10, 2024


From the EBC

Dear Friends of the EBC,

First of all, let me wish you an excellent and successful Year 2024! The EBC team is back to the office and ready to help European companies.

I am pleased to announce that the EBC Board of Directors has elected a new President, Laurent Depus, who took up his position on 1 January 2024. Laurent, a Belgian national, has been working in Japan’s financial sector for 36 years, with a long experience of senior management at Anglo-Saxon, European and domestic companies, as well as many years of regulatory relationship and advocacy with Japan’s financial authorities and administrations. He is an ambassador for FinCity.Tokyo, a member of the Board of SMBC Trust Bank and remains actively involved with foreign financial stakeholders in close coordination with the International Bankers Association (IBA).
I am certain that you will have many opportunities to meet him soon!

I would like to warmly thank our former President Michael Mroczek for his fundamental work over the past 5 years. Indeed, with the signing of the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement, it was essential to find a new direction for our organisation. Under his leadership, governance was overhauled, the EBC was restructured, a new visual identity and new communications were put in place, and our White Paper was digitised for faster access to the latest developments. The year 2020 saw the launch of a new EBC, which was able to provide quick and effective assistance to European companies during the Covid crisis and is currently, through various strategies, helping them tackle non-tariff barriers on the Japanese market. We wish Michael all the best for the future!
On 21 December, the EBC visited Director General Mitsuru Myochin of the Cabinet Office, who oversees foreign investment promotion. Later on the same day, the EBC also met with Tetsuro Fukunaga, Director-General at METI, Trade and Economic Cooperation Bureau. These visits were an opportunity for the outgoing EBC President, Michael Mroczek, to introduce the new EBC President, Laurent Depus.
Michael Mroczek, Tetsuro Fukunaga, Laurent Depus
On 22 December, the two presidents paid a courtesy visit to the Chair of the Japan-EU Parliamentary Friendship Caucus and member of the House of Representatives (Lower House) Hajime Funada. This was an occasion to hear more about the workings of the Japanese Diet as well as a chance for the EBC to give Mr. Funada an update on what is happening at the EBC.
Michael Mroczek, Hajime Funada, Laurent Depus
On 5 January, the EBC attended the Japan Association of Corporate Executives’ New Year party at Hotel New Otani, where Laurent Depus met with Prime Minister Kishida and Mr. Masakazu Tokura, Keidanren Chairman
Masakazu Tokura, Laurent Depus

On 12 January (16:30-18:00) at the EBC, Ms. Muge Adalet McGowan, Senior Economist, Head of Japan/Ireland desk, Economics Department, Organisation for Economic Development and Cooperation, will present the OECD 2024 Japan Survey. The related material will be available on 11 January at 10:00 am Tokyo time at : www.oecd.org/economy/japan-economic-snapshot/
Seats are reserved for EBC members and diplomatic staff and limited in number.
If you want to attend, please send an email to : [email protected]

Finally, let me share with you 3 more pieces of information:

The EBC team is looking forward to hearing from you soon!

Valerie Moschetti
EBC Chief Operating Officer

What’s in the Media

  • The government laid out a policy for a diplomatic initiative to strengthen cooperation with five northern European countries in such fields as security and Arctic Ocean issues. The government’s announcement of the initiative is to coincide with Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa’s visit to Finland on Tuesday. (The Japan News)
  • Leading companies in Japan are lagging far behind their foreign rivals in terms of promoting women to senior positions, according to the first survey on gender equality by Keidanren (Japan Business Federation). Women accounted for 14.1 percent of board members at 751 member companies of Keidanren, Japan’s most influential business lobby, according to the survey results released on Dec. 22. (The Asahi Shimbun)
  • Japan ranked 30th in labor productivity among the 38 Organization for Economic Cooperation Development members in 2022, down two spots from the previous year and to a new lowest-ever position, a Tokyo-based group said. Measured by the worth of goods or services a worker can produce per hour, labor productivity totaled $52.30 in Japan, the lowest calculated among the Group of Seven advanced economies since 1970 when comparable data became available, the Japan Productivity Center said. (Japan Today)

Upcoming EBC Committee Meetings

Date Committee Time / Location
Jan 12 (Fri) Railways Hybrid
Jan 25 (Thu) Medical Equipment & Diagnostics Off-site
Jan 25 (Thu) Insurance Hybrid
Feb 2 (Fri) Railways Hybrid
Feb 7 (Wed) Energy Hybrid
Feb 20 (Tue) Medical Equipment & Diagnostics Off-site

If you are interested in joining a committee meeting, please contact the EBC to confirm the time and meeting place.

Stakeholders of the EBC:

European Business Council JAPAN
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