Despite the approaching typhoon, the rain subsided in the evening in Tokyo as predicted, and the 50th anniversary party was held at the residence of the British Ambassador to Japan as planned at 18:30 on 8 September. In Chiba, Ibaraki and Fukushima prefectures, the linear precipitation zone by the typhoon caused major disasters, and we extend our deepest sympathies to those affected by the disaster.
Around 130 people attended the 50th anniversary party, despite rain.
The event began with a speech by Mr Darren Goff, Minister Counsellor, Director of Trade and Investment, at the British Embassy in Tokyo, who kindly provided the venue for the event, followed by a speech by Mr Suzuki, Chairman of the British Market Council, a congratulatory address by Mr Asai, Director, Investment Facilitation Division, Trade and Economic Cooperation Bureau, METI and a toast by Mr Asada, Honorary Corporate Advisor, Marubeni Corporation, former Chairman of the British Market Council.
The BMC's beginnings date back to the 1970s, when Japan's trade surplus was growing, and a mission to the UK was sent by the former Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) to introduce British goods to Japan and to increase imports. Initially, activities were aimed at promoting imports in various industrial sectors, but over time the policy position changed, and in addition to trade, investment was also covered, with the role of promoting a partnership between the UK and Japan. At the same time, we have been broadening our activities to include cultural exchanges by inviting members who like and are interested in the UK.
As mentioned in the speech from the Minister-Counsellor Darren Goff, the Hiroshima Accord announced by the UK and Japanese Prime Ministers in May 2003 signals a real step up in the Japan and UK relationship and sets the framework for even stronger bilateral trade and investment.
Many people who have supported the work of the British Market Council over its long history attended the reception, which was held in a convivial atmosphere befitting its role in promoting partnerships. The event was a good opportunity to further deepen the friendship between the British Embassy, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, member companies and related parties.
We would like to thank the following many member companies and stakeholders for their support and cooperation in organising the party.
A brochure on the 50-year on the track: Agricultural Technology Communications Co., Ltd.
50th anniversary souvenir (gold medal chocolates): Akutagawa Confectionery Co., Ltd.
Festive Container Flowers Planting: BARAKURA English Garden (Kowa Creative Art Co., Ltd.)
Festive Flowers: Imperial Hotel, Ltd.
BMC 50th anniversary uniforms: Liverpool Football Club
The secretariat would also like to thank the many people who sent in their gifts.
Photos from the day can be viewed and downloaded from the council's members-only website