If you’re like many people, a ‘Chamber of Commerce’ can conjure up images of Networking events, food spreads, juggling a plate, a drink and trying to get your meishi (Business Card) out, but when it comes Chambers of Commerce in Japan at least, don’t overlook the potential of their function, and more importantly all the people involved from those on the board to GoodPeople that make up their membership.
A chamber of commerce is a voluntary association of business firms belonging to different trades and industries. They serve as spokespeople and representatives of a business community. They differ from country to country. A chamber of commerce, sometimes known as a “board of trade,” is often made up of a group of business owners that share a locale or interests, but can also be international in scope.— [Mixing up the Investopedia and Wikipedia descriptions]
The post COVID-19 afflicted world (current?), presents further challenges in making connections, building relationships and pursuing your goals for doing business in, with or related to Japan (or wherever you are).
While working remotely and looking to build relationships into the business community in Japan, a first step might be to contact the Chambers of Commerce that interest you, find out what activities and channels they are active in and on, follow them, engage with them and offer to help, get involved.
Here’s a list of the Foreign and perhaps some Domestic Japanese Chambers of Commerce you might not have been aware of.
If you need help contacting any in Japanese, perhaps you’ll find someone in the Business In Japan group on LinkedIn who can help, for a small fee, or if you have substantial needs for market expansion, access to industries or businesses, connect with me on LinkedIn and message me. We can have a chat and discuss what you’re looking to achieve and I may be able to think of someone I can introduce you to.
For information on how to set up a business in Japan, check out this awesome summary Japan Business Guide we posted.
FOREIGN CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE IN JAPAN
Along with the Government Trade organizations in each country, there are 153 Diplomatic Missions in Japan, many with somewhat independent Trade Promotion and Investment agencies or organizations here, and most (not all) of these work closely with Chambers of Commerce representing their countries business interest in Japan.
Here are the ones I am aware of. If I have missed any, new ones opened or perhaps changed in some way, please let me know in the comments.
DOMESTIC JAPANESE CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE