Congratulations to 2015 British Business Awards winners!

Written by BCCJ
November 14, 2015

Written by BCCJ
November 14, 2015

Awards for UK-Japan business ties | Record-breaking gala celebrates close bilateral relations

British innovation, entrepreneurship, business success and social contributions in Japan were recognised last night at a gala event at Tokyo’s Palace Hotel, attended by almost 300 guests.

Organised by the British Chamber of Commerce in Japan (BCCJ), with winners chosen by a panel of six independent judges from business, media and government, the British Business Awards (BBA) has become one of the largest annual events enjoyed by the foreign business community in Japan and a unique showcase for British creativity, culture and commerce. 

For the eigth consecutive year, the event was supported by an exciting range of BCCJ member companies and friends, with Jaguar Land Rover Japan as this year’s headline sponsor.

Inter FM’s London Hit Radio (LHR) DJs Guy Perryman and Madoka Kato, were the bi-lingual Masters of Ceremony.

The Conductor’s Party Band raised the roof with two lively sets including classic British tunes from David Bowie and Amy Winehouse.

The 2015 BBA trophies, created by celebrated UK-Japan artist Kate Thomson of Ukishima Sculpture Studio, Iwate, were presented to winners by the British Ambassador to Japan, Tim Hitchens CMG LVO, aided by Executive Director of the BCCJ, Lori Henderson MBE.

The Ambassador said: “It is once again a great pleasure to be here to present trophies to the deserving winners of the British Business Awards in recognition of their success in the Japan market. And all 30 nominees are to be celebrated”.

The six 2015 BBA judges were: Brian Christian, principal, The British School in Japan; Chris Heffer, director of UK Trade & Investment, British Embassy Tokyo; Masahiro Ibi, managing executive officer, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd.; Yuuichiro Nakajima, managing director, Crimson Phoenix Limited; Mariko Oi, reporter, BBC News; Jean Tomlin OBE, chief executive, Tomlin & Co. Limited.

The Person of the Year winner was chosen through a vote by BCCJ members.

BCCJ President David Bickle said: “The BCCJ applauds all nominees and congratulates the winners on their remarkable achievements. Competition for all awards was intense, reflecting the high quality of the nominees and vibrancy of the British-Japan business relationship.” 

Picking up the Company of the Year trophy on behalf of Arup, a key advisor to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the Tokyo Organizing Committee of the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Arata Oguri said: “It’s actually a bit ironic, considering that we have been in the Japan market for 26 years, and this year had to face the fact that our work on Tokyo’s new National Stadium would be scrapped. Many of our team were in tears at that time. So, we are truly delighted to receive this award”.

The 8th BBA, held at the Palace Hotel Tokyo, attracted 30 nominations for the six awards. Nominees came from global corporations, SMEs, not-for-profit organisations, and entrepreneurs across a number of traditional and modern industries, as well as from the public sector. Attendance at the event set a new record for the BCCJ, who welcomed almost 300 guests – the largest event in the not-for-profit organisation’s 67 year history.


2015 BBA winners:

  • Company of the Year: 
    Arup (Ove Arup & Partners Japan Ltd) アラップ 
    For being a key advisor to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the Tokyo Organizing Committee of the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games – in particular regarding venues, transport, security and sustainability. 
  • UK-Japan Partnership: 
    Hitachi, Ltd., Rail Systems Company & UK Department for Transport 株式会社日立製作所交通システム社 & 英国運輸省
    For working with key delivery partners to open an £82 million Rail Vehicle Manufacturing Facility in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, celebrating “the return of rail manufacturing to its British home in the North East”.
  • Innovation:
    Business Link Japanジネスリンクジャパン株式会社
    For developing the world’s first dedicated digital platform aimed at increasing exports from the UK to Japan, “Export to Japan”, and – through innovation and strategic partnerships – growing it from a zero base to a comprehensive digital platform now hosting 40,000 UK business visitors.
  • Entrepreneur of the Year: 
    Junko Kemi – Kay Me International Ltd. (EY Winning Women Network) 毛見純子   ケイミー
    For carving out her own niche in ladies apparel – a very competitive market in Japan – developing a problem-solving brand that addresses the needs of modern professional women, and for achieving rapid growth since establishing her company in 2011.
  • Community Contribution: 
    Hogan Lovells ホーガン・ロヴェルズ法律事務所外国法共同事業
    For the Citizenship Programme in which all Hogan Lovells staff and lawyers complete 25 hours of volunteer work per year – a total of almost 2,000 man hours – to support organisations such as OGA for Aid and the Paralympics. And for supporting Japanese female in-house counsel through the Breaking Barriers Programme .
  • Person of the Year (People’s Choice vote, by BCCJ members)
    Robert Williams – Knights in White Lycra ロバート・ウィリアムス – 白いレーサーパンツを穿いた騎士
    For achievements in leading community groups in Japan – specifically for fund-raising efforts through Knights in White Lycra – a charity cycling team which has supported Tohoku-based projects, and for creating an environment where expats, both short-term and long-term, can contribute and help deliver tangible benefits for disadvantaged people in Japan.



Sincere thanks to the 2015 BBA sponsors, without whom the BCCJ’s annual, black-tie event would not be possible:

Headline sponsor: Jaguar Land Rover Japan Ltd.

Supporting sponsors: Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer; Thermo Fisher Scientific K.K.

In-kind Sponsors: Berry Bros. & Rudd, BrewDog Japan, Custom Media, Financial Times, Guy Perryman, Isle of Arran, Leica Professional Store Tokyo, Ogilvy & Mather, Syn Songs, Whisk-e Ltd

Media Partners: Custom Media K.K.; Financial Times (Japan) Ltd.; Guy Perryman; Ogilvy and Mather (Japan) GK; Syn Songs

Prize Draw: ANA InterContinental Tokyo, British Airways, Euro Merican Fashions, Grand Hyatt Tokyo, Hilton Tokyo, Isle of Arran, Jaguar Land Rover, The Peninsula Tokyo, Ryozan Park, Takarashuzo, Tokyo American Club, Walk Japan

Goody bags: Aoki, Berry Bros. & Rudd, British Council, Calbee, GlaxoSmithKline K.K., Jaguar Land Rover Japan Ltd., UK Trade and Investment, Unilever Japan

2015 BBA Unofficial photos (taken by guests) HERE