60th Annual Joint Business Conference – That’s a Wrap!

60th Annual Joint Business Conference – That’s a Wrap!

The AJBCC-JABCC 60th Annual Joint Business Conference 2023 has come to a close, and what an incredible few days it has been! We wrapped up the event with the co-signing of the Joint Statement by AJBCC President Mr. Peter Grey and JABCC Chairman Mr. Michiaki Hirose.

We look forward to the next chapter of this incredible partnership at the 61st Joint Business Conference set to take place in Nagoya, Aichi prefecture in October 2024.

Special thanks to Mr. Hideaki Omura, Governor of Aichi Prefecture, for his warm and engaging welcome remarks. The future of the Australia-Japan partnership looks brighter than ever!

Plenary session 1 | Looking Towards the Next 60 years of Partnership: The Forces Shaping the Future Business Environment

Plenary session 1 | Looking Towards the Next 60 years of Partnership: The Forces Shaping the Future Business Environment

The conference embarked on an extraordinary journey with a captivating session that delved into the forces shaping the future business environment.

Futurist Mark Pesce led a discussion featuring a high-level panel comprising some  distinguished thought leaders from various sectors in Australia and Japan. Together, they explored the technological, economic, demographic, and political challenges that weigh heavily on their minds as they pave the way for the success of their enterprises in the decades to come.

Mr. Mike Henry, CEO of BHP
Mr. Katsuya Nakanishi, CEO of Mitsubishi Corporation
Mr. Jun Sawada, Chairman and Representative Member of the Board, NTT Ltd.
Ms. Michelle Simmons AO, Founder & CEO of Silicon Quantum Computing

The outlook for the coming decades presents an array of uncertainties and challenges, yet it also reveals immense opportunities to solidify the partnership between Australia and Japan for the benefit of both our nations and the broader region.

JBC60 Plenary Session 2 | Building Australia-Japan Innovation and Technology Collaboration

Plenary Session 2 | Building Australia-Japan Innovation and Technology Collaboration

In this session we delved into an enlightening discussion that lay at the core of our mission at 60th annual joint business conference – fostering robust collaboration between Australia and Japan in the realm of innovation and technology.

A closer strategic alignment between Japan and Australia amid geopolitical competition and the imperative to develop new industries for sustainable economies heightens the appeal of this partnership. The session, led by Prof Jenny Corbett, Emeritus Professor at the Australian National University, explored the potential for elevating our joint efforts and establishing a more systematic approach to innovation collaboration for a shared future.

Keynote Speech: Dr. Larry Marshall, Non-Executive Director, Fortescue
Discussant: Mr. Takashi Muraoka, Managing Partner, Industrial Growth Platform Inc. (IGPI)

Turning science into innovation and pursuing industry led collaboration is propelling us towards a future where Australia and Japan are viewed as natural allies in innovation.

Parallel Sessions on Technology

 In the following two Parallel Sessions we explored our collaborative efforts in the realm of technology, with the ultimate aim of fostering a deeper partnership between Japan and Australia as natural innovation allies.

Our heartfelt gratitude to the distinguished speakers listed below for their engaging and inspiring contributions to the discussions:

2.1 Building Bilateral Innovation Collaboration Between the Research and Private Sectors
Moderator: Mr. Susumu Kataoka, President, JETRO – Japan External Trade Organization
Dr. Hideto Kurokawa, Chief Technical Officer & Senior General Manager, TOKYO GAS AUSTRALIA PTY LTD
Professor Andrew Parfitt, Vice-Chancellor & President, University of Technology Sydney
Mr. Takayoshi Udagawa, CEO, IDOM Innovations
Professor Tiffany Walsh, Director, Hycel; Professor of Bio/Nanotechnology, Deakin University

2.2 Building Bilateral Innovation Collaboration by Start-ups
Moderator: Mr. Fumitaka Nakahama, Chief Executive, Global Corporate & Investment Banking, MUFG
Ms. Kath Blackham, A/g CEO, Cremorne Digital Hub; Founder & CEO, VERSA Connects
Ms. Ayano Kagami, Assistant Director, CIC (Cambridge Innovation Center)
Ms. Kaoru Nishinakagawa, Co-Founder Innovation Dojo Executive Manager Innovation Strategy, News Corp
Mr. Hideaki Yoshimura, Japan Country Manager & APAC Director, HIVERY

These sessions were a testament to our commitment to innovation and technology collaboration, paving the way for a future where Australia and Japan stand as natural innovation partners.

Plenary Session 3 | Diversity Beyond Gender: Harnessing Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) for Innovation

Plenary Session 3 | Diversity Beyond Gender: Harnessing Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) for Innovation

This session explored the pivotal topic of moving beyond gender diversity to embrace a spectrum of diverse experiences that fuel innovation. We acknowledged the significance of various dimensions of diversity, often overshadowed but essential in creating an inclusive and innovative culture between Australia and Japan.

Moderated by Ms. Nicole Forrester, VP Purpose, People & Culture at Fujitsu Asia Pacific, our esteemed panelists shared insights on the theme and stressed the importance of fostering environments where the inclusion of diverse differences is seen as an asset to be fully embraced in our work.

A heartfelt thanks to our distinguished panelists:

Ms. Pru Bennett, Partner, Brunswick Group
Ms. Kazumi Miyajima, Commentator, News Bureau, Nippon Television Network Corporation
Mr. Shinichiro Shimizu, Representative Director, Executive Vice President, Japan Airlines
Mr. Trent Wallace, First Nations Lead, Ashurst

This session reaffirmed our commitment to DEI and its pivotal role in business success and a brighter future.

Plenary Session 4 | Promoting Strategic Collaboration between Australia and Japan on Clean Energy Transition

Australia and Japan have shared a robust trade and investment relationship in the energy sector, a testament to our enduring partnership. Australia has proudly served as Japan’s premier energy supplier, while Japan has been the primary market for these invaluable resources. However, we encounter a pivotal challenge: the imperative to decarbonise. Both our governments had committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050, with ambitious carbon emission reductions slated for 2030.

Moderated by Dr. Fiona Simon, CEO of the Australian Hydrogen Council, our distinguished speakers delved into the strategies and solutions imperative for navigating this transformative journey. They explored the expansive landscape of technological collaboration and engaged in discussions on the practical implementation of these solutions.

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to our esteemed speakers:

Dr. Cathy Foley AO PSM, Chief Scientist of Australia
“Meeting the Technological Challenges of Clean Energy Transition: Opportunities for Collaboration”
Mr. Tadashi Maeda, Managing Director, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Japan Bank for International Cooperation
“Promoting Strategic Collaboration between Australia and Japan on Clean Energy Transition”

This enlightening discussion reaffirmed our unwavering commitment to sustainable energy and underscored the enduring strength of the Australia-Japan energy partnership.

The following Parallel Sessions delved into the intricacies of our journey toward the goal of carbon neutrality by 2050, examining prevalent technologies, the need for critical minerals, decarbonising cities and the financial challenges in commercialisation. Leaders must move now to make it real.

Our heartfelt gratitude to the distinguished speakers listed below for their engaging and inspiring contributions to the discussions:

4.1 Framing Our Clean Energy Future: Australia and Japan in a Carbon-Neutral 2050
Moderator: Ms Alison Reeve, Energy & Climate Deputy Program Director, Grattan Institute

Ms Megan Flynn, Managing Director, Chief Growth & Impact Officer, Pollination
Mr Yasuhiro Kubota, Managing Executive Officer, Mizuho Bank Ltd
Ms Setsuko Saya, Vice-President, International Business, Urban Renaissance Agency
Dr Nigel Steward, Chief Scientist, Rio Tinto

4.2 Finding Pathways to Our Clean Energy Future: Achieving Carbon Neutrality with Energy Security
Moderator: Professor Yukari Takamura, Institute for Future Initiatives, The University of Tokyo

Mr Tetsuro Imaeda, Director & Deputy President, Co-Head of Global Banking Unit, SMBC Group
Mr Yoshinori Kanehara, Chairman, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd.
Mr Alan Stuart-Grant, Executive Vice President Santos Energy Solutions, @Santos
Mr Mark Whelan, Group Executive, Institutional, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group

These discussions reaffirmed our commitment to a sustainable future, emphasising that collaboration and understanding are key in our shared journey towards clean energy.

Plenary Session 5 | Building the Australia-Japan Workforce for the Future

In a world where the competition for global talent is fierce, our discussion on building the future workforce was both timely and insightful. As organisations worldwide struggle to find talent with the right mix of technical and soft skills, it’s clear that our shared goal is to nurture truly global talent.

In this era of transformation, we find ourselves pondering critical questions:
What skills will be essential for success? How can we harness the evolving post-COVID workforce culture to our advantage?

Hosted by the AJBCC-JABCC Future Leaders (FLP), this plenary session moderated by FLP Co-chair Mr. Raymond Roche, Mitsui & Co. (Australia) Ltd. aimed to address these questions and identify strategies for shaping the workforce of the future.

The session kicked off with an engaging presentation by FLP delegate Ms. Wenda Gumulya of Deloitte, who shared invaluable insights gleaned from the recent FLP survey findings which explored the challenges and potential solutions for constructing the future workforce of Australia and Japan. This set the stage for our inspiring panelists to engage in a dynamic discussion about what it takes to build a future workforce of Australia-Japan talent.

Our heartfelt gratitude to the distinguished speakers listed below for their engaging and inspiring contributions to the discussions:

Mr. Susumu Handa, CEO, Daiwa Capital Markets Australia
Ms. Ceri Ittensohn, Chief People and Culture Officer, TAL
Ms. Nozomi Sakurai, Deloitte Japan
Ms. Jo Keiko Terasawa, Google APAC

This session reinforced our commitment to nurturing talent and building a future-ready workforce that can thrive in our region.