SOLARIG expands its portfolio of projects in Japan with the signing of a contract with X-Elio

SOLARIG expands its portfolio of projects in Japan with the signing of a contract with X-Elio

Solarig, a leading company in the Solar Photovoltaic industry, continues to consolidate its presence in Japan with the signing of the contract with  X-Elio, for the design, supply, assembly, construction and commissioning of a photovoltaic plant in Sodegaura.

The agreement reached will allow Solarig to build a plant with an installed capacity of 16.16MW in Sodegaura, Chiba prefecture, Japan. Following the signing of the contract and the preliminary cleaning of the land, the excavation of the pond and some cutting and filling work in the surrounding area have begun.

Solarig holds an extensive experience in signing this kind of contract worldwide, been the fifth project that Solarig has developed in Japan.

In this case, the agreement will generate some 150 indirect jobs, reaffirming Solarig’s commitment to generating local employment and will involve the installation of around 28,210 modules of 575Wp and 570 Wp.

Luis Perezagua, Managing Director Solarig Japan Services: “From Solarig Japan Services, we are proud to be part of the growth of X- Elio as a leader in the Japanese Energy Market showing them our commitment and work excellent as EPC services provider drawing the path to a long-term powerful alliance together”.

Its commissioning is scheduled for early November 2022 and it is estimated that it will generate 19.05 GWh of clean energy in its first year.

¡Vamos España! Spain Fair in Fujinomiya

¡Vamos España! Spain Fair in Fujinomiya

At long last, the Tokyo2020 Olympics have begun.
While the main action takes part in the Kanto area, many cities and towns in Japan have taken the opportunity to register as host towns, offering their support to athletes to hold their pre-Games training camps.

During August 5th and 6th, coinciding with the karate kata Olympic competition and in collaboration with Fujinomiya, the host city for the Spanish Karate Olympic team, we held the event ¡Vamos España! at Aeon Mall.

Many thanks to the locals who cheered and supported the Spanish Karate Team during their stay in #Fujinomiya and many thanks to the members of the #SpCCJ that supported us at the venue! Grupo FreixenetGARCIA-CARRIONLaLigaSolan de Cabras#sukoruniVidal Candies#tourspain.

SpCCJ Vaccination Campaign

SpCCJ Vaccination Campaign

After making a big effort to help accelerate vaccine distribution for our members, their colleagues and their families, the SpCCJ campaign for the COVID19 vaccine the second dose is a reality.

On July 30th, 50 people in Osaka complete their vaccination schedule and, on August 1st 400 people got the second shot in Tokyo. 

It’s too early to know the duration of protection of COVID-19 but developing immunity through vaccination means there is a reduced risk of developing the illness. It is expected that fully vaccination could also open the door to the reduction of travel restrictions including business travel.

Sports&Life Business Talks #1

Sports&Life Business Talks #1

On July 9th, our Corporate Member, the global sports business company, Sports&Life Group hold its first sports business seminar “Sports&Life Business Talks #1” with the close collaboration of the (SpCCJ) Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Japan and the presence of Andres Iniesta, one of the greatest ever Spanish footballer.

Thank you to all the panelist for bringing their expertise and experience around the table: YURIKO SAEKIBegoña Larzabal Real SociedadHiroto HoriJoel Borràs, Juan Carlos Calero, Salvador CarmonaOctavi AnoroCarlos Rodes e Ibai Ameztoy.

GARCIA CARRION wines are awarded 51 medals in ‘Mundus Vini’ and ‘Sakura Awards’

GARCIA CARRION wines are awarded 51 medals in ‘Mundus Vini’ and ‘Sakura Awards’

After setting a record in 2020 with 638 medals, GARCIA CARRION continues to triumph, achieving a better result than last year in these two international competitions.

The spring edition of ‘Mundus Vini’, one of the most prestigious competitions in the world of wine, awarded GARCIA CARRION wines and cavas with 37 medals. Among these are the special mentions such as the best wines in their category for Viña Arnáiz Gran Reserva in Ribera del Duero, Jaume Serra Pinot Noir Rosé in rosé cava and Opera Prima Merlot as the best red wine from La Mancha.

The ‘Sakura Awards’, a Japanese competition of great international importance with a jury made up entirely of women, awarded the Viña Arnáiz Ribera del Duero Reserva wine with a Double Gold. This recognition is one of the 14 medals won in this contest, among which Golds for Pata Negra and Marqués de Carrión wines are also of particular note.

GARCIA CARRION has already won a total of 51 medals so far this year. With awards such as these, the winery reaffirms its fundamental position in the world of wine, being recognised as one of the most awarded and valued wineries.

The effort, care and dedication of the family company GARCIA CARRION, who in 2020 reached a total of 130 grape harvests, lead to Spanish wines, so excellent because of their quality, being recognised in any corner of the world. Thanks to the work of a family and the support of more than 45,000 producers, we can proudly say that García Carrión is one of the leading wineries in the world.

10th anniversary Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami

10th anniversary Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami

Today, Japan marks 10 years since the Great East Japan Earthquake. However, some of most affected areas still struggle to recover.

Downtown Onagawa before the disaster (July 2010).
Downtown Onagawa after the disaster (April 2011)

In 2018, we, the Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Japan (SpCCJ), had an opportunity to meet people from the youth team of “Cobaltore Onagawa”, a football team of Onagawa, one of the most affected areas of tsunami. In the 3.11, some kids lost their families and friends and 7 years after the disaster, some of them were still suffering and struggling. After having a conversation with them, we decided to support them with a trip to Spain.

Not many people know but the first Japanese delegation led by Tsunenaga Hasekura left over 400 years ago the port Tsukiura, which is located within a stone’s throw from Onagawa. This Hasekawa delegation stayed over a long period of time in Coria del Rio, a small town in south of Spain, and approx. 650 of Coria’s 24,000 residents, as reported in 2003, use the surname Japón, identifying them as the descendants of the first Japanese official envoy to Spain. Since then, Coria del Rio continues having a strong relationship with Japan, especially Ishinomaki, Onagawa and Sendai area, and in 2013 the Japanese Prince Naruhito visited Coria del Rio to commemorate the 400 years of relationship between Spain and Japan.

The SpCCJ’s Charity auction to take the Cobaltore Onagawa to Spain was held during the SpCCJ 2018 Gala. The SpCCJ not only raise fund for the trip, but also provided various exciting opportunities for the Cobaltore boys such as coordination of a video message from a Japanese football star Takashi Inui, who at that time was playing in Real Betis, collaboration with LaLiga to invite the boys to the football match of Getafe CF where Gaku Shibasaki was playing, and organization of a clinic with the coaches of Real Betis and a meet & greet with Erina Yamane from Betis’s female team in Sevilla.

2 years has passed from that memorable trip to Spain. The boys kept contact with Japon sans from Coria del Rio, who visited Onagawa after and celebrated a Spanish flamenco night in this small town of north of Japan. Ms. Yamane also visited the Cobaltore while she was back in Japan during the off season. Also, the captain of the team back then, who scored a goal against Real Betis youth team, got scouted for the youth team of the Vegalta Sendai, one of the top teams in Japan.

We are very delighted that this trip became a start of new friendships and a big turning point for some boys.

3.11 東日本大震災から10年が経ちました。現在もなお、避難生活を余儀なくされている方々たちが5万人近くいるなど、まだ復興作業が続いています。








Madrid, 25 de febrero de 2021

La Asamblea General Ordinaria de la Federación de Cámaras Oficiales de Comercio de España en Europa, África, Asia y Oceanía (FEDECOM) aprobó por unanimidad en reunión virtual un segundo mandato del Presidente Eduardo Barrachina, a su vez Presidente de la Cámara Oficial de Comercio de España en el Reino Unido.  Del mismo modo, se eligieron las vicepresidencias de Europa, África y Oriente Medio y Asia y Oceanía. Para Europa fue elegido José Michel García, quien compaginará la vicepresidencia de Europa con la Presidencia de la Cámara Oficial de Comercio de España en Francia, para África y Oriente Medio ha sido renovado en su cargo Guillermo Cobelo, Presidente de la Cámara Oficial de Comercio de España en Emiratos Árabes Unidos, y para Asia y Oceanía, ha renovado también su cargo María José Rodríguez, Presidente de la Cámara Oficial de Comercio de España en Australia.

Para la Secretaría General de la Federación se incorpora Yolanda Gimeno, Secretario General de la Cámara Oficial de Comercio de España en Italia.

Por primera vez en la historia de la Federación, se han constituido tres vicepresidencias para dinamizar FEDECOM y abordar los retos que la Junta Directiva se ha puesto. Sobre la nueva Junta Directiva, Eduardo Barrachina ha dicho que “Basta ver las trayectorias y perfiles de los tres Vicepresidentes y del Secretario General para darse cuenta en el acto de que se trata de un equipo extraordinario de profesionales con una amplia experiencia en el sistema cameral internacional”.

Con esta nueva Junta Directiva Fedecom adopta una postura mucho más estratégica y sofisticada a la hora de coordinar todas las iniciativas en una Federación de cámaras que cubre cuatro continentes.

La apertura en los dos últimos años de cuatro nuevas Cámaras Oficiales en India, República Checa, Singapur y Senegal, refuerza la labor y el importante apoyo que FEDECOM y las Cámaras Oficiales que la componen, prestan en beneficio de los intereses generales españoles en el país en que radica y en el fomento de las exportaciones y de las inversiones españolas en mercados claves para España. Con las nuevas incorporaciones, FEDECOM reúne ya a 23 Cámaras Oficiales de Comercio de España, reconocidas por el Estado Español y establecidas en Europa, África, Asia y Oceanía: Alemania, Australia, Bélgica y Luxemburgo, Casablanca, Catar, República Checa, Corea, Emiratos Árabes Unidos, Filipinas, Francia, Hong Kong, India, Italia, Japón, Malta, Portugal, Reino Unido, Senegal, Singapur, Sudáfrica, Tánger y Túnez.

FEDECOM refleja el dinamismo de la empresa española y es un instrumento de inteligencia económica clave en la internalización de la empresa española y la acción exterior del Estado.  La principal misión de FEDECOM, asociación internacional sin ánimo de lucro, consiste en la defensa de los intereses generales de sus Cámaras asociadas y empresas que las componen, la información sobre instrumentos adecuados para el buen desarrollo de sus actividades, la colaboración con la Cámara de España, así como relaciones con otras instituciones internacionales. Las Cámaras de Comercio Españolas en el exterior pertenecen a la red global de Cámaras de Comercio que impulsa y coordina la Cámara de España.

“Nuestra interlocución y coordinación con la Cámara de España y la Secretaría de Estado de Comercio es muy estrecha y constante. La creación de las tres vicepresidencias nos permitirá trabajar de un modo más eficaz”, ha dicho Barrachina.

Con la elección de la nueva Junta Directiva de Fedecom, Barrachina ha puesto en valor la extraordinaria relación que existe entre el Gobierno (a través de la Secretaría de Estado de Comercio), Cámara de Comercio de España y el resto de cámaras de comercio en el exterior.  El Presidente de FEDECOM ha aprovechado para recordar a los presentes los proyectos de futuro en los que está trabajando la Federación: la digitalización de estas instituciones para acercar la red de Cámaras a todos sus usuarios, el desarrollo de un mapa de servicios para colaborar con la Administración Pública española en su acción exterior y la mejora en la comunicación y visibilidad para poner en valor el trabajo que hace la institución y crear más oportunidades.

En FEDECOM se trabaja por las empresas españolas desde Lisboa a Sidney pasando por Londres, Rabat, Dubai, Nueva Delhi o Manila. Nunca se han hecho tantas cosas, pero -ante todo- nunca con tanta coordinación y de forma tan alineada con las necesidades de España que pasan ineludiblemente por que la internacionalización vuelva a ser un motor de la recuperación de la economía española.

Eduardo Barrachina, Presidente de la Cámara de Comercio de España en el Reino Unido, es Asociado Senior en el bufete White & Case y ejerce como Solicitor en Londres asesorando a grandes empresas en operaciones financieras internacionales. Eduardo estudió Derecho en la Universidad de Barcelona y la University of Sheffield (2001). Obtuvo con Merit el Máster (LLM) en Derecho Internacional de las Finanzas por el King’s Colllege University de Londres (2005).

Guillermo Cobelo, Presidente de la Cámara de Comercio de España en Emiratos Árabes Unidos, es CEO regional de Técnicas Reunidas para Oriente Medio. Ingeniero de Caminos y licenciado en Administración y Dirección de Empresas, comenzó su carrera profesional en el sector de la ingeniería ferroviaria, durante el desarrollo de la red de alta velocidad española y en 2012 entró en Técnicas Reunidas en el departamento de contratos corporativos.

José Michel García, Presidente de la Cámara Oficial de Comercio de España en Francia, es Socio director de Antelis, despacho de abogados franco-español. Titular de master 2 en derecho mercantil y economía por la Universidad Paris I Pantheon-Sorbonne. Abogado desde 1988, colegiado en Paris y Madrid.

María José Rodríguez, Presidente de la Cámara Oficial de Comercio de España en Australia, país donde reside desde el 2011. Jefa de Desarrollo de Negocios de ACCIONA Construcción Australia, es responsable de liderar nuevas oportunidades de negocio en el sector infraestructuras.  Ingeniero de Caminos, Canales y Puertos y Master en Ingeniería Ambiental, cuenta con una amplia experiencia en la industria de construcción e infraestructuras.

Yolanda Gimeno, Secretaria General de la Cámara Oficial de Comercio de España en Italia. BA (Hons) Degree y Título Superior en Administración y Dirección de Empresas y AMP por el IESE Business School. Previa a su experiencia en la Cámara, trabajó diez años en Merrill Lynch en gestión de patrimonios y renta variable en las oficinas de Londres.

LaLiga and Wakatake Group join forces in Japan

LaLiga and Wakatake Group join forces in Japan

The SpCCJ`s Corporate Members will work together on the development of grassroots football and coaches training in the Asian country until June 2022, thanks to an agreement that makes Wakatake Group the first official partner of LaLiga in Japan.

Wakatake Group and LaLiga have announced the agreement by which the Japanese company becomes an official partner of the Spanish championship for the development of grassroots football and the training of coaches in Japan until June 2022.

This alliance will initially have three defined projects. The first will be a virtual training of players and coaches, which will be carried out by the heads of the LaLigay sports projects department and the methodology directors of three LaLigaSantander clubs: Villarreal CF, Athletic Club and SD Eibar. This training program will take place during the first three weeks of December.

In a second stage, several LaLiga’s coaches will travel to Japan to carry out clinics with players and presential training courses with local coaches, which will be the continuation of the online program of the first phase. Finally, a selected group of players will travel to Spain for a special training stage.

“The agreement was born with three defined projects and we are convinced that new synergies and opportunities for collaboration will arise between LaLiga and Wakatake Group. Japan is one of the benchmark countries in Asian football and LaLiga, as one of the main competitions worldwide, wants to contribute to its growth”, Juan Florit, head of LaLiga’s Sports Projects department, said.

“This alliance is a great opportunity to continue bringing to Japanese fans the excellence and passion that inspires them in Spanish football. For Wakatake Group, it is a pride to collaborate with a benchmark competition like LaLiga and we are sure that this program, with a solid training pillar, will provide participants with great development experiences, both on and off the field”, Takeshi Inawaka, CEO of Wakatake Group, stated.

With this agreement, LaLiga takes a further step in its internationalization strategy, focused on increasing the presence of LaLiga and its clubs at a global level while supporting the development of local football thanks to multiple collaboration agreements with official organizations and leading companies in sectors such as technology or training.

For its part, Wakatake Group, with more than 15 years of experience, joins LaLiga’s efforts in Japan, a strategic country in the region that shares numerous historical ties with Spain and where LaLiga has, since 2017, a delegate focused on bringing Japanese fans closer to the Spanish playing fields.

The SpCCJ grants the Spain Japan Business Contribution Awards 2020 to Japan Airlines and Amadeus

The SpCCJ grants the Spain Japan Business Contribution Awards 2020 to Japan Airlines and Amadeus

The Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Japan (SpCCJ) announced the winners of its fifth “Spain Japan Business Contribution Awards (SJBCA)”, on Friday, 13 November 2020 at the Prince Park Tower Tokyo, in the presence of the H.E. Ambassador of Spain to Japan, Jorge Toledo Albiñana.

Established in 2016 by the committee of the SpCCJ to recognise successful business relations between Spain and Japan, SJBCA has become one of the most important events among the Spain Japan business community in Japan.

In this fifth year, the SpCCJ presented for the first time “the joint award” to Japan Airlines (JAL) and Amadeus IT Group S.A. (Amadeus) for making outstanding contributions to Spain Japan commercial relationship through their partnership agreement signed last year in 2019. The award trophies were presented to Ms. Hoshiko Nakano, Deputy Vice President – Managing Division Passenger Sales, International Passenger Sales, Senior Vice President – Eastern Japan of JAL, and Mr. Kai Gerrit Jacobsen, Vice President of Amadeus Japan.

With the new agreement between JAL and Amadeus, JAL will benefit from enhanced technology as Amadeus becomes JAL’s recommended distribution partner in the Japanese market. Amadeus’ global network of travel sellers will have access to a broader range of JAL’s content, including the full range of international, as well as preferred and negotiated fares. All of this content will be available for travel sellers to shop, book and service through the Amadeus Travel Platform.  

In addition, as JAL uses Amadeus’ passenger service system, Amadeus-connected travel agents will enjoy real-time, accurate and efficient information sharing with complete visibility of the airline’s inventory; all designed to enable travel sellers to deliver even greater customer service.

“The SpCCJ believes this joint award to JAL and Amadeus will encourage and strengthen the business relations between Spain and Japan and initiate new business opportunities. 2020 has been a difficult year for all, especially for the travel industry. It is very encouraging to see that companies are planning and looking for opportunities beyond the pandemic”, commented Guillermo Gutierrez, the President of the SpCCJ.

The Award Ceremony and the Reception was held at the Prince Park Tower Tokyo, with 70 distinguished guests from Spain Japan business community. Guests enjoyed dinner inspired by flavour of Spain, which was specially prepared by the Executive Chef, Kenji Miura, and excellent Spanish cava and wine provided by five Spanish brands for pairing with each dish.

The SJBCA was supported by a wide range of SpCCJ member companies, with CVNE, Freixenet, Felix Solis, Garcia Carrion, Torres generously sponsored excellent Spanish cava and wine, Solan de Cabras provided iconic Spanish mineral water, new comer to Japanese market Vidal provided Spanish gummies for table surprise, the MotoGP’s Dorna invited each awardees to MotoGP VIP Village in Motegi Grand Prix next year, and long-time supporter Lladró sponsored beautiful trophies of Gallop for awardees with the wish for the Spain Japan business to continue growing as fast as gallop.

Comments from award recipients

Japan Airlines (JAL) reinforced partnership with Amadeus in 2019 on an extended distribution and IT agreement, and Amadeus became JAL’s recommended distribution partner in the Japanese market.

As JAL relies on Amadeus’ passenger service system, Amadeus-connected travel agents can enjoy real-time, accurate and efficient information sharing with complete visibility of the airline’s inventory; thanks to Amadeus to enable travel sellers to deliver even greater customer service.


We are honored to receive this award, recognizing Amadeus’ contribution to the strong relations between Spain and Japan in business. Japan Airlines is a longstanding and valued customer, and we are proud to support JAL with our world-class technology to power the airline’s distribution and passenger processes. Together with customers such as Japan Airlines, we are working to implement innovative technology and collaborative partnerships to support the industry on its path to recovery.

List of SJBCA winners

2016 LaLiga

2017 Rakuten, Inc.

2018 Gestamp Autotech Japan


The Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Japan
The Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Japan (SpCCJ) was established in 2016 to provide a unified voice and strengthen business relations between Spain and Japan. The SpCCJ became an official entity in April 2017 with recognition by both the Japanese Ministry of Economy (METI), Trade and Industry and the Spanish Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness (MINECO). The SpCCJ is a part of CAMACOES, the network of Spanish Chamber of Commerce in overseas, and also a stakeholder of EBC (European Business Council).

A conversation with CHANEL Japan CEO, Guillermo Gutierrez

A conversation with CHANEL Japan CEO, Guillermo Gutierrez

Our first in person seminar since February, “A conversation with CHANEL Japan CEO, Guillermo Gutierrez” was held on 23 October.

As a Spanish national having lived in Japan for many years and working for a large international corporation, Guillermo shared his wealth of experience with the participants from both Spanish and French Chamber of Commerce.

After the talk session, people enjoyed mingling with other guests including with Guillermo himself.

Perspectivas España – Japón 2021

Perspectivas España – Japón 2021

Muchas gracias a Jorge Toledo, Embajador de España en Japón, a Fernando Hernández, Consejero Económico y Comercial de la Embajada de España en Japón y a Guillermo Gutierrez, Presidente de la (SpCCJ) Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Japan por compartir con nuestros miembros su visión sobre el estado y el futuro de las relaciones politicas, económicas y empresariales en el panel Perspectivas España – Japon.

Jorge Calvo, PhD, ha sido un placer tenerte como moderador del evento. Muchísimas gracias por aceptar nuestra propuesta.

Extraordinary Meeting of the Spanish Chamber of Commerce

Extraordinary Meeting of the Spanish Chamber of Commerce

  • Las empresas de la Cámara de España constatan la coincidencia en el diagnóstico de la situación y piden que se aborden las soluciones necesarias desde el consenso.
  • Los Presidentes de BBVA, Banco Santander, HP, Iberdrola, Indra y Telefónica comparten con la Vicepresidenta del Gobierno sus propuestas de actuación ante la crisis económica.

Madrid, 03/09/20.- La vicepresidenta tercera del Gobierno y ministra de Asuntos Económicos y Transformación Digital, Nadia Calviño, ha apelado a la unidad de acción frente a la crisis económica y social derivada de la pandemia de la COVID-19. “El diagnóstico de la situación es compartido, como también las recetas para hacerle frente. Es más lo que une a la sociedad española que lo que le separa y eso debe reflejarse también en la política. Es el momento de la unidad, de arrimar el hombro”, ha afirmado la Vicepresidenta del Gobierno.

Durante su intervención en el Pleno Extraordinario de la Cámara de Comercio de España, Calviño ha subrayado el papel fundamental que deben jugar las Cámaras de Comercio – a las que ha pedido colaboración en esta etapa de reconstrucción- en el proceso de transformación digital y en la internacionalización, particularmente de las pymes “La transformación digital de las pequeñas y medianas empresas constituye la más importante reforma estructural  que tenemos por delante y tenemos que acelerarla e intensificarla de manera exponencial”, ha subrayado Calviño.

La transición digital, junto a la transición ecológica, la formación y la internacionalización han sido algunas de las cuestiones que han centrado el debate sobre propuestas de actuación ante la crisis económica y los principales desafíos y prioridades que deben plantearse en la etapa de reconstrucción, protagonizado por los Presidentes de BBVA, Banco Santander, HP, Iberdrola, Indra y Telefónica.

Las empresas participantes han coincidido tanto en el diagnóstico, como en la apelación a la necesaria unidad de acción para superar la crisis.

Así, la presidenta de Banco Santander, Ana Botín, ha afirmado que “hay un gran consenso sobre los principios en los que debe sustentarse la recuperación: que el futuro está en Europa y que queremos una economía más sostenible, inclusiva, digital y feminista. A partir de aquí lo que hay que debatir es cómo se ejecuta la reconstrucción y, en mi opinión, debe basarse en cuatro aspectos. Que los proyectos tengan un efecto multiplicador, que estén apoyados sobre el liderazgo empresarial, la capilaridad de las ayudas y la gobernanza para que haya responsabilidad”.

Otro aspecto coincidente en las intervenciones de los distintos ponentes ha sido la necesidad de transformar esta crisis en una oportunidad para cambiar el modelo económico español.

Ignacio Sánchez Galán, presidente de Iberdrola, ha incidido en la transición ecológica. “La inversión en la economía verde no tiene solo que ver con energía, sino que presenta grandes ventajas estructurales por su carácter transversal: mejora la competitividad económica de nuestro país, nuestra balanza de pagos y nuestra autonomía energética; reduce nuestras emisiones y nuestra contaminación, e impulsa la electrificación de usos energéticos con un importante efecto tractor en sectores como la climatización o el transporte”, ha asegurado Galán.

Por su parte, el presidente de Indra, Fernando Abril-Martorell, ha puesto el acento en la necesidad de la economía española de ganar en competitividad y mejorar su productividad: “La tecnología le da la oportunidad a España de hacer un ‘reset’ industrial y relocalizar capacidades”, ha aseverado.

La transición digital ha ocupado una buena parte del diálogo entre las empresas, coincidentes también en cómo la digitalización ha cobrado especial relevancia en la excepcional situación que estamos viviendo.

El presidente de Telefónica, José María Álvarez-Pallete, ha puesto de manifiesto el liderazgo que ejerce España entre las infraestructuras digitales de toda Europa, con la red más extensa de fibra óptica y el reciente lanzamiento del 5G, que Telefónica llevará al 75 por ciento de la población este mismo año. Ha recalcado que “hoy es más necesario que nunca imaginar cómo va a ser la nueva sociedad digital y coger lo mejor. Por ello, en julio presentamos nuestro Pacto Digital, para anticiparnos a la transición digital y liderarla”. 

El Presidente de BBVA, Carlos Torres Vila, ha prestado especial atención a la importancia de la digitalización para las pymes: “El papel de los bancos en la crisis ha sido clave, amplificando el efecto del dinero público. En el medio-largo plazo, tenemos que abrazar de una manera acelerada el cambio hacia un modelo productivo basado en las nuevas tecnologías y en el uso eficiente de los datos. La digitalización facilita a las pymes la eficiencia en los procesos productivos. Por ejemplo, la computación en la nube les abre un mundo nuevo. Tenemos que trabajar en montar a las pymes en esa ola, combinando reformas e inversión”.

Por su parte, la Presidenta de HP para España, Portugal, Francia e Italia, Helena Herrero, ha enfatizado la incidencia de la digitalización en la internacionalización. “La globalización es imparable pero tras la pandemia va a ser diferente. Más digital, más sostenible y más centrada en las personas”, ha dicho Herrero, quien ha propuesto que “como país tenemos que luchar por tener y atraer centros estratégicos con impacto global, apostar por el talento y crear ecosistemas digitales, trabajando de la mano pymes y multinacionales”.

El papel de las Cámaras de Comercio

El presidente de la Cámara de España, José Luis Bonet, ha reiterado la disposición de las empresas a colaborar con los poderes públicos en la salida de la crisis y el papel fundamental que debe desempeñar la Cámara de España y la red cameral, que por su capilaridad es un instrumento fundamental del Gobierno para que las ayudas europeas lleguen al conjunto del tejido productivo. “Hemos de hacer frente a la situación con decisión, coraje, determinación y visión de futuro, sin dejar a nadie atrás, velando por las personas, por supuesto, pero también por las empresas que son la pieza clave para la recuperación, la creación de empleo y el crecimiento de la economía”, ha afirmado Bonet.

En el mismo sentido se ha manifestado el presidente de la Cámara de Valencia y del Consejo de Cámaras de la Comunidad Valenciana, José Vicente Morata, que ha incidido en que la capilaridad y cercanía al tejido productivo del sistema cameral “necesarias para trasladar las políticas públicas al ámbito privado. Y, además, de forma rápida y eficaz, que es precisamente lo que se requiere en la situación actual”.

Por su parte el presidente de la Cámara de Granada, Gerardo Cuerva, ha insistido en la necesidad de contar con el conjunto de la sociedad para llevar a cabo las reformas necesarias y muy particularmente en lo que se refiere a la digitalización. “Si queremos triunfar en el proceso de transición digital, hay que acordarse de las personas”, ha afirmado.


Paralliance webinar: Paralympics – one year to go!

Paralliance webinar: Paralympics – one year to go!

Tokyo (SCCIJ) – Almost 120 guests and members of the Paralliance, an up-coming coalition of 20 chambers of commerce in Japan in support of diversity and inclusion, have celebrated the one-year countdown to the Paralympic Games by participating in a webinar presented by the British Chamber of Commerce in Japan (BCCJ). On the occasion of passing this milestone, Mr. Andrew Parsons, President of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), and Mr. Yasushi Yamawaki, Tokyo 2020 Vice President and IPC Governing Board member, talked about the preparations and prospects for the Paralympics in the summer of 2021. Mr. Craig Spence, IPC Chief Brand & Communications Officer, and BCCJ Vice President Ms. Alison Beale moderated the webinar.

Paralliance webinar: Paralympics – one year to go!
The logo of the up-coming coalition of 20 Chambers of Commerce in Japan in support of diversity and inclusion.

“Right decision was taken”

IPC President Parsons joined the webinar from his home country Brazil and started by stating his regret about not being in Japan now. “Today, we would have been at the Olympic stadium in Tokyo to open the Paralympic Games,” he said. “But we were not able to offer a safe environment to our athletes.” Hence, the postponement was the right decision, although most of the IPC staff was first shocked and then “kind of frustrated”. “They felt they had spent seven years in vain to construct the most complicated jigsaw puzzle for delivering the best games ever,” he recounted the feelings on March 24 when the decision was taken.

After this review, Mr. Parsons voiced his hope that the coronavirus will be under control in one year. “In 365 days, we will be celebrating and it will become a special moment for humanity”, he exclaimed. Until then, a lot of work has to be done again, though. The Japanese IPC board member Mr. Yamawaki joined the conversation from Tokyo and reported that more than 1,000 contracts had to be renegotiated one by one to minimize the cost for each party. “It was like starting from zero again,” he said. IPC President Parsons chipped in and mentioned the IPC’s 300 contracts. “We needed to balance our cash flow because we have to support 182 National Paralympic Committees and the staff of our headquarters in Germany.

Scaled-down games

One consequence of the new situation: “We will reduce the scale of the game, even if a vaccine is found until then,” the IPC president announced. The safety and well-being of the athletes have to be ensured, but everything else could be scaled down. “We are cutting everything that is not fundamental, there will be no luxuries, and all this will apply also to the future games,” he promised. But the top official of the Paralympic Games also expressed his optimism that there will be no further delay. “We need to work as if the games are going ahead, and I have no doubts that the postponed games will still be special.”

Moderator Craig Spence asked the two speakers about the legacy of the postponed Tokyo Paralympics. Mr. Yamawaki answered from Tokyo that the Games may mark the moment that Covid-19 is overcome. Also, the awareness in Japan for Para sports would have risen dramatically. Almost half of the population could now recognize a single Para sport athlete. Also, 99% of all train stations have been rebuilt for the needs of people with disabilities. “The children in 36,000 primary and secondary schools have learned about an inclusive society during the last four years,” Mr. Yamawaki told the webinar viewers. “They will become the future leaders in creating an inclusive society in Japan.” Usually, parents teach children, but the process has been reversed: Children would now teach their parents about inclusion. “This will be one of the biggest legacies of these games and may have the largest impact on attitudes towards people with disabilities,” the IPC official stated.

Essential business support

Reacting to a question by the moderator, the IPC president talked about the support the Paralympic Games have received from the business community. “In Japan, this environment has been amazing,” he stated. For example, two airlines and two financial groups would be sponsoring the Paralympics at the same time. “What do we want to achieve? We want to change the world,” he added. “Ten days of Para sports will become the catalyst to bring inclusion to Japanese society.” Mr. Parsons pointed to the “Inclusion Summit” as a platform for business leaders to discuss the acceptance of disability into the corporate world.

The webinar viewers heard about the dream of the Paralympics’ founder – that every disabled person in the world could become a taxpayer. “Hence, we need to provide more opportunities and change the mindset of people,” the IPC president said. During the Q&A session, he gave the following advice to the foreign business community in Japan: “Get involved, employ more people with disability, and think how your business can become more inclusive,” he said. “For example, if you own a restaurant, put in a ramp, or do anything to make the life of a person with a disability easier.”

Biographies of the speakers

Andrew Parsons has been President of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), the Paralympic Movement’s global governing body, since September 2017. Upon election, Andrew made strengthening the IPC’s relationship with the IOC a top priority. In October 2018 Andrew was elected an IOC member. He also represents the IPC in the IOC Coordination Commissions for Tokyo 2020 and LA 2028. Andrew is also a member of the IOC Marketing Commission and sits on the Board of Directors for the Olympic Channel and on the WADA Foundation Board.

Yasushi Yamawaki has been a board member of the International Paralympic Committee since 2013 and a Vice President of the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games since 2014. He is also the Chairman of the Nippon Foundation Paralympic Support Center (2015-present), a councilor at the Japan Anti-Doping Agency (JADA) (2015-present) During his professional career, Mr. Yamawaki worked at Nippon Yusen (NYK Line) and rose to become the executive Vice-Chairman from 2008 to 2011).

Text: Martin Fritz for SCCIJ

Visit Ishigaki with Yoitabi Travel

Visit Ishigaki with Yoitabi Travel

While keeping an eye on the numbers and standing firm on the safety measures and recommendations, the Japanese Government has finally started the reactivation of the travel and hospitality industry.

Following this line, we have really great news for all the beach lovers. Our Corporate Member Yoitabi Travel has launched a special package to visit one of the most beautiful islands of the Okinawa archipelago, Ishigaki Island.

Did you know that Tripadvisor named Ishigaki Island the world’s hottest spot back in 2018? Ishigakijima is well-known for its surrounding coral reefs, their famed manta rays and some of the most beautiful sunsets of Japan.

If you would like to know more details about this package, do not hesitate to contact Yoitabi Travel through their contact email:

Package Details

Duration: 4 days. 3 nights
Economy Flight Tickets 
Accommodation: 5* Hotel (breakfast included)
Private transfers from/to the airport
Leisure Activities: Island Hoping, Snorkeling Tour, Sunset BBQ cruise…  

From ¥121,500 /PAX (995€ /Pax)  

From ¥135,200 /PAX (1,095€ /Pax)  

From ¥166,200 /PAX (1,345€ /Pax)  

At Yoitabi Travel they are committed to create alternative, individualized and responsible travel experiences, so do not hesitate to contact them regarding Ishigaki package but also if you would like to design your own personalized experience. 

How can the auto industry give users what they want in the post-COVID-19 world?

How can the auto industry give users what they want in the post-COVID-19 world?

How can the auto industry give users what they want in the post-COVID-19 world?

In vast swathes of the world, most movement has been halted. Once people are able to travel once again, will they go back to their old ways of moving around?
In attempting to predict a likely future state for the automotive industry specifically, to me one thing is clear: this crisis will trigger a shift in consumer preferences.
I predict two main—but somewhat opposing—shifts.

Firstly, more people will prefer to use a car rather than public transport.
When people will once again be able to travel, it is fair to assume that many will be reticent to use public transport that is packed with people, in close proximity, touching dirty surfaces. Given the choice, would you be willing to do that on a daily basis to get to work? Or exposing your family to that?
Another factor to remember is that falling oil prices may make using a car more attractive, at least from an economic perspective… if and when the fall in oil prices are translated to the prices consumers pay at the pumps.

The second shift is that less people will want—or be able—to buy a car.
While the value of having your own personal space is clear, the economic crisis means that people are not going to be able to afford a car. It is obvious that the immediate macro-economic impact of the crisis has led to high unemployment, which will directly translate into less demand for new cars.
Even for those people whose work has not been affected, many will have become accustomed to teleworking, which will likely become far more prevalent even once the crisis is over. This will mean that fewer people will need to commute, and those that do will do so less often, translating into less willingness to pay for an expensive/new car.

And what about the newfound, widespread focus on sustainability? This year’s crises—including the Australian bushfires and COVID-19—have brought people highly visible, immediate, and tangible effects of what is being characterised as a lack of respect for and acknowledgement of the limits of the environment. I predict that this will also have a downward effect on demand for new, privately owned cars. Yes, fuel prices might fall, but increasing fuel consumption and buying and throwing away cars are not going to be seen as part of the answer.

Given the reduction in willingness to use public transport and the reduction in ability/willingness to buy a new car, my prediction is that there will be a surge in demand for shared (and preferably electric) vehicles.

In the short term, this will be a boon for electric shared car service providers—such as Ferrovial’s Zity, VW’s WeShare, and Daimler/BMW joint venture SHARE NOW—but there are two key pain points that these services do not address:

  • Peace of mind around the service: How will the service provider guarantee that the in-car environment—particularly the steering wheel, touchscreens, etc.—will not be contaminated.
  • Fitness for purpose of the vehicle: Given that these vehicles were designed first and foremost for the private ownership market, do the cars do the jobs that car sharers want from them? What could they do better if they were built, first and foremost, for sharing?

I believe that both of these challenges strike at the heart of automakers’ traditional weaknesses, but could be sources of opportunity.

Designing a mobility service for the post-COVID-19 world
It is no secret that automakers’ traditional strengths and core competencies in manufacturing have caused them to lag behind in how to successfully design for, and capture value from, Mobility as a Service, relying instead on a traditional waterfall approach beginning with the vehicle and considering the service a mere add-on.

How much more powerful would it be if an automaker really looked at the shifts in consumer behaviour, and designed new mobility solutions based on consumer pains and jobs to be done focused on the service, with the form of the vehicle following the function required from it?

We have seen mobility service providers quickly roll out minimum viable solutions to the coronavirus challenge: for example, Didi Chuxing (China’s answer to Uber) started sticking up protective plastic dividers between drivers and passengers in its cars, setting up 46 shield installation points and 9 disinfection stations around Beijing. But this was in response to taxi drivers taking matters into their own hands and making makeshift barriers themselves, or even wearing hazmat suits.

However, these are temporary solutions that illustrate a real problem.

What could service providers—automakers, ride hailing companies and car sharing companies alike—do to ensure not only that vehicles are safe, but that people feel safe?

To successfully address consumers’ concerns, companies must firstly make sure that they understand deeply what consumers care about and secondly, make service design a priority.

Designing a vehicle for the post-COVID-19 world
Even if services are put in place to give users peace of mind around shared vehicles, the fact remains that these vehicles were never intended to be shared, and therefore are not built for purpose. Some upstart companies—Chinese/Swedish Lynk & Co springs to mind—have created cars with shareability in mind from the start, but we are still a long way from a car that has been designed with the needs of car sharing as being foremost.

While in the old days, interactions with the car and the use cases for a car were limited to those dictated by one owner, shared cars will be used by multiple people for multiple different purposes on any given day. How could one car adapt to all those needs? How should a car allow interaction with a multitude of different people?

What could a purpose-built shared car look like?
Answering these questions would require a deep study of customer needs and behaviours in different contexts, and an integrated approach that takes in service design and digital touch points, as well as the physical design of the car.
Any car company that does this could really build themselves a differentiated advantage. It is here that automakers could really shine, as Uber and other service providers cannot suddenly start building cars.

Driving forward

The world is going to look and feel rather different to the world we had before, and all companies must prepare to address new concerns and understand new consumer preferences.
An integrated design approach across service, digital, and physical, based on a deep understanding of customer’s needs and concerns, will be key to make the changes required to business for survival post-crisis.

Whoever answers the call to understand new consumer preferences and make a vehicle that is more adaptable, more sustainable, and with a service that feels secure, will surely find a place in the post-COVID-19 world.

What are you doing to prepare for this shift?

Maruan El Mahgiub
Director of Business Strategy at Mormedi

Security Threats in this New World

Security Threats in this New World

On 9 June the Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Japan organised an online seminar inviting Gerard Salvador López, Senior Cloud Transformation Specialist at IBM to hear what is currently happening in the world of IT from a cyber-security perspective.

2020 will be remembered as the biggest remote working experiment in the history of mankind. With almost a third of the world’s population locked down, businesses and industries are trying to face this new reality asking their employees to work from home. Just as an example, Zoom is now worth more than the sum of the 5 biggest airlines in the US.

However, the larger the IT infrastructure is, the higher the likelihood of having vulnerabilities. Covid-19 has changed the security landscape enormously and, probably, forever. Just to give you an example, there has seen an increase of 14.000% in spam and phishing.

Passionate about the potential of technology and the risks of it, Gerard Salvador López has worked as a Cloud Strategist at Siemens in Belgium, lead the Engineers Without Borders NGO, hosted a TEDx event and wrote a book about the future of technology, “Too tech to fail”. He holds an Engineering Degree and a Master in Business Administration at Vlerick Business School in Belgium. For more information, you can take a look into his website:

Spanish Automotive Suppliers looking ahead after COVID-19 crisis

Spanish Automotive Suppliers looking ahead after COVID-19 crisis

Spanish Automotive Suppliers looking ahead after COVID-19 crisis

COVID-19 is having a major impact on the economy and has caused an unprecedented lockdown in automotive manufacturing and retail activities in Europe and worldwide.

The automotive industry is one of the pillars of the Spanish economy. Over 1000 companies supply vehicle parts and components both to the OEMs located in Spain, Europe and worldwide and also for the aftermarket. Spain is the 2nd vehicle producer in Europe and the 9th worldwide and Spanish suppliers export c. 60% of their revenues: €20,754 million in 2019 out of €35,822 million turnover.

Restarting plants and logistical operations across the EU is a highly complex process, that relies on enough demand in the pipeline an on a functioning internal market, which is a difficult task when member states and regions are at different stages in the corona crisis.

Uncertainty and volatility of demand are considered the most critical issues for the automotive supply chain at the moment. The future perspective depends very much on consumer sentiment and demand picking up substantially. Experts have already discarded a fast recovery (V shape) and consider that a slow recovery (U shape) or a recession (L shape) are the possible scenarios. Recovery of 2019 figures is not expected until 2022 or even later, which has urged the Spanish Government to launch a recovery plan that includes measures both to promote demand and to support the industrial capabilities in the whole supply chain, with liquidity and labor measures and to support R&D and innovation.  

Demand stimulus through vehicle renewal schemes will kickstart economic recovery, support the relaunch of the sector and therefore safeguard jobs and investment capacity. The automotive industry can act as an engine of overall economic recovery thanks to its impact on other economic sectors and its multiplier effect.

Moreover, the crisis is accelerating the transformation of the sector. The whole automotive ecosystem must look ahead and maintain focus on the objectives towards a sustainable, safer, connected and automated mobility in a digital and carbon-neutral society. Besides the market and production recovery, investment in people and R&D remain essential and the companies need to reconsider their strategic plans in the short, medium and long terms, to become more resource efficient.

The Spanish components industry is leader in materials and production technologies, thanks to its extensive experience manufacturing parts for multiple models of vehicles from different industrial cultures, including the Japanese one. This long tradition is linked to its commitment to innovation. Spanish manufacturers of auto equipment and components invest 4.1% of their turnover in R&D&I; three times the average of Spanish industries. This means that products incorporate advanced technologies and meet the most demanding specifications.

Though equipment and components are largely “invisible”, automotive suppliers contribute to about 75% of the total value of a vehicle. And as cars are increasingly including sensors and electrical and electronic components, this figure will grow. The engineering and technology departments of the Spanish components industry are made up of professionals from technical schools and universities, recognized worldwide for training students to the highest academic standards.

Spanish suppliers are adapting to new times without compromising quality, safety and competitive prices. Their brands have achieved recognition and customers’ trust all around the world.

For Spain, and particularly for automotive suppliers, Japan is amongst the top ten export destinies, if we consider the EU as a whole, with an average increase of 5% in the last 5 years. The FTA signed recently between Japan and the EU will favour trade exchanges due to the harmonization of technical requirements.

Maria Luisa Soria
Public Affairs and Innovation Director in SERNAUTO (Spanish Association of Automotive Suppliers)

Remote interpreting – a chance for the internalization of SMEs

Remote interpreting – a chance for the internalization of SMEs

Remote interpreting – a chance for the internalization of SMEs

New normality is not here yet. For the last couple months, we all have started taking measures in order to adapt to this endlessly shifting reality. Citizens follow guidelines from the experts, while companies from different industries face different challenges. While having all the options on the table, every single factor must be scrutinized by companies in order to implement the right measures to continue being an active actor in the market.

The translation and interpretation industry, which my company belongs to, has not been impacted as badly as the hospitality or fashion industries. Although April was a rather sluggish month for most, right now translation is still alive and well. Since most freelance translators have been working remotely since the birth of the internet, not much has changed in this regard. Translation in fields such as audiovisual and literature especially is still in abundance, with streaming content or video games being almost the only option of entertainment currently available.

On the other hand, it is not an overstatement to say that interpretation or oral translation is in a lean period. Interpreters are qualified professionals with not only a great understanding of and fluency in the two or more languages that they work with, but also with an array of skills to convey a message and make communication between two or more parties possible, a key tool in the current world we live in. Although the practice of alternating with a speaker to translate what they are saying so that listeners can constantly follow along, commonly known as consecutive interpretation, is more common and requires virtually no equipment, for high-level meetings or seminars with many participants and not enough time to alternate between speaker and interpreter, simultaneous interpreting becomes necessary. When providing this service, an interpreter finds herself/himself actively listening to the speaker in order to understand what they are saying and then convey it in another language to the listeners on the spot. Similar to professional athletes, surgeons or chemists, the highest-level interpreters might be seen by some as extraordinary people with superpowers.

However, we are in an age where even the jobs of the most capable of people are in shambles. Here in Japan, we are seeing with our own eyes how many expats are being sent back to their home countries. All of the hard work spent developing skills and know-how is suddenly not a guarantee to have a stable life. It seems like the situation will not get better anytime soon and that there is no hope left in these trying times. Or is there?

Unexpectedly, this viral crisis might actually bring some great business opportunities both for companies with a presence in the international landscape and related professionals. Remote teleconference platforms, such as Zoom or Interprefy, as well as a large number of apps that are available to the public nowadays, provide premium services that enable one or several designated people to carry out simultaneous interpretation. Simple features enable participants in a videoconference to select a channel and listen to an interpreter in a language they understand, while muting the speaker speaking in another language. Despite the sometimes-imperfect sound quality and some basic technical difficulties that may arise, mainly due to internet connections, this is indeed not so different to a professional setting such as an international meeting, conference or seminar where soundproof booths, microphones, headphones and a PA system are required.

We do believe that with the new 5G networks that are being implemented, new tech will be developed, bringing new business opportunities and ways of carrying out such services. We can see great positive outcomes for companies whose activity crosses borders and for the professionals involved in the interpreting field. With shorter notice, companies will still be able to connect with a professional interpreter who provides a similar high-quality service for a significantly lower price. Moreover, this will help small and medium-sized enterprises have more of a chance to negotiate and build up a relationship with foreign companies and vendors. Likewise, interpreters can benefit from this new way of providing services by being able to manage their schedules better and have a better work-life balance.

The role of a translation and interpretation agency will remain the same: providing clients with the resources and solutions required to cater to their needs whenever necessary with the guarantee of a great outcome. However, agencies must continue to find out how to help and assist their clients in the most efficient way possible in this new era we are now entering.

Jorge Rubio
Sales Planning Division No.2
Operations Deparment at Franchir Co., Ltd.

Managing through the maelstrom

Managing through the maelstrom

The Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Japan (SpCCJ) together with the Belgium-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce in Japan (BLCCJ) in a joint effort invited on Friday 29 May, partners and directors of the Japan member firm of Deloitte to share with our members, their perspective related to doing business in Japan during the COVID-19 emergency.

Evolution of a crisis, relief measures, financial reporting matters, technology vision and vulnerabilities and command strategies were some of the topics covered in this interesting and useful sesion.

A big thank you to our 5 speakers from Deloitte and to all the attendants for joining us during lunch time!