With this in mind and with careful review after input from members, the Internal Affairs Advisory Council (IAAC) has proposed amendments to the Constitution and conforming changes to the Bylaws. The proposals are intended to make the Chamber easier to do business with and continue improving our governance in line with similar organizations in Japan and around the region.
Today, the Board discussed the proposals and approved them to go forward to a membership vote at the Ordinary General Meeting (OGM) on October 23. The IAAC’s proposed amendments broadly fall into two categories: those focused on membership & operations and those focused on election & nominations procedures.
Membership & Operations
The following proposals aim to make the Chamber easier to do business with, while also ensuring fairness and parity among members:
- extending voting rights to commercial representatives outside the Tokyo, Chubu, and Kansai chapters at whichever of the three they choose;
- expanding time-limited commercial memberships to non-Japan resident companies, reflecting the renewed interest among U.S. companies in entering the Japanese market;
- guidelines for the conferral of Honorary Memberships;
- simplifying the member resignation process;
- using e-signatures; and
- simplifying use of the Chamber seal, Representative seal and Chamber bank seal.
Election & Nominations
We have already made progress around the nominations process this year in defining and sharing clear criteria, and starting the process much earlier. The following proposals are aimed at further improving this process, while also bringing the ACCJ up to a standard consistent with organizations in Japan and American chambers around the region:
- streamlining the administrative requirements of the Nominations Committee to focus the members' time spent in this important process; and,
- requiring three seconding votes from voting members for nominations made at the OGM either in writing prior or from the floor, preserving this important and unique feature of the ACCJ’s election procedure.
Together, the IAAC’s proposals will improve the way the Chamber operates and help to maximize the ACCJ’s value for members in line with our mission. I will follow-up with you well-ahead of the OGM with the full details of the IAAC’s proposed amendments.
I look forward to your comments and questions ahead of the OGM on October 23.
Sachin N. Shah
The American Chamber of Commerce in Japan