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Message from the President

D7K_7907_web Toru Morita

Toru Morita 森田 徹

President & CEO

Mitsui Chemicals Europe GmbH

It is a great honour for me to succeed Mr. Takashima in the role of President of the JBCE.

The JBCE was founded in 1999. The original drive behind the association’s founding was to respond to the Environmental Recycling Directive proposed by the European Commission.

Two years later, the JBCE’s position paper on the draft directive was officially taken into account by the Commission. Since then, JBCE has been continuing to make steady contributions to the EU’s policy making and has established and strengthened its trusted relationship with the authorities.

In the intervening years, the number of member companies has increased from 24 to 84. This fact alone shows that the importance of JBCE´s role is recognized by both Japanese and EU stakeholders. I would like to express my sincere thanks to all of my predecessors and to the JBCE members for the excellent results that have been achieved in this time.

During the presidency of my predecessor Takashima, a movement of anti-globalism has emerged. We saw this trend in the UK’s referendum in June 2016, and again with the US Presidential election in November of the same year. It is worrying that this tendency seems to be growing rather than diminishing.

In the face of Brexit, the JBCE established a Task Force to keep up-to-date with the progress of negotiations, and to share updates with the JBCE member companies in timely manner.

However, there are also positive stories to tell. The Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between Japan and the EU was the subject of a political agreement in July 2017. Both governments officially signed the finished agreement on 17th July this year, and we expect its entry into force in early 2019.

With this EPA, a new advanced free economic zone of the largest scale in the world by Japan and the EU accounting for about 40% of world trade is newly born.

In facilitating open and free trade, we look forward to the improvement of the wealth of nations.

Furthermore, harmonisation of regulations and standards around the world is essential for business. This is especially important in the fields of environment, resource efficiency, chemical substance management, the circular economy, cross-border data flows and the digital agenda.

To this end, JBCE will strive to increase mutual understanding and dialogue between Japanese and European policy-makers.

As one of the concrete activities, we plan to organise a JBCE flagship event once a year in order to contribute to EU policy making in a constructive and visible manner.

Regarding the membership of the JBCE, I am keen to expand this to include more companies, as well as to strengthen the Secretariat, and increase opportunities for networking between members.

As President of the JBCE, I will take an active role in representing the interests of members, promoting Japanese business in Europe, and contributing to societal wellbeing and environment protection.

I greatly look forward to working with you in order to ensure that JBCE remains a useful and effective organisation and a strong bridge between the EU and Japan.

Thank you very much for your cooperation.

17 July, 2018

Toru Morita

President & CEO

Mitsui Chemicals Europe GmbH