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Newsletter February 17

Newsletter February 17

Thank you to those who joined our “Meet the New Members” online event last week. We believe it was truly interesting to hear what our members are working on in Japan, and we would like to make it into an online series “Meet the BLCCJ Members”.
If you are interested to present yourself and your company to fellow members, please send an email to our office!

As presented at the event, AB InBev has recently joined BLCCJ as a Silver Flagship Member. You can read an introduction to the company on our website.


The Belgian Foreign Trade Agency has published the study “Belgian exporters and free trade agreements – a good match?” 
The study points out that there is a lot of unused potential for Belgian exporters with regards to free trade agreements, including with Japan.

If you want to know more about the EPA and how it can benefit your company, please join our upcoming “EPA 2 years later – expectations and reality” seminar, on Wednesday 10 March, 17:00-18:30 @ Belgian Embassy. Attendance is limited to 40, so sign up soon.
There will be testimonies by flagship members Puratos and Solvay.


The Belgian food industry created a new platform to introduce international food professionals to innovative and diverse Belgian food products and companies: newsbite-sized stories about Belgian food and drinks.

In this regard we want to inform you that we are planning a next Belgian Beer and Food Academy, on Tuesday 1 June @ Hilton Tokyo. More details to follow soon!


The “2021 RIKEN-Luxembourg Digital Scientific Conference” will take place online on 16 March from 08:30 to 11:30 Luxembourg time, 16:30-19:30 Japan time. The talks will focus on AI for Improved Healthcare and Common Mechanisms in Neuro-Inflammation. Free-of-charge, but prior registration is required (you can sign up till 11 March).


On 12 February, the City of Antwerp and the City of Bruges have reached an agreement to merge their respective ports. Once completed, the ports will operate under the name ‘Port of Antwerp-Bruges’. As a result of the merger, the ports will be able to strengthen their position within the global supply chain and continue their course towards sustainable growth.
You can read more here: Port of Antwerp / Port of Zeebrugge


ANA has been flying daily on the Tokyo Narita – Brussels route with cargo.
It was on such a flight that the first vaccines were transported from the Pfizer factory in Belgium (Puurs) to Japan on February 14 (read more here).

Starting on March 6, ANA will resume passenger flights (1 flight per week, on Saturday). You can read more in the press release (as of Jan. 25).


Finally, here are some news headlines of the past days:

-Japan launches COVID-19 vaccinations as Olympics approach (Kyodo News, Feb. 17)


-Japan minister says supply will determine coronavirus vaccine progress (The Mainichi, Feb. 17)


-Japan may delay COVID-19 timetable for inoculating elderly (Kyodo News, Feb. 15)


-Tentative timeline of Japan’s Covid-19 vaccination programme (TimeOut, Feb. 15)


-Q&A: COVID-19 vaccines and getting vaccinated in Japan (Kyodo News, Feb. 17)


-Tokyo’s COVID-19 cases dip below 500 for 10th day straight (The Asahi Shimbun, Feb. 16)


-838 coronavirus infections went unreported in Tokyo between November and January (The Mainichi, Feb. 16)


-Japan January exports post sharpest growth in 27 months on China demand (Kyodo News, Feb. 17)


-Nikkei ends above 30,000 mark for 1st time in over 30 years (Kyodo News, Feb. 15)


-Japan’s 2020 GDP shrinks real 4.8%, 2nd worst on record amid pandemic (Kyodo News, Feb. 15)


-Ad giant Dentsu sees record net loss as revenue falls amid pandemic (Kyodo News, Feb. 15)


-Global air passenger traffic falls record 66% in 2020 amid pandemic (Kyodo News, Feb. 13)


-Half of Japan’s regional banks see profit loss or incur red ink (Kyodo News, Feb. 13)


-Exports from 6 ASEAN states only down 2.2% in 2020 despite pandemic (Kyodo News, Feb. 13)


-Nigerian Okonjo-Iweala 1st woman, African appointed WTO head (Kyodo News, Feb. 16)


-Tokyo Olympic panel meets to narrow down candidates for new chief (Kyodo News, Feb. 17)


-Juvenile suicides in Japan hit record-high 479 in 2020 (Kyodo News, Feb. 15)


-PM Suga appoints minister of loneliness as suicides surge (The Asahi Shimbun, Feb. 13)


Please continue to take good care of yourselves.
And enjoy the beginning of spring!


The BLCCJ office