The YES (Young Executive Stay) program is a commercial export project under the auspices of His Majesty King Philippe of Belgium. It aims to train young executives from Belgium and Luxembourg in successful Japanese business practices, at reasonable costs, and in a short amount of time. For this purpose, every two years, the Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce in Japan, the Belgium-Japan Association & Chamber of Commerce and the Chambre de Commerce de Luxembourg organize a one-week training program in Japan, beginning with two briefing sessions in Belgium. The training in Japan will start with a panel discussion with businesspeople in Japan, followed by introducing each participant to potential customers and/or business partners in her/his business area. The YES program enjoys the support of the Embassies of Belgium and Luxembourg in Japan, the Embassy of Japan in Belgium, the Belgium-Luxembourg Market Council, the Luxembourg Trade and Investment Office, and of the representatives of the three Belgian Regions in Japan and in Belgium.
In 2024 (TBC) we plan to organize the next YES edition (YES XII).
Who is the YES-program for?
You are a young executive working for a small or medium-sized company in Belgium or Luxembourg. Your company is interested in the Japanese market. You do not want to be one of the participants in a trade mission, but rather prefer to have a personalized hands-on program, which gives you direct contact with your potential customers and partners in Japan.
Program in Belgium: Seminars and Briefing Sessions
Intensive preparatory briefing sessions will be held for the selected YES participants in Belgium before coming to Japan, with speakers and experts on various topics concerning export to Japan and the Japanese business culture.
Program in Japan: Panel Discussion and Business Meetings
The Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce in Japan is committed to getting real business prospects for each participant.
The panel discussion with Belgian and Luxembourg business(wo)men in Japan will cover different aspects of the business environment in Japan, such as the recent evolution of the economy, types of enterprises, potential in different sectors, and general business practices, as well as more specific aspects, such as commercial laws, trade barriers, shipping and distribution practices. The panelists are seasoned businesspeople in Japan.
Introduction to the market: business meetings
Under guidance of a member of the Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce in Japan (the “business coach”), and with the help from students from Sophia University in Tokyo, each participant will have the opportunity to contact potential customers and organize business meetings.
Each YES program participant will work individually with a business coach, who will be selected from a company that is related to the participant’s business, but not in direct competition.
The Japanese students come to visit the participant’s company end of August-beginning of September for one day.
A few important points
It is important to have some business experience before starting business in Japan. This will be an important point during the selection of the participants.
A good command of the English language is necessary for doing business in Japan.
Preparation work before the training is absolutely necessary. Some of this will be done during the one-day seminars, but participants are expected to prepare their trip carefully. Some ways to do this might be: market studies, preparing brochures in English or Japanese, preparing a practical distribution policy, having sales and technical support team in Belgium/Luxembourg, or having contacts directly from Belgium/Luxembourg.
Doing business in Japan is a rewarding long-term investment. The aim of a first contact with Japan is to discover for yourself and your company that Japan is indeed an immense market and meet potential customers who would like to see you again. Business deals might only come after a few visits, although in some instances former YES participants have returned home with a contract in their suitcase.
When does the YES program take place?
The one-week training program in Japan will most likely take place in October 2024 (TBC).
The students from Japan will then visit the participants and their company in Belgium end of August-beginning of September 2024 (TBC) for one day.
The program in Belgium consists of general seminars and separate briefing sessions for the selected YES participants.
Exact dates will be informed in due time.
Financial contribution from each participant
The YES program is at reasonable cost to your company. The organizers will bear most of the direct costs of your trip to Japan, including your economy class airplane ticket, accommodation during the whole program, organization of seminars, Japanese language lessons, a reception where you can invite potential business contacts, and the visit of the student to your company.
A token fee of 2,500 EUR (TBC) to partially cover expenses should be paid to the BLCCJ upon confirmation of selection. This fee is non-reimbursable. Please note that other costs such as your personal out-of-pocket expenses including food, entertainment, professional interpreters and domestic travel are to be borne by the participant.
How to apply for the YES program?
Deadline for applications and date of the mandatory selection interview in 2024 will be informed in due time.
Together with your application form, we will ask you to send the following documents in English and by electronic means only to email@example.com:
- The application form
- A profile of your company
• Catalogues of the products/services you intend to promote in Japan
- A resume of the applicant
- Financial Statement of the company
- A tentative market study of the Japanese market
- Overview of your activity in Japan to present (if any)
Please kindly provide the above documents in one document file.
Please keep it summarized as much as possible.
For more details on the YES program:
Coordinator for Japan:
Coordinator for Belgium:
Coordinator for Luxembourg:
Feedback from YES X 2016:
8 Belgian companies participated in Yes X. They all had several interesting business meetings with potential Japanese customers, and some participants could make interesting contacts and event conclude a business deal. They all agreed that the YES program is amazing because it gives smaller companies the opportunity to explore the Japanese market, which would stay a dream if it were not for YES.