It has been an honor to serve in my second year as Chairman of FIA Japan, as our organization has continued to grow in many ways. We have seen our membership continue to expand, we’ve seen the professional quality and maturity of our Board continue to grow, our various committees’ membership and activity levels continue to set a fine example, and the governance and structure of FIA Japan at an overall level has progressed further again over the past year.
I believe a fundamental reason for all of the positive growth is that we once again sat down as a team one year ago to think carefully about our strategy going forward. Once we agreed as an organization on our strategic agenda, we spent the ensuing twelve months very diligently tackling many of the items we agreed to focus on, and while we may not have accomplished every single goal we defined twelve months ago, we have without question once again achieved a tremendous amount. I am very proud to be associated with everyone across our organization and to be part of a team that has made such a substantial degree of contribution to our industry in Japan.
At the outset of the year, we thought about our broadest objective, and we defined this as: “FIA Japan's mission is to encourage the growth and success of the Japanese financial market-place and its development as a regional and global financial center, with the following three objectives: Provide a forum for discussion/communication; provide a variety of educational seminars and the like; monitor regulatory and legal developments.”
From our mission statement, our strategy followed, and while there are too many items to list in full here, our key strategy agenda included a specific focus on the following:
FIA Japan Governance
Japan Financial Center
FIA Japan Office Strengthening
The degree of work that has been conducted in FY2021 is substantial and it would not be practical to itemize everything here, but the following is a brief summary of some of the key areas where we have made significant progress with our strategic agenda.
1. FIA Japan Governance
Further progress on diversity of membership both at the Board level and Committee level
Degree of collaboration between FIAJ and FIA has continued to increase as we work together on a broad range of topics such as holiday trading
We have made improvements in the structure of the FIA Japan Office that are expected to help the organization continue to succeed in the future
Membership continues to expand not only in number but also in member firm diversity
The organization has continued to better leverage the expertise of our members
2. Regulatory Affairs
FIAJ has continued to engage through research, surveys, whitepapers, roundtables, and seminars, and again this has represented a tremendous amount of effort on the part of our members, but more importantly, it has made contributions across a number of areas
We have continued to work closely with our industry colleagues in Japan on a broad range of topics such as continued promotion of Japan’s comprehensive market, introduction of holiday trading, and introduction of VaR margining
The organization has continued to act as a provider of key information to our members and to our industry
Improvements have also been made to the FIAJ website, making it a more valuable and a more relevant source of information
As mentioned above, FIAJ again conducted several roundtable discussions on topics such as the promotion of Japan as a global financial center, and FIAJ members also participated in seminars with organizations such as FinCity Tokyo
4. Japan Financial Center
FIAJ has been involved in a variety of ways in our attempt to assist with the promotion of Japan as a key global financial center
We have engaged directly through participation in FinCity Tokyo seminars, and we have conducted a great deal of our own work including roundtable discussions with foreign firms in the interest of determining what Japan can do to continue increasing its attractiveness as a global financial center
FIAJ has also carried out a survey this year aimed at identifying very specifically what roadblocks may still exist in terms of attracting foreign firms to Japan, and in terms of identifying what additional incentives may be offered in order to have them decide to locate here
5. FIA Japan Office Strengthening
This year, FIAJ made some key changes to the Office of FIA Japan
A new Executive Secretary was added to the team and has now become an effective contributor to the organization
A second very significant change made this year was the creation of a new role within the organization: Chief of Staff
The Chief of Staff has already made significant contribution through internal management of the Office of FIA Japan, and through a continuing enhancement in FIAJ Office communication externally to our member community and our industry
6. Market Enhancement
As mentioned above, FIAJ has been very active across a number of areas with a specific focus on market enhancements
These have included areas such as continued promotion of Japan’s comprehensive market, work on the introduction of OSE holiday trading, introduction of VaR margining, overseas futures trading, and the program for Remote Trading Participation
The summary above does not of course fully capture all of the efforts or all of the contributions that have been made throughout the year by all of the members of our team, but I hope that it conveys the spirit of our organization. We continue to work diligently with the aim of assisting in the growth and success of our industry in Japan.
Following the AGM we held on May 25, 2022, during which our members reviewed the above-mentioned activities and approved the business plan for the year to come, I was granted the privilege of being nominated and reappointed as FIAJ Chairman for FY2022 by the newly elected Board. I’m looking forward to continue working with the dynamic team we have assembled to further grow the Japanese financial market and achieve a truly global financial center.
FIA Japan Chairman