AJBC Applauds Nakamura Chocolates


Nowadays, Nakamura Chocolates is celebrated for its beautiful designs and iconic flavours. However,
it started with two disenfranchised ‘salary workers’ doing 9 to 5 in Tokyo’s concrete jungle. Those
two workers were Yuki Nakamura and Marlon Schoep. And at that time, they looked at the lives of
people around them and realized that people needed and deserved more than that life, and so
began their search for how they could bring colour to the world.

For inspiration they recalled the special moments in childhood, those that were always full of joy.
They were memories of shared anticipation, excitement, pleasure and being fully present. The
feelings when a spectacular birthday cake came out at a party, or family or friends bought a special
ice-cream, or … or someone came home with a box of chocolates which were opened together? So,
Nakamura Chocolates was born as a celebration of this experience. It carries Yuki Nakamura’s family
name and crest, and it was agreed that each box of chocolates had to inspire delight, each chocolate
be a marvel, and each flavour taste exquisite.

After several years in Canada exploring her passion for chocolate, Yuki completed her formal training
at Savour Chocolate and Patisserie School in Melbourne, after which she took a position in the
kitchen of Choux Café in Swanbourne, after which Nakamura Chocolates were born.
Nakamura Chocolates has been running since 2008. The company has won various awards for its
packaging, chocolate craftsmanship and flavours and in 2019 it was a finalist in the Western
Australian Export Awards. This was because in 2017 Hon Takasagoya (a 140 year old Japanese
confectionary and delicacy company) partnered with Nakamura Chocolates with Yuki becoming the
face of Nakamura Chocolates Japan which produces and sells chocolates all over the Japanese

A delightful outlet was opened in Kobe, the capital city of Hyogo Prefecture (with which Western
Australia has its oldest Sister State Relationship). While available in Japan throughout the year,
Nakamura Chocolates has made the Valentine’s Day gift buying period its own. In Japan, women give
chocolates to the men in their lives on this day. A month later, on White Day, all the men who
received presents must return the favour.

In recent years Valentine’s Day sales of Nakamura Chocolates have generated revenues in excess of
seven figures. It has also given Yuki the opportunity to creatively partner with other premium
product providers. For example, Margaret River’s Woodlands Wines Chardonnay was chosen for a
range of liqueur chocolates, as was Howard Park Wines.

In 2019 Yuki’s chocolates had pride of place at two functions hosted by the Australian Ambassador
to Japan, His Excellency Richard Court AM in his private residence. The first occasion was for the visit
by Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan and the second for the Minister for Tourism Paul
Papalia when attending the inaugural flight of All Nippon Airlines (ANA) between Tokyo and Perth.
Yuki is a strong believer in growing the economic and strategic relationship between Japan and
Australia, and is also an Australia-Japan Foundation board member.


Speech to the AJBCWA Conversation Series Event with Ross Garnaut AC

Consul-General of Japan Perth Office, Mr. Naito Yasushi, Professor Ross Garnaut AC, Partner of Clayton Utz, Mr. Mark Paganin, Ladies and Gentlemen

Welcome to Australia Japan Business Council’s November business event: WA in the Zero Carbon Japanese and World Economy.

My name is Richard Sandover.  I am Chair of the Australia-Japan Business Council.

I acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we are holding this event, the Whadjuk people.  I wish to acknowledge and respect their continuing culture and the contribution they make to the life of this wonderful city and region. 

I acknowledge our hardworking board, Deputy Chair, Mayumi Laughton-Smith, and Board Members, Andrew Tan, David McCulloch, Jack Smith,  Tamas Zegrean, and Isaac Stewart.

Our mission is to expand and deepen two-way trade and investment, deepen understanding and respect for Australia’s and Japan’s interests, and the fostering of economic and cultural cooperation and partnerships with their peoples, organisations, and governments.

In this vein, AJBC provides a platform for the exchange of information on current issues and for addressing the challenges and opportunities arising from the Australia-Japan relationship.  AJBC’s objective is to enhance mutual understanding and community engagement through networking, business events, and B2B and B2G introductions.

AJBC welcomes all new members.  We have set our membership fees at a level to attract small and medium-sized businesses.  If your organisation is not already a member, we urge you to become a member and contribute to the success of AJBC and its mission.

A common desire expressed yesterday by speakers at the excellent Curtin University Engagement Event – Japan in the World: Past Present and Future, was for the need to step up collaboration between Australia and Japan in academic and industry research and the corporate and government spheres to maximise the mitigation measures to combat global carbon emissions and take advantage of the concomitant economic opportunities that flow.

The point has been made recently by eminent scientists immersed in climate change mitigation measures that without further innovation, the global biosphere will not be stabilised at 2.0 degrees Celsius or lower.  It seems based on the latest research the goal of keeping global temperatures to less than 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2050 may now be out of reach; although I believe our eminent speaker on this subject, Professor Ross Garnaut AC, is not so pessimistic.  At a 2.5 degrees celsius increase, Western Australia will lose our wheatbelt to desert.  The climate of Perth is now tracking the climate of Geraldton 30 years ago.  Geraldton is plus 400 kilometres north of Perth.

So, the citizens of Western Australia have compelling reasons both in terms of loss of habitat and reaping the economic rewards available if WA can meet the challenges and take advantage of the extraordinary economic opportunities arising from the global response to climate change.

For this to occur, WA will need to collaborate with trusted partners who can assist WA in generating cheaper, cleaner, reliable, renewable power by harnessing our natural advantages arising from our abundant wind solar, and critical minerals in scalable quantities.

Japan is an obvious partner for WA, with its manufacturing base of advanced technology, its willingness to innovate with Australia, availability of significant capital and long shared history involving Japan, the WA government, and Australian companies.  This led to WA establishing, amongst other things, the iron ore export industry in the 1960s and the LNG export industry in the 1980s and 90s.

Without the considerable initial support and collaboration of the WA and Commonwealth governments with the Japanese government, those highly successful industries would not have been possible.  I remind you that the internal rate of return on investment of the Australian iron ore exporters among companies of scale is now one of the highest in the world.

The template of deep collaboration between Australia and Japan at all levels remains valid in WA for the creation of the new industries necessary for a successful transition to a global green economy.

According to Mark Carney, UN Special Envoy on Climate Action and Finance, former Governor of the Bank of England and Bank of Canada, recently made the following points: 7-8 years ago at the Paris Accord the world was heading towards a 3.5 degrees Celsius warming.  Today we are tracking at 2.4 degrees.  He thinks realistically the world is now heading towards sub-2 degrees warming.  Five years ago, the world was spending US$500 billion on clean energy and US$900 billion on oil and gas per annum.

In 2022, the spend was US$1.2 trillion and US$900 billion on oil and gas.  This year the spend will be US$1.8 trillion on clean energy and half of that on oil and gas.  The progress that has been made is much faster than people expected at Glasgow 2 years ago.  Production of renewable energy is much more economical than it was a few years ago.  Carney thinks the ‘spend’ on solving climate emissions, now has almost unstoppable momentum.  He makes the point that this is about geo-political security and not being hostage to Putin and other large Petro-States.  It is also about economic security.  The transition to zero emissions is a fundamental driver of jobs, competitiveness, and export growth.

In his speech to the Economic and Social Outlook conference on 2 November 2023, the Commonwealth Treasurer, the Hon. Dr. Jim Chalmers, noted that in order to maximise our advantages in renewable energy and grasp the economic and industrial opportunities, we need to get projects off the ground faster.

He makes a distinction between what is required for the domestic energy transition and Australia’s medium to long-term ambition to become a renewable energy superpower.  The Treasurer notes the two objectives are intertwined and that without more decisive action across all levels of government, working with investors, industry, and communities, the energy transition will fall short of what Australia needs.

In response to this challenge, the Commonwealth government is reforming the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act to de-risk approvals processes for the environment and investors.  Through the Net Zero Authority’s work, it is addressing infrastructure gaps to coordinate and manage major projects in our regions, streamlining foreign investment processes, developing new ways to attract capital, and modernising Australian financial markets.

The Treasurer signaled significant reform in industry policy balancing competitiveness, distribution of opportunity, resilience, and national security anchored to Australia’s climate and energy goals.

The Commonwealth government, he says, will be guided by five tests:

  • Whether Australia can be competitive in the industry, by leveraging and building up our comparative advantages.
  • Whether it contributes to an efficient and orderly pathway to net zero.
  • Whether it builds the capabilities and resilience of people and regions.
  • Whether it improves Australia’s national security and economic resilience and supports the strategic objectives of our global partners.
  • And whether it recognises the key role of the private sector and delivers genuine value for money for the government.

This has led the Commonwealth to identify 4 priority areas underpinned by and dependent on abundant, cheap, reliable renewable energy:

  • Refining and processing critical minerals.
  • Producing renewable hydrogen and its derivatives like ammonia.
  • forging green metals such as green iron, steel, and bauxite.
  • Supporting manufacturing of generation and storage technologies, including batteries.

This is good news for WA.

You have heard of the so-called ‘climate wars’ and the phrase ‘wasted decade’ being batted around in Australian politics; well at least one outstanding Australian stood tall throughout, identifying a pathway for Australia to make an outsize contribution to the global transition to a green economy.

Professor Ross Garnaut AC has played a significant role in the transformation of the Australian policy and business landscape over the past 40 years plus.  We are proud he is ‘made in Western Australia’ having been born and grown up here.

As an outstanding economic adviser to Prime Minister Hawke, among many other roles, Professor Garnaut worked with Sir Charles Court’s WA government on behalf of the Commonwealth government providing crucial advice to the Hawke government, leading to the Commonwealth assisting the WA government, just as the application of the ‘take or pay’ provision underwriting the initial investment by Japanese companies in the fledging LNG industry, threatened to bankrupt WA.

In 2007 and updated in 2011, Professor Garnaut conducted a review on Climate Change and Policy Response to Climate Change for the Federal State, and Territory governments examining the impacts of climate change on the Australian economy and recommending medium to long-term policies to improve Australia’s prospects for sustained economic prosperity.  Among numerous publications, he has researched, written or edited several seminal books on Australia’s low carbon opportunity, the latest of which was published in 2022 by La Trobe University Press in conjunction with Black Inc, titled ‘The SuperPower Transformation’ a sequel to his bestselling book ‘Superpower’.  In the last decade, he has gone into business with Zen Energy as Australia’s first electricity retailer to have a near-term science-based emissions reduction target generating 100% renewable energy.

Oh! Did I mention Professor Garnaut was Australia’s Ambassador to China in 1985-88 and has a long connection with Japan amongst other things through his time as visiting professor at Hitotsubashi University and Nihon Keizai Kenkyu Centre?

These are to name but a few of his many achievements.

Today Professor Garnaut will speak on WA in the Zero Carbon Japanese and World Economy.

Richard Sandover

9 November 2023

Connecting Green Hydrogen Japan 2023

Date: 17 – 18, October 2023
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Venue: Bellesalle Shibuya Garden

As a landmark event in the industry’s calendar, Connecting Green Hydrogen Japan 2023 will bring together the industry live and in person to discuss the green hydrogen agenda in Japan and globally.

Connecting Green Hydrogen Japan 2023 creates a unique set-up where the policy-makers as well as both local and international developers, investors, experts, and solution/product providers, meet, get market updates, debate, and learn.

CGHA2023 Highlights
● Co-located with Japan Wind Energy 2023 and in conjunction with H2 Innovate Next Summit.
● Market-focused topics: Japan’s Hydrogen Policy and Strategy, Hydrogen Mobility and Fuel Cells, trends of the Hydrogen Society, Global Hydrogen Supply Chain, and Advanced Hydrogen Technology.
● New partnership opportunities: Energy generators and gas producers, large energy users, infrastructure owners and developers, Government and Investors and buyers.



As a landmark event in the industry’s calendar, Connecting Green Hydrogen APAC 2023 will bring together the industry live and in person to discuss the green hydrogen agenda in Australia and the Asia Pacific.

Connecting Green Hydrogen APAC 2023 creates a unique set-up where the policy-makers and both local and international developers, investors, experts and solution/product providers, meet, get market updates, debate, and learn.

CGHA2023 Technical Summit
The Technical Summit allows green hydrogen professionals to showcase cutting-edge technologies and explore innovative solutions for increased operational efficiency, establishing a technology networking hub.

Women in Green Energy
Inclusion, and more specifically gender inclusion, is a must to take up climate action challenges. Join the Diversity & Inclusion Talk to hear inspirational speakers discussing how the energy transition could accelerate opportunities for women.

H2TECH Live Exhibitions
Your technologies, solutions and knowledge can help shape the Future of Green Hydrogen Energy – so don’t miss this unique opportunity to showcase your organization at CGHA2023. Contact Cami Wang at Leader Associates for more.

Media Announcement: Japan to Mobilise AUD 160 Billion for Hydrogen

On 6 June, the Japanese Government released its second Hydrogen Strategy, which was broadly consistent with a previous draft publicly released in April.


Under the plan, the Japanese Government will aim to generate 15 trillion yen (approx. AUD 160 billion) of public and private investment to develop supply chains for hydrogen (and fuel ammonia) over the next 15 years. The split in public-private investment is not yet clear.


The strategy extends Japan’s target for hydrogen out to 2040, by which time it aims to increase the supply of hydrogen to 12 million tonnes, representing a sixfold increase on current volumes and quadruple the amount targeted for 2030.


The strategy also calls for the introduction of a framework to offset the cost of hydrogen vis-à-vis competing energies. While details have yet to be released, reports suggest that the underpinning legislation could be introduced to the Diet as early as this Autumn (Sep – Nov). The strategy recommends that eligibility for funding should be based on the carbon intensity of the hydrogen/fuel ammonia, rather than its method of production or “colour”.


The strategy also highlights Japan’s ambitions to play a leading role in the development of international standards relating to hydrogen/ammonia (again, focusing on carbon intensity rather than colour) and calls for the development of three major hydrogen hubs and five medium-scale hydrogen hubs within Japan.


In addition, the plan sets a target for Japanese companies to achieve a 10 per cent share in the global market for electrolysis equipment by 2030.


While limited information on the strategy is presently available in English, further details are available in this blog by Chairman and CEO of the Institute of Energy Economics, Japan (IEEJ), Mr Tatsuya Terazawa: https://eneken.ieej.or.jp/en/chairmans-message/index.html

(Source: Australian Embassy Tokyo)

Media Announcement: WA Ballet’s growing Japanese connection

WA ballet aficionados and Perth’s Japanese community have another reason to celebrate ballet and support West Australian Ballet in 2023 and beyond with an unprecedented contingent of Japanese dancers – including two principal dancers – and a rehearsal director.

• Gakuro Matsui (Principal) – born Tokyo, Japan
• Chihiro Nomura (Principal) – born Tokyo, Japan
• Kiki Saito (Soloist) – born Sapporo, Japan
• Mayume Noguromi (Demi-Soloist) – born Kobe, Japan
• Reika Sato (Rehearsal Director) – born Nagano, Japan

Real-life fiancés Matsui and Nomura – who joined WA Ballet in 2015 from the Norwegian National Ballet – add a romantic touch to the dance company.

Several of the dancers are supported by patrons under the Pas De Deux program.

In this same vein, WA Ballet welcomes collaboration with Perth’s Japanese business community to promote the company’s work and to develop exciting partnership opportunities.

Corporate participation in the WA Ballet is vital as the arts continue to grapple with a decrease in commercial and governmental support.

Please contact WA Ballet on the below link for more details:


1st Anniversary of the Launch of the Australia-Japan Business Council (AJBCWA)

It was a night to remember at the Consulate-General of Japan’s Residence on Monday as the Australia-Japan Business Council (AJBCWA) celebrated what has been a highly successful debut year.

The AJBCWA and the Consulate-General of Japan played host to special guests including JETRO – Japan External Trade Organization Managing Director, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands, Mr Takahara Masaki and Ms Jessica Shaw, Parliamentary Secretary to the Deputy Premier.

Mr Takahara’s presentation delivered some home truths about Australia’s labour market, political stability, and sovereign risk, heralding a challenging time ahead for the Australian Government as it navigates the fallout of the safeguard mechanisms.

However, Mr Takahara’s sobering presentation did little to dampen the spirits of the celebration with guests taking the opportunity to celebrate the many successes in the WA-Japan space since AJBC’s arrival.

The board wishes to thank Consul-General Naito Yasushi and staff, our members and supporters, and finally the Chiyoda Corporation for celebrating this momentous occasion with us.

Now is the perfect time to become a member of the AJBC as we embark on what shapes as a critical stage for the WA-Japan relationship with the impending arrival of Japan’s new Ambassador. Please visit https://lnkd.in/g3WeyG_c for more details on how to become a member.


Opening remarks can be accessed via the link below:

Speech by AJBC Chair at Anniversary AJBC Event at the Consul-General’s Residence


Ambassador Yamagami’s opening remarks at the Perth USAsia Centre’s Japan Symposium 2023

The Ambassador made opening remarks at the Perth USAsia Centre’s Japan Symposium 2023 last week on 28 March 2023 and shared his views on strategic cooperation between Japan and Australia for a secure future.


The full opening remarks can be accessed via the link below:

Ambassador Yamagami Opening Remarks – Perth USAsia Centre Japan Symposium 28 March 2023

Update from His Excellency Ambassador YAMAGAMI Shingo

A recently published article in the Australian on the role of the Japanese Ambassador can be accessed via the link below:



Remarks by His Excellency Ambassador Yamagami at the Emperor’s Birthday Reception regarding the Japan-Australia relationship can be accessed via the link below:


Media Announcement: Memorandum of Understanding signed between the WA Government and the Japan Bank of International Cooperation (JBIC)

AJBC welcomes the signing of an MoU between the WA Government and the Japan Bank of International Cooperation (JBIC).

The MoU will focus on information exchange and investment opportunities in the realms of hydrogen, ammonia, low emission, and decarbonisation technology. 

The MoU will also promote cooperation in developing sectors, helping to attract greater support from JBIC in new energy projects across WA.

Premier Mark McGowan said the MoU with JBIC recognises the strength of Japan and WA’s strategic partnership, plotting a course for new opportunities into the future.

“Just as Japanese investment in the late 1960’s was foundational in developing the State’s iron ore sector and later the LNG sector, WA is well positioned to support Japan’s transition to net zero by 2050,” said Premier McGowan.