46th ASEAN-Japan Business Meeting (AJBM) Virtual Conference held on 17th March 2021 Via Zoom hosted by MAJECA (AJBM Malaysia) and Keizai Doyukai

The 46th ASEAN-Japan Business Meeting (AJBM) was, in a historic first, held virtually over Zoom. The virtual conference saw the participation of more than 250 attendees comprising ASEAN & Japanese business leaders and their fraternity, representatives of Chambers of Commerce, government agencies, universities and research organisations.

MAJECA, representing AJBM Malaysia, hosted the 46th ASEAN-Japan Business Meeting (AJBM) on 17 March 2021 (Virtual Conference) with our co-host Keizai Doyukai (Japan Association of Corporate Executives). The ASEAN-Japan Business Meeting (AJBM) is a multilateral, private-led forum between Japan and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The inaugural meeting was held in 1974 in Tokyo, Japan, on the initiative of Keizai Doyukai, one of the influential national business organizations in Japan.

This conference continues to be an important platform for building partnerships between ASEAN and Japanese companies. Over the years, this conference has addressed many themes that had brought about successful bilateral and multilateral business collaborations between Japanese and ASEAN companies.

As nations continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, there was an urgent need for sustainable collaborative efforts and digitally-forward solutions to ensure business continuity for economies to remain on track. 

The 46th AJBM brought together key business leaders from Japan and ASEAN to share and exchange insights on their respective COVID-19 pandemic experiences. In line with the theme of the virtual conference, ‘New Relationship between ASEAN and Japan in the “New Normal” post COVID-19’, all the speakers across the business private sector from both Japan and ASEAN emphasied the imperative need to stay resilient by rebuilding through innovation centered on digital transformation.

The Programme above can be download here:

Opening Session

The Opening Session was moderated by Mr Nobuhide Hayashi, Co-Chairman, 46th AJBM (Japan), who introduced the line-up of eminent speakers. 

Mr Nobuhide Hayashi,

Co-Chairman, 46th AJBM (Japan) introducing the speakers for the Opening Session. He also moderated a brief Q & A section here.

Tan Sri Azman Hashim,

Chairman, 46th AJBM (Malaysia) and President, MAJECA giving his welcome remarks.

Mr Kengo Sakurada,

Chairman, Keizai Doyukai, giving his opening remarks.

H.E. Dato Lim Jock Hoi,

Secretary-General of ASEAN, delivering his keynote address.

In his address, H.E. Dato Lim affirmed the role of the private sector in generating greater sustainable progress in the ASEAN Economic Community, highlighting that the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) was an example of how ASEAN rallied to ensure the openness of the markets to build regional resilience, especially in light of the pandemic. Further, the Secretary-General emphasised the importance of digital transformation to the region as seen in the ASEAN Digital Master Plan 2025 and the ASEAN Digital Integration Framework Action Plan 2025. 

H.E. Dato Lim called for the private sector to collaborate in these following areas:

1. Supporting business continuity by maximising cross-border productive activities

2. Restoring supply chain and trade connectivity by leveraging digital technologies

3. Mobilising resource for recovery

Mr Takehiko Nakao,

Chairman, Mizuho Research Institute Ltd (Former President, the Asian Development Bank) in his keynote address.

Mr Nakao elucidated his optimism for a post-pandemic ASEAN accrediting the resilient growth of the ASEAN nations to several factors which includes investment in infrastructure, education and health, as well as the external-oriented trade and investment regime. Emphasising on the important role of ASEAN as a platform for international cooperation, Mr Nakao views RCEP as a new basis for stronger ASEAN-Japan partnership.

Mr Nakao noted that areas for ASEAN-Japan partnership can be engaged via greater use of digital technologies, review of supply chains, tackling of social issues and pursuit of renewable energy and energy conservation for climate actions.

Plenary Session 1

The first plenary session titled – New opportunities in the “new normal”: new industry & business possibilities responding to social challengeswas moderated by Datuk Seri Mohamed Iqbal, AJBM Malaysia & Vice-President of MAJECA.

Datuk Seri Mohamed Iqbal, 

AJBM Malaysia and Vice-President of MAJECA, moderated Plenary Session 1.

Dr Nobuhiro Endo,

Chairman, NEC Corporation

Mr Fernando Zobel de Ayala,

President, Ayala Corporation

Mr Taro Shimada,

Vice President & Chief Digital Officer, Toshiba Corporation

Mr Patrick Tang,

Vice President, APAC, SIGOS

Plenary Session 2

The second plenary session titled Rebuilding the value chain in Asia during/after COVID19, was split across two sub-topics namely: Japanese companies’ value chain strategy in Asia, and new regional strategy of ASEAN companies. Mr Shazali Sulaiman, AJBM Brunei was moderator for this plenary session.

Mr Shazali Sulaiman, 

AJBM Brunei moderated Plenary Session 2. 

For the sub-topic of Japanese companies’ value chain strategy in Asia, the speakers are as follows:

Mr Hiroki Totoki

Executive Deputy President & CFO, Sony Corporation

Mr Joji Tagawa

Senior Vice President & Chief Sustainability Officer, Nissan Motor Corporation

The speakers for new regional strategy of ASEAN companies were: 

Tan Sri Tony Fernandes,

Non-Independent Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer, AirAsia Group Berhad

Mr Kettivit Sittisoontornwong,

CEO, LEO Global Logistics Public Company Limited

Plenary Session 3

This session showcased the innovative solutions and opportunities for collaborative efforts between ASEAN and Japan, titled ‘Co-creating innovation for overcoming social issues’Mr Naoaki Mashita, CEO, V-cube Inc was the moderator for this session. This session featured three ASEAN & four Japanese companies whose presentations were relevant to the four sub-themes of this session which were:

  • Supporting the resilience of society
  • Supplying sustainable energy
  • Enhancing social inclusion & access to opportunities
  • Supporting people’s health and well-being

These four sub-themes were aimed at touching on key relevant industry sectors that are digitally-emergent and / or necessary for sustainable development in the ASEAN region and in Japan. These industry sectors comprise infrastructure, disaster prevention, renewable energy, finance, fintech and medical/healthcare.

Mr Naoaki Mashita, 

CEO, V-cube. Inc, moderated Plenary Session 3.

The speakers of Plenary Session 3 were as follows:

Mr Goh Peng Ooi,

Chairman, Silverlake Axis Sdn Bhd

Dr Pun-Arj Chairatana,

Executive Director, National Innovation Agency of Thailand

Dr Anand Prasad,

Founder & CEO, wenovator

Mr Yoshinobu Osaka,

Member of the Board, Director of Challenergy Inc.

Dr Tatsuhiro Nomaguchi,

Manager, International Business Department,

Metabologenomics, Inc. and President CEO, Metagen Singapore Pte. Ltd.

Mr Ryuhei Sadoshima,

CEO and Founder of Safie Inc.

Mr Yoshitaka Yamamuro,

Director, Asia Digital Transformation Policy Office Minister’s Secretariat,

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI)

Wrap-up and Recommendations

The moderators of the three plenary sessions gave their wrap-up and key learnings from the conference proceedings.

Datuk Seri Mohamed Iqbal,

AJBM Malaysia & Vice-President, MAJECA, moderator for Plenary Session 1.

Mr Shazali Sulaiman,

AJBM Brunei, moderator for Plenary Session 2.

Mr Naoaki Mashita,

CEO, V-cube Inc, moderator for Plenary Session 3.

Closing Session

The Chairman of the 46th AJBM (Malaysia) & President of MAJECA, Tan Sri Azman Hashim gave his closing remarks.

Tan Sri Azman Hashim, 

Chairman, 46th AJBM (Malaysia) and President of MAJECA

giving his closing remarks.

Following that, his Co-Chairman of the 46th AJBM (Japan), Mr Nobuhide Hayashi delivered his closing remarks and announced the host of the 47th edition of this ASEAN-Japan Business Meeting.

Mr Nobuhide Hayashi,

Co-Chairman, 46th AJBM (Japan)

delivering his Closing Remarks & Announcement

Philippines, as incumbent host & chairman of the 47th AJBM, represented by Mr Gerard B. Sanvictores, Chairman, Philippines-Japan Economic Cooperation Committee, Inc. (PHILJEC), gave his acceptance speech announcing that the 47th edition is slated for 2022, hoping for an in-person meeting thenTo keep up to date with the development of the 47th ASEAN-Japan Business Meeting, please visit PHILJEC’s homepage at:


Mr Gerard B. Sanvictores,

Chairman, Philippines-Japan Economic Cooperation Committee, Inc. (PHILJEC),

giving his acceptance speech

Networking Sessions

Committed to the spirit of networking and a more intimate exchange of insights in spite of the distance and limitations caused by the pandemic, Zoom Meeting Rooms were opened at set points throughout the conference as an avenue for attendees to peruse to meet, network and exchange greetings with other attendees, leveraging the audiovisual features of the Zoom Meeting platform.

Additionally, an exclusive Zoom Meeting session was opened before the event proper for networking amongst the panelists, VIPs, sponsors and select members of the 46 AJBM. Greetings and reflections of the past year and the pandemic were shared amongst the participants in this meeting room.


This virtual conference was made possible through the extensive efforts and cooperation from our co-host, Keizai Doyukai, the AJBM Steering Committees across ASEAN, the speakers and moderators, attendees and sponsors, namely, Yanmar Holdings Co., Ltd., Silverlake Axis Sdn Bhd and AmBank Group Berhad.

Yanmar is active in every part of the planet earth that touches lives. Yanmar maintains an unparalleled reputation for reliability and efficiency based on the strength of its technologies in these domains.

Silverlake began as a specialist in the replacement of legacy to large-scale core banking systems and is regarded today as one of the most significant Banking and Financial solutions and services provider in the Asia Pacific region.

AmBank Group comprises is one of the largest banking groups in Malaysia whose core businesses are retail banking, wholesale banking, Islamic banking, and life and general insurance.

MAJECA representing AJBM Malaysia would like to record its utmost appreciation to all our partners who made this event possible.

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