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In November 2020 it was with great sadness that we announced that our CEO, David Jacobs, passed away. Although he had been ill for some time, few would have been aware of this as he continued to work until just prior to his death, always with his usual determination and good humour.

David was an experienced corporate adviser and consultant focussing on cross-border transactions with Japan. He successfully founded and operated a Japan-specific strategic advisory company for 24 years, serving businesses in a wide range of industries: (i) to develop and expand their Japan business and (ii) to analyse existing business problems in Japan and devise mitigation strategies. He had extensive contacts in food and agriculture, electronics, ITC, biotech, pharmaceuticals, building materials, finance, tourism and property as well as Government departments both in Australia and Japan.

David spoke and read Japanese. He was a graduate from the University of Sydney, B.Ec (Hons.) and from the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He has served both as President and Vice President of the Australia Japan Society of NSW and earlier headed the Japanese Government funded Australia-Japan Economic Institute. 

David was a tower of strength as AJBCC CEO throughout his tenure and his contribution to the broader Australia/Japan relationship was widely recognised.

In 2016 he received the Japan Foreign Minister’s Commendation award. This is given to those who have contributed to strengthening the friendship between Japan and Australia and deepening the bilateral relationship.

In January 2020, on Australia Day and the 50th anniversary of his first independent visit to Japan, he received an AM as a Member of the Order of Australia (General Division) for “significant service to Australia-Japan relations, and to business”.

On 3 November 2020, the Government of Japan announced two foreign recipients of the 2020 Autumn Imperial Decorations. David received the prestigious decoration: Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette, for his contribution to the promotion of Japan-Australia business relations and mutual understanding.

David was respected and admired by so many in the Australia/Japan community and will be greatly missed.

Paul Gallagher, the former Executive Director of the AJBCC was responsible for compiling a history of the organisation on the occasion of its 50th anniversary in 2012.

The 84 page book is available as a download:
Chapter 1 – A New Begining
Chapter 2 – Joint Meetings
Chapter 3 – Economies in Transition
Chapter 4 – Treaty of Friendship
Chapter 5 – The 50th Anniversary
Chapter 6 – The Conference
Chapter 7 – Asian Opportunity

A photo collection to coincide with the anniversary was inspired by longtime Japan member and former Mitsui Australia executive, Masahiro Ohtani.