Eric De Groot

Governor

Originally from Ontario I have spent over 25 years living in Osaka and Tokyo, involved mainly in the import and distribution of building and construction materials from Canada and Europe. I have been a CCCJ member since 2000, served on the board between 2007 and 2013, and was elected President for a two year term in 2009. Currently I am the chair of the Economic and Social Policy Committee.

Over the years I have spent in Japan I’ve been deeply involved in the local Canadian and European business communities.  In the 1990’s I worked at the BC Trade and Investment office in Kobe, an agency of the B.C. Ministry of Trade and in 1996 became G.M. of the B.C. Wood Specialties Group, an industry association of value added wood products manufacturers based in Vancouver.  In 2003 I joined Forbo, a Swiss-Dutch manufacturer as Country Manager of the Flooring Systems Division Japan sales operation, but in early 2014 my career brought me back into the Canadian fold, as President of Icynene Asia Pacific, the Japanese subsidiary of Mississauga Ontario based Icynene Inc., a manufacturer of building insulation.    

I believe the active engagement of the Canada-Japan business community is essential to keeping the Japan-Canada bilateral relationship relevant, and ensuring it contributes as much as possible to mutual understanding and thereby to the greater prosperity of both countries.  I’ve had the privilege of working closely with the chamber, Japanese business groups and officials from both Ottawa and Tokyo as the CCCJ has pushed hard for the Canada Japan Economic Partnership Agreement, and as we’ve attempted to bring attention to the important issues facing Canadian residents in Japan such as changes to the Citizenship Act and most recently, the pursuit of full and untrammeled voting rights for Canadian expatriates.