Karl Pires, CCCJ Governor

Karl Pires

Shearman & Sterling LLP

A native British Columbian (born in Port Alberni and raised in Victoria), my affection for Japan blossomed in 1988 at the University of Victoria when I began studying Japanese as part of my Pacific and Asian Studies degree and also working part-time as a supervisor for Japanese college students in the ESL program.

My first experience working in Japan was in 1990 as part of Gunma's Manza Onsen hotel staff and, upon graduation from UVIC in 1992, I spent two years as a Coordinator of International Relations at the Wakayama Prefectural Government as part of the JET Program. Since graduating from the University of Toronto law school in 1998, I have split my 14-year career as a corporate/commercial lawyer representing both Japanese businesses overseas and Canadian clients in Japan between Vancouver (8 years) and Tokyo (6 years).

I have been keenly involved in the CCCJ since returning to Japan in 2008, in particular as the Chair of the Constitutional Reform Committee for the past two years during which we successfully implemented a transparent and engaging process involving the members that resulted in an updated and streamlined Constitution and Bylaws that better reflects CCCJ's bilateral focus in promoting Canadian and Japanese business relations.

I am now eager to further contribute to the CCCJ as an elected Governor and will bring significant and relevant Board experience, having served for four years on the Board of Directors of the Japan-Canada Chamber of Commerce based in Vancouver, an organization with a similar membership composition of primarily Japanese and Canadian businesses as well as JETRO and the Consul General of Japan in Vancouver. I will also provide a key regional voice from Kansai, where I reside half-time and am closely connected to the Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto business community including the local Canadian network.