South African Chamber of Commerce in Japan

South African Chamber of commerce in japan

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Honorary Chairperson

H.E. Mr. Lulama Smuts NGONYAMA  / Honorary Chairperson

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary

The Embassy of the Republic of South Africa in Japan

H.E Mr Lulama Smuts Ngonyama is a former South African Ambassador to Spain, 2014-19 and currently to Japan. H.E was born in Uitenhage, where he attended school in Fort Beaufort. H.E graduated from the University of Fort Hare with a Bachelor of Commerce (B.Com), and a Master’s Degree (M.Phil) in Political Economy from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, amongst other qualifications.

H.E is a loyal member of the African National Congress (ANC), where he served as the head of presidency and as a national spokesperson for 10 years. H.E was a Member of Parliament for the South African National Assembly in 2009-14 when he was a member of the Congress of the People (COPE).

Ambassador Ngonyama extends his warm wishes to all members of the South African Chamber of Commerce in Japan (SACCJ). H.E is dedicated to deepening the strong diplomatic relation with Japan by advancing South Africa’s national priorities through structured bilateral engagements. Ambassador is committed to creating a better South Africa, committed to contributing to a better and safer Africa in a better world. H.E emphasise increased cooperation and synergy between the Embassy, the Japanese government, its private sector and the Chamber and will continue to play a meaning role in stimulating the relations.

Ambassador Ngonyama sees the SACCJ as key to helping strengthen business and cultural ties, and is firmly committed to supporting efforts to bring the nations closer together through mutual understanding and respect.  H.E reiterates that the SACCJ should identify trade and commerce opportunities for the South African government and business as well as enhance and promote friendship and cultural exchanges between South Africa and Japan.

H.E adores sport, a former rugby player and enjoys reading in his spare time. H.E would like to encourage the Chamber to foster relations between Japan and South Africa in the sporting fraternity.

Arigato gozaimasu!

Board of Directors

Jaco Minnaar / Chairperson

Jaco is originally from Johannesburg, South Africa. After studying Econometrics at the University of Johannesburg (previously RAU), he worked in the Financial Services industry as an investment manager, trader and Financial Advisor for a number of years. In 2004, he decided to move to Japan, where he has lived and worked ever since. In Tokyo he shifted his career – he is currently working onsite at an investment bank in Talent Acquisition. Although firmly entrenched into his adoptive country, he continues to foster his relationship with his home country through family ties and Martial Arts (Karate).

Francois de Villiers / Vice Chairperson 

Francois is from Port Elizabeth, South Africa and has been living and working in Japan for 18 years. Presently he is working in the logistics & freight forwarding industry for Hillebrand Japan K.K.

Simon Farrell / Vice Chairperson

Simon was based in Cape Town for about eight years as a foreign correspondent for US and UK publications. He also travelled around South Africa to report on business, society and lifestyle for the local press. He was inspired to write two books: South Africa Chic, published by Didier Millet in 2008, and Top Getaways in Southern Africa, published by Reader’s Digest in 2000. Simon's fondest memory is being introduced to SA President Nelson Mandela at Cape Town Press Club in October 1996.

Lungile Christopher Siphambili / Director 

Lungile is a Zulu/Ndebele name meaning the good one. My journey takes me from Africa to Japan by the way of the US where I attended the University of Georgia in Athens Georgia before continuing the adventure to Japan and being part of the International University of Japan and Nagoya University. I am thankful and grateful to the African countries of Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe who have contributed to who I am. It is time to give back what I can and how I can. I am also grateful to have settled in the beauty that Japan is and looking forward to embarking on the next chapter of my journey in partnership with brothers and sisters from my adopted country of Japan. Business may be the war-cry but we are all learning, sharing in the hope of prospering.  Lungile is a member of Out Of Africa Tokyo Consulting Japan KK which provides business consulting services on Japan and Africa, Import/Export business between Japan and Africa, tourism packages specifically tailored to young Japanese and focusing on rural and culture tourism. I also run an NPO focusing on Africa. “I am an African” Thabo Mbeki.

Jennifer Sakaguchi / Director

American by citizenship and residing in Japan for more than 30 years, Jennifer first became involved with South Africa through diamonds in her previous work with the De Beers Group.  She currently serves as General Manager, Corporate Relations at Rio Tinto Japan, one of the world’s leading mining companies, has mining and exploration projects in South Africa, and particularly through its mineral sands mining operations at Richards Bay Minerals in KwaZulu-Natal, is a major contributor to the national and local economies and supports the communities in which it operates through its long-standing CSI program.

Takako Yachida / Director

Takako is connected to South Africa through Table Mountain, exclusive purveyor of South African wines. Her primary work is focusing on recruiting and new business development as Representative Director of SecondWays Company, while she also hold South African wine and other events to increase awareness of the country.

Francois Keet / Director

Francois is originally from Port Elizabeth, South African and has been living in the wonderful land of the rising sun (Japan) since 2013. Francois believes that the SACCJ, with the support of the South African Embassy, is a good platform to build a business network between South Africa and Japan.  Francois is a passionate supporter of Springbok rugby, loves South African wine and look forward to meet you at our next SACCJ social networking event.

Rakgwale R. Kubjane / Director Ex officio
Rakgwale is First Secretary, Political at the South African Embassy.

Rakgwale (Ronnie) Kubjane is originally from Limpopo Province, Seshego Township in South Africa.  A graduate from the University of Durban Westville and Rhodes University. Rakgwale’s area of responsibility at the Embassy of the Republic of South Africa in Japan include the strengthening of diplomatic ties between South Africa and Japan; encouraging more investment and trade into South Africa, people-to-people interaction, promoting Brand South Africa, the African Renaissance, amongst others. The Embassy of the Republic of South Africa in japan collaborates with SACCJ to deepen contacts and engagements with relevant trade and investment institutions in Japan. He support Sports South Africa, and  enjoys listing to Jazz/Fusion; and fishing.


Gass Clinton / Trustee

Hiroo Suzaki / Trustee


The South African Chamber of Commerce in Japan was established in 2008 to promote trade and commerce as well as enhance friendship and cultural understanding between the two nations. The SACCJ strives to be a reliable first point of contact for businesses and individuals related to South Africa in Japan, and to provide our members with access to a wealth of information and contacts to assist in their projects, ventures and businesses.


c/o Embassy of the Republic of South Africa
4F Hanzomon First Bldg., 1-4 Kojimachi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-0083


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