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Christopher LaFleur

LM Associates
Former President
American Chamber of Commerce in Japan

Date of birth: Dec. 12, 1949

Hometown: New York City

Number of years in Japan (cumulative): 26 (as of October 2017)

Christopher LaFleur
Q1: What was your first encounter with Japan?

I stopped in Japan in 1969 as a student on my way to Taiwan to study Chinese. I had no idea at the time that it was Japan, not China, where I would be spending most of my adult life.

Q2: Please state your motto in life and why you have chosen it.

“There is no limit to the amount of good you can do in the world if you don’t care who gets credit for it.” I learned this from Gen. John Vessey when he was leading the U.S. negotiations with Vietnam on normalization. This was a controversial issue at the time and he faced bitter criticism. His dedication to doing what was right taught me a great deal about public service.

Q3 : Over your career, what achievement are you the proudest of?

During my career in the U.S. foreign service, I had the privilege of working many years at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, the U.S. Consulate in Sapporo and the State Department in Washington to strengthen the alliance and friendship between the U.S. and Japan.

Q4 : What are your goals during your time in Japan, your current position or in life?

Now in private practice, I am honored to have been elected by the members of the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ACCJ) to represent the U.S. business community here. U.S.-Japan relations are stronger today than ever, but there are always new challenges. I hope that the ACCJ can help U.S. businesses work with Japanese partners and both governments to achieve strong and sustainable growth in both of our economies.

Q5 : What wisdom, advice or tips can you give to people living and working in Japan?

Japan is one of the most welcoming, enjoyable and comfortable places on earth for foreign visitors, but it rewards even more those willing to make the extra effort to learn its language and history. Explore for yourself, keep an open mind and travel outside of the major cities to fully enjoy both its rich culture and beautiful natural environment.

Last updated: Oct 2, 2018