The Circular Economy topic gains traction in Asia

June 23, 2021

Aligned with the sustainability concept of the Olympic Games for Tokyo2020; “Be better, together – For the planet and the people.”; the Netherlands TeamNL Expo has launched a series of events to showcase the best practices in the Circular Economy from the Japanese and Dutch, and explore new opportunities for collaborations between Japan and The Netherlands.

The events took place on 24 June, 1 July and 6 July 2021. Read further for more information and rewatch the recordings!


The manufacturing and plastics industry are promising areas of a circular economy where the Netherlands and Japan could strengthen their cooperation

John Mike Jager, The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Japan

Japan and the Netherlands accelerate collaboration at #Tokyo2020

Organised by Holland Circular Hotspot, supported by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency RVO and in close collaboration with the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry for the Environment; the events curate an esteemed list of speakers such as:

    • Kazunori (Kaz) Maruyama, President and Representative Director, DSM Japan
    • Jan Peter Balkenende, Former Prime Minister of the Netherlands and Chair of the Dutch Sustainable Growth Coalition
    • Yumiko NODA, Chairman & Representative Director, Veolia Japan K.K.
    • David McGinty, Global Director, Platform for Accelerating the Circular Economy (PACE)

[Full speaker lists below]

Next to two webinars focused on Plastics (
24th of June) and Manufacturing (1st of July), also a roundtable discussion took place (6th of July) to hear leaders from both the public and private sector from both the Netherlands and Japan; as they exchange best practices and strive towards long term bilateral partnerships towards a Circular Economy. The events align closely with the sustainability objectives of the Tokyo 2020; which aims to contribute to the realisation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through the delivery of the Games.

'A shift to a circular economy and its value retention potential offers an unique opportunity for Japan as the the 4-th largest export economy in the world is very dependent on raw materials and energy.'

Freek van Eijk, Director of Holland Circular Hotspot

24th June - Circular Plastics

Discover best practices for collaboration between Japan and the Netherlands to scale up circular solutions in the plastics value chain. (Simultaneous English – Japanese translation available)


  • Dr. Pieter Imhof, Senior Business Developer Circular Economy & Environment, TNO
  • Mr. Thor Tummers, Issues & External Affairs, Unilever
  • Mr. Kaz Maruyama, President of DSM Japan K.K.
  • Mr. Josse Kunst, Chief Commercial Officer, CuRe
  • Mr. Eric Kawabata, General Manager, APAC, TerraCycle/Loop
  • Ms. Mariko McTier, Co-founder, Mymizu
  • Mr. Arnoud Passenier, Ministry of Infrastructure & Water Management
  • Panel Discussion Moderator: Sann Carrière, CEO, So Now, Special Envoy to Holland Circular Hotspot
  • Moderator: Ruben Dubelaar, Advisor International Business Development, Holland Circular Hotspot


01st July - Circular Manufacturing Industry

Discover state of the art Japanese and Dutch circular economy solutions in manufacturing industries, exploring possibilities for value retention and take-back.


  • Freek van Eijk. Director Holland Circular Hotspot (HCH)
  • Harald Tepper, Sr. Dir. Sustainable Development,  Phillips Japan
  • Mr. Markus Reichling, General Manager Circular Economy, Panasonic EU
  • Mr. Aernout Dijkstra-Hellinga, Senior Lead Designer & VP Sustainability, Bugaboo
  • NL Ministry of Economic Affairs
  • Moderated by: Ruben Dubelaar, Advisor International Business Development, Holland Circular Hotspot


06th July - Roundtable Discussion

Listen to leaders from both the public and private sector from both NL and Japan; as they exchange best practices strive towards long term bilateral partnerships towards a Circular Economy.


  • HE Peter van der Vliet, Ambassador, Embassy of The Kingdom Of The Netherlands to Japan 
  • Mrs. Stientje van Veldhoven Minister for the Environment 
  • Ms. Noda, CEO, Veolia Japan
  • Jan Peter Balkenende, Dutch Sustainable Growth Coalition (DSGC)
  • Jun Aoki, Managing Director, Shiseido
  • Harald Tepper, Sr. Dir. Sustainable Development, Philips
  • Naoko Ishii, Director, Center for Global Commons, University of Tokyo 
  • Jacqueline Cramer, CE coordinator AMEC and chair Supervisory Board HCH) 
  • David McGinty, CEO PACE 
  • Moderator: Freek van Eijk, Director HCH


Learn more about doing circular business in Japan