I Keicho Award: Success in the Gala of the Business Circle Japan Spain

On October 25, the Japan-Spain Business Circle (CEJE) brought together nearly 130 representatives of companies and institutions in the National Museum of Art of Catalonia (MNAD) to celebrate the Opening Gala of the institution. The event served to showcase the excellent day-to-day work carried out by CEJE, to emphasize the importance of creating and promoting economic and cultural links between Japanese and Spanish companies, as well as to draw the two entrepreneurial cultures closer together, both socially and culturally.

Present at this first meeting were Everis, NTT Europe, Nissan, Ricoh, Tokio Marine Kiln, Yamaha Music Europe, Grohe and Epson, all of whom also supported CEJE at the gala event with a broad representation of their international executives and top managers.

The chairman of CEJE, Jorge Lasheras, took the opportunity during his address to celebrate the success that is now establishing CEJE as “a pioneering platform that infuses existing initiatives with a new vision, to drive business between our two countries to an ever-higher level”.  Also present at the event was the Honorable Mr. Naohito Watanabe, General Consul of Japan, who expressed gratitude for the effort and dedication of the members of CEJE who, in less than one year, have achieved a remarkable level of productivity and established broad representation of the companies that play a key role in bilateral relations.

The evening’s highlight was the awarding of the first Keicho Prizes for Innovation and Technology to Spanish chef Carme Ruscalleda and to the chairman of Niken Sekkei, Tadao Kamei. Ruscalleda joyously received his award and spoke affectionately of his early career in Japan and how Tokyo had discovered new flavors, products, and techniques as a result of the success of his restaurant, Sant Pau, in the Land of the Rising Sun more than 10 years ago. For his part, Mr. Kamei stressed the importance of having won the international contract to build the new Camp Nou for the Barça football club last March. At the gala, attendees were also able to admire a scale model of the new stadium which, according to Kamei, was conceived to create an “open, democratic, and Mediterranean spatial concept”.

To close the event, Mr. Naohito Watanabe awarded the 2016 Japanese Foreign Minister Prize to chairman Jorge Lasheras in recognition of his determined contribution in support of mutual understanding between Spain and Japan. Mr. Lasheras expressed his gratitude for the gesture, but emphasized the work that still lies ahead to develop and promote the objectives of the CEJE.

Among those present at the gala were Joan Pujol, General Secretary of Foment; Miquel Valls, President of the Chamber of Commerce of Barcelona; Sixte Cambra, President of the Port of Barcelona; Jordi Moix, Commissioner of Espai Barça; Xavier Añoveros, member of the executive committee of the Equestrian Circle; Aleix Valls, President of Mobile World Capital Barcelona; Albert Rius, CEO of Cacao Sampaka; Ramón Moreno, Director of Casa Asia and Joaquim de Toca, General Director of Muji Spain.

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