Deepening ties: Event underlines the importance of Japanese business in Hessen

The Japanese business community makes a major contribution to Hessen as an innovation centre. This long partnership is set to become even stronger going forward.

© Roessler

On 1 September the Hessen-Japan Business Reception 2022 was held in Schloss Wilhelmsbad in Hanau, with representatives of Japanese companies, Hessian Economic Minister Tarek Al-Wazir and numerous other attendees from the public and private sectors.

Comprising some 300 companies and organizations and 5,500 persons, the Japanese business community in Hessen is one of the largest in Europe.

A highlight of the event was a visit to the Hessian Doll and Toy Museum, which is housed in Schloss Wilhelmsbad. The city of Hanau has partnered with Tottori in Japan for many years, and the museum includes a large collection of valuable Japanese such as are often used as gifts to express respect.

In his address before the evening banquet, Economic Minister Al-Wazir mentioned the traditional close relations between Japan and Hessen, and the potential of this collaboration to bring about transformation on the path to a sustainable economy. General Consul Shinichi Asazuma noted that the Japanese government plans to increase its support for SMEs in internationalization. Kota Matsue, Chairman of the Association of Japanese Companies in Frankfurt (Hojinkai) and Director of the Mazda European Research and Development Centre in Oberursel, spoke about the great contribution that the over 170 companies in Hojinkai make to regional innovation. Finally, the CEO of Hessen Trade & Invest, Dr. Rainer Waldschmidt, discussed the support that his organization provides to help Japanese firms in Hessen become established and successful.

Japanese and Hessian companies have long worked together at multiple levels to find answers to urgent future issues. Another event is planned for this November at which experts from Japan and Hessen will discuss the latest developments and potential for collaboration in decarbonization, hydrogen, battery and storage technologies, digital transformation and smart cities. The event is being put on by Hessen Trade & Invest, JETRO, Hojinkai and Japanese General Consulate. More information will be forthcoming soon.