By Roy Mabasa
The Japanese government on Monday announced the conferment of the Order of the Rising Sun Gold and Silver star on Filipino entrepreneur Jaime Zobel de Ayala, chairman emeritus of Ayala Corporation, for his contribution to strengthening the economic relations between the Philippines and Japan.
“As a major conglomerate in Philippine industry, Ayala Corporation (AC) covers a wide range of businesses including real estate, finance, telecommunications and water. AC has also been doing business with Japanese companies for a long time,” the Japanese government said in a statement released through Embassy here in Manila.
Japan also paid tribute to Ayala’s effort in establishing an industrial park in 1990, “which helped recover the confidence of investors after incidences of insurgency and contributed to the increase in investments in the Philippines by Japanese companies.”
“Thanks to Mr. Jaime Ayala’s strong leadership, a lot of projects have been successful,” the Japanese government said.
The Japanese government likewise cited Ayala’s business conglomerate for organizing several Japanese-related exhibitions such as Japanese Manga, an exhibition to commemorate the damage brought by the East Japan Earthquake, and the exhibit about the works of avant-garde sculptor Yayoi Kusama at the Ayala Museum in Makati City.
“AC has contributed greatly to the understanding and promotion of Japanese culture in the Philippines,” it said.
In conveying its congratulatory statement, the Japanese government expressed hope that the Filipino business mogul will continue to take an active role in further strengthening close relations between the two countries.