CEJE brings together Japanese and Spanish companies to debate the challenges of innovation and robotics at a corporate level.

October 1, 2018



  • The Japan-Spain Business Circle and the Círculo Ecuestre organised the meeting, which served to discuss the management models and leadership of Japanese companies in the areas of innovation, technology and robotics, as well as their future prospects.
  • Marc Serruya, Chairman of Honda Ibérica, and Mirko Scaletti, CEO of Panasonic Iberia, highlight the technological potential of the two leading Japanese companies, and their impact on global society.
  • The event is part of the commemorative activities of the 150th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Spain. CEJE played an active part in these activities, planning the leadership of Japanese companies in Spain.

On Wednesday the 26th of September, the Japan-Spain Business Circle welcomed Marc Serruya, Chairman of Honda Ibérica, and Mirko Scaletti, CEO of Panasonic Iberia, at a lunch-discussion organised together with the Círculo Ecuestre, in order to foment Japanese-Hispanic business relations, planning and revealing its technological achievements.

The event, which brought together 100 Spanish and Japanese business owners and professionals, focused on the challenges posed by innovation, new technologies, and robotics: the three pillars of the Japanese economy which is the third largest in the world. During the meeting, guests exchanged their knowledge and experience relating to these key aspects, as well as highlighting the values shared by the business cultures of both nations.


After the Chairman of the Círculo Ecuestre, Alfonso Maristany, welcomed those in attendance, the event was hosted by the Chairman of the Japan-Spain Business Circle (CEJE), Jorge Lasheras. He highlighted the potential of Japanese companies in the development of digital transformation in the business world and their leadership in the fields of new technologies and robotics.

Marc Serruya, the Chairman of Honda Ibérica since 2014, has been at the company since 1990, occupying various leadership positions in that time. During his speech at the Círculo Ecuestre he spoke of the progress of the robot ‘Asimo’. “It has gone from being an automatic robot to an autonomous machine. Today, it is the most advanced robot on the market, and this has pushed Honda to continue to progress in the field of robotics”. Incidentally, Marc Serruya explained that the first robot to enter Fukushima after the nuclear accident was created using Asimo technology, demonstrating that robots can go where humans cannot.

Mirko Scaletti, CEO of Panasonic Iberia, joined the company in 2011. During his speech he spoke of the path that he wants the company to take relating to smart cities, highlighting one of his projects, the city of Fujisawa. Furthermore, he set out the four pillars that must go along with this concept: information, sustainability, connectivity and safety. “The most important part of smart cities is the exchange of information. Similarly, the concept of sustainability in smart cities allows for resource optimisation. In Fujisawa, 30% of energy is saved, emissions are reduced by up to 30% and water consumption has decreased by 70%. For example, connectivity between cars that are on the road can reduce accidents by up to 80% and journey time by 50%, as one of Panasonic’s projects in the United States demonstrates. And lastly, safety, which is much more advanced in a smart city.”

This meeting is part of the 150th anniversary since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Spain, and reflects the willingness of CEJE to foster the historical cultural and economic union between Spain and Japan and to continue creating synergies between Japanese companies established in Spain and local companies.

Naohito Watanabe, the Consul General of Japan in Barcelona, brought the discussion to a close with a few words for those who attended.

The guests were able to enjoy a Japanese-Mediterranean fusion menu, created by the chef of the Círculo Ecuestre, Ricard Guzmán, with help from Japanese companies from the gastronomy sector, such as Grup Balfegó, Cacao Sampaka and Seda Líquida. The event was sponsored by Nikken Sekkei, a firm that provides professional architectural design, urban design and supervision services as well as research into those fields, and planning and consultancy services.

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The Japan-Spain Business Circle [Círculo Empresarial Japón España (CEJE)] is the Association that includes Japanese companies established in Spain, as well as Spanish companies with interests in Japan, and that arise from the Shacho Kai Barcelona transformation, due to its desire to expand its scope of activity. The fundamental mission of the Association includes the desire to spread Japanese business culture.
© Círculo Empresarial Japón – España