Masami Iijima, Chairman of Mitsui & Co., Ltd., has been awarded one of Brazil's highest decorations from the Government of Brazil, The Order of Rio Branco. The medal was bestowed by Mr. André Corrêa do Lago, Brazilian Ambassador to Japan, at an award ceremony held at the residence of the Brazilian Ambassador on November 29, 2017.
The Order of Rio Branco was established in 1963 to commemorate Baron of Rio Branco, the father of Brazilian diplomacy, and is a medal awarded to both Brazilian citizens and those from overseas who have made a remarkable impact on Brazil's international relations. Four Japanese nationals received the award in 2017, including Mrs. Sadako Ogata, former president of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Past recipients also include former Prime Minister of Japan Yasuhiro Nakasone, Chairman of the Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. Board Carlos Ghosn, and founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates.
Alongside Mitsui's efforts in Brazil business, Chairman Iijima has demonstrated leadership in further revitalizing Brazil's economy through participation in seven Japan-Brazil Economic Cooperation Committees since 2011 as Chairman of the Japan-Brazil Economic Committee of Keidanren (Japan Business Federation). The award also recognizes his significant contribution to forming a bridge between the two countries of Japan and Brazil as a key member at the The Wise-Men Group of the Japan-Brazil Strategic Economic Partnership ("Wise-Men Group"), a high-level meeting attended by the economic circles of both countries, where he provided proactive recommendations centered on business infrastructure.
Mitsui & Co. will continue to proactively contribute to the strengthening of economic relations between Japan and Brazil in parallel with it's business, through activities such as the Japan-Brazil Economic Cooperation Committee and the Wise-Men Group, endeavoring to fulfill its role as a builder of bridges between the two countries.