The Leading Brands of Spain Forum held a presentation of the Leading Brands of Spain to coincide with the World Exposition Aichi 2005, and in particular with the Spanish week in the last week of July. The presentation was held in collaboration with the Sociedad Estatal de Exposiciones Internacionales (State International Exhibition Organisation, SEEI), in the context of the event relating to Spain’s image organised jointly by the Forum, the Spanish Institute for Foreign Trade (ICEX), the Real Instituto Elcano (Elcano Royal Institute) and the Asociación de Directivos de Comunicación (Spanish Association of Communication Managers, Dircom), together with the Spanish Embassy and the Spanish Trade Office.

A delegation from the Forum travelled to Japan at the invitation of the SEEI to see the Aichi world exposition and attend the Spanish day of the Exposition. This was presided over by Miguel Ángel Moratinos, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation.

On 26th July 2005 the “Japan & Spain: Reciprocal Looks” event took place at the Spanish Embassy in Tokyo. Contributions were made by distinguished speakers on both the Spanish and the Japanese side, and the event was a big success with the public, with a notable presence of numerous Japanese business representatives.

The event was opened by Pedro Mejía, Secretary of State for Tourism and Trade, and Javier Conde, the Spanish Ambassador in Japan, accompanied by Ángel Martín Acebes, Executive Vice-Chair of ICEX, and Pablo Bravo, Chairman of SEEI.

The first contribution was made by José Luis Bonet, Chairman of the Leading Brands of Spain Forum, and Amadeo Jensana, Chairman of the Spain-Japan Business Cooperation Committee, who explained the challenges and opportunities existing in Japan and Spain’s bilateral relations.
The first round-table discussion, entitled “Communication as a Bridge Between Two Cultures: Japan’s Image in the Spanish Media and Vice Versa”, was chaired by Borja Puig de la Bellacasa, Chairman of Dircom, and attended by Carmen Caffarel, Director-General of RTVE, Masako Ishibashi of Kyodo News, Juan María Calvo, International Relations Director of the Efe Agency, and Chihiro Hito, of The Asahi Shimbun.

The next round-table discussion was chaired by Emilio Lamo de Espinosa, Professor of Sociology, who, together with Professor Keiichi Tsunekawa of the University of Tokyo, Florentino Rodao, Dept. of Social Communication History, Communications Faculty, Complutense University of Madrid (UCM), and Javier Noya, Senior Analyst, Real Instituto Elcano, presented us with a vision of Spain’s image in Japan, and of Japan’s image in Spain.

The business round-table discussion entitled “Leading Brands of Spain: A Bridge to the Japanese Market” brought together a number of associated business representatives with brands which have a presence in Japan, such as Professor Kimio Kase, IESE Business School, Ko Sakurai, Chief Executive Wine Division, Wine & Spirits Company Suntory Ltd. on behalf of Freixenet, Marcos Bernat, Vice-President of Chupa Chups, S.A., Christian García, Head of Expansion for Asia at Mango, S.A., Gonzalo Fonseca, Chairman & Representative Director Bussan Lladró, Co., Iván Bravo, International Development Manager of Real Madrid, and Javier Muñoa, International Business Director of Barcelona FC.

This discussion was chaired by Miguel Otero, Managing Director of the Leading Brands of Spain Forum, who also presented the prestigious book Leading Brands of Spain, accompanied by an insert in Japanese which was distributed to those present.

Lastly, a cocktail party was held, with wines produced by Spanish companies belonging to the Forum. The event represented a first step in presenting an image of Spain which is in line with current reality, to combat the out-of-date perception which exists in other countries.

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