Masanori Togawa and Masatsugu Minaka honored by Kingdom of Belgium as Commander in the Order of Leopold

Date: 31 May 2024
Masanori Togawa and Masatsugu Minaka honored by Kingdom of Belgium as Commander in the Order of Leopold
Masanori Togawa, President and CEO of Daikin Industries Ltd., and Masatsugu Minaka, Senior Executive Officer of Daikin Industries and Chairman of the Board of Daikin Europe N.V., have been honored as Commander in the Order of Leopold by the Kingdom of Belgium. The award ceremony with the executives of Daikin, the global leader in air conditioning, heating, ventilation and refrigeration solutions (HVAC-R), was held at the Belgian Embassy in Tokyo on 29 May, presented by Antoine Evrard, Ambassador of Belgium to Japan.

Highest honor from Kingdom of Belgium

The Commander in the Order of Leopold is awarded to individuals who have made outstanding achievements in Belgium, and is the highest Order awarded to foreign civilians. In 2013, Noriyuki Inoue, Chairman of Daikin Industries, and in 2017, Frans Hoorelbeke, Honourable Senior Advisor for Daikin Europe, were honored in the same Order, making a total of four Daikin Group members who have received this Order.

On the proposal of the Belgian Minister of Foreign Affairs, His Majesty King Philippe, King of the Belgians granted the rank of Commander in the Order of Leopold to Togawa and Minaka for several reasons:
As President of Daikin, Togawa made decisions regarding business development in Belgium. First, to transform the production at the Ostend factory to high-value-added products such as heat pumps and air-conditioning systems. In addition, the decision to build a new state-of-the-art R&D center in Ghent, thereby making a significant contribution to economic relationships between Japan and Belgium.

As Chairman of the Board for Daikin Europe, Minaka was honored for his work in Belgium for almost 30 years. He strengthened economic relations between Belgium and Japan through locally-based business activities such as the development, production, sales and servicing of the HVAC-R business. He was also recognized for his efforts to develop exchange between Japan and Belgium outside the company as an executive of Belgium-Japan Association and Chamber of Commerce and Nihonjinkai, the Japanese Association of Belgium.

Daikin operates locally in Belgium

Daikin Europe was established in Ostend, Belgium, in 1972 and started producing air conditioners at its factory in Ostend in 1973. Since then, the Japanese manufacturer has accelerated its global expansion and is leading in HVAC-R innovations for both residential and professional use. The business is deeply rooted locally all over the world.

Masanori Togawa, President and CEO of Daikin Industries Ltd., said: “It is an honor beyond measure to receive this award. Last year, Daikin Europe celebrated its 50th anniversary and in 2024 Daikin Industries is celebrating its 100th anniversary. I would like to thank the Belgian Royal Family, the Belgian Government and the Belgian Embassy for their support over the years.”

Sustainable development with Belgium in the future

With an investment of 140 million EUR, Daikin will open a new research and development center in Ghent later this year. 

Masatsugu Minaka, Chairman of the Board of Daikin Europe N.V., said: "I am reminded of the warmth and cooperation of the Belgian people, which have not only facilitated my professional endeavors but have also created enduring bonds of friendship and mutual respect between our countries. With this prestigious award, I renew my commitment to further nurturing these ties and to continue contributing to our shared goals of prosperity and sustainability. Our new R&D center will not only drive innovation but also contribute to Belgium's sustainable energy transition. Our continuous investments in Belgium clearly demonstrate Daikin Europe's commitment to playing an active role in this crucial transition, while fostering a future that is both economically and environmentally sustainable."
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