Nissan Philippines, Inc. held a traditional Japanese ceremony on July 16, 2019 to inaugurate their new offices at the Ecoprime Tower located at the corner of 32nd Avenue and 9th Street in the Bonifacio Global City (BGC) in Taguig City.
NPI President and Managing Director Atsushi Najima was joined by Nissan Motor Co. Regional Senior Vice President and Nissan Asia and Oceania Management Committee Chairman Yutaka Sanada and Former Senate President and Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas Ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) President Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III in performing Kagami Biraki, which literally translates to “Opening the Mirror” or “Breaking of the Mochi”.
NPI President and Managing Director Atsushi Najima toasts sake with Senator Koko Pimentel and Nissan Motor Co. Regional SVP Yutaka Sanada.
The ceremony refers to the opening of a Kagami mochi or the opening of a cask of sake (Japanese rice wine) at a party or a ceremony. The fourth Tokugawa shōgun (war lord) started this tradition 300 years ago when he gathered his daimyō (feudal lords) in his castle to break open a sake cask before going into battle and after achieving victory. Nowadays, this traditional Japanese ceremony is performed at weddings, sporting events, and opening days at new companies, such as the inauguration of the new NPI offices.
During his speech, Sanada-san stated that the new NPI offices will enhance the productivity of the NPI associates in working towards their goal of promoting and marketing Nissan products in the Philippines and in ensuring customer satisfaction while doing so. He commended the NPI management and staff for their valuable contribution in enlarging the market share of Nissan in the country and its current position in the local automotive industry. Sanada-san reiterated the commitment of NPI to introduce the Nissan Leaf electric vehicle (EV) to the Philippine market in 2020.
He added that while there’s still a lot of work needed to create the infrastructure to ensure the viability of EVs in the country, he feels confident that with the help of the government and with the hard work of the NPI associates, Filipino buyers will see the benefits of driving the Nissan Leaf.
Former Senate President and PDP-Laban President Senator Koko Pimentel Senator Koko Pimentel surprised everyone by starting his delivery with “Ohayō gozaimasu“, which is “Good morning” in Japanese.
He praised Nissan for their commitment in helping the Philippine economy and for their commitment in working towards a “Zero Impact” carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from their products by introducing the Nisan Leaf EV. The good senator, who is the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Trade, Commerce and Entrepreneurship, is also an active environmentalist. “In all likelihood, I shall be retaining the Committee Chairmanship. I will endeavor to ensure that new laws that are more supportive to the promotion and use of EVs shall be drafted and hopefully passed”, he promised. “I am most interested in the Nissan Leaf and its introduction into the Philippine automotive market next year. I look forward to NPI helping protect the environment for the benefit of the future generation.”
Pimentel ended his speech with “Omedetō gozaimasu“, which means “Congratulations”.
For his part, Najima-san thanked Sanada-san and Nissan Motor Co. for their support for NPI and its expansion plans. He expressed his appreciation towards the management and staff of NPI as well as their dealer network for their tireless work in promoting the brand and pursuing excellence in customer satisfaction.
He looked forward to the introduction of the Nissan Leaf in 2020 and to officially close the ceremony, he invited all the guests in a short tour of their new offices. Photo by Lester Dizon
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