The Japanese ‘Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon’ was bestowed on 16 September to Trumpf partner Professor Berthold Leibinger, 85, in recognition of his achievements in promoting economic exchanges and mutual understanding between Japan and Germany. The honour was awarded by the Japanese government at the Japanese embassy in Berlin.
Leibinger’s commitments to Japan include the establishment of the German industry park in Yokohama in 1987, which led to a close partnership between the state of Baden-Württemberg and the Kanagawa Prefecture. In a statement made by the Japanese consulate-general in Munich, the Berthold Leibinger Stiftung – a non-profit organisation founded by Leibinger in 1992 to fund cultural, scientific, religious and charitable organisations – was commended for its cultural commitment to Japan after helping catalogue and exhibit Japanese craftsmanship at the Linden Museum in Stuttgart.
The statement also commended Trumpf for making ‘an important contribution to the development of Japanese machine tool manufacturing technology with the establishment of its subsidiary in Japan in 1978.’
The ‘Order of the Rising Sun’ was first awarded in 1875 to people who had rendered distinguished service to the state and the general public. The Order has different levels, similar to the ‘Order of Merit’ of the Federal Republic of Germany. The ‘Gold Rays with Neck Ribbons’ award is the rough equivalent of Germany’s ‘Great Cross of Merit’, and is primarily conferred on politicians, cultural studies experts and natural scientists as oppose to entrepreneurs such as Professor Leibinger.