PARIS, February 18, 2014 — The government of France announced that it has bestowed The Legion of Honour upon Japanese entrepreneur Hiroshi Mikitani, founder, CEO and Chairman of Rakuten, Inc., one of the world’s leading internet service companies and owner of the French companies PriceMinister, Alpha Direct Services and Aquefadas. This recognition is awarded to individuals who have made significant contributions to French culture and business. Previous Japanese recipients of the Legion of Honour include the former Japanese Minister of Defence, Yoshinori Ohno and President of Toyota Boshuku Corporation, Shuhei Toyoda.
Laurent Fabius, Minister for Foreign Affairs, delivered a speech in which he discussed Hiroshi Mikitani’s remarkable journey to receive this award, covering both his personal and professional achievements.
On receiving the award, Rakuten CEO, Hiroshi Mikitani, commented:
"First of all, I’d like to thank the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs for honoring me with this award, it is truly humbling. This distinction is testament to those individuals who have consistently supported me throughout my life. To this end, I encourage all entrepreneurs to follow their passions and strive to change the future. Once you have a big idea, do not be afraid of failure. I will continue to drive Rakuten as a global pioneer of the e-commerce revolution and I am looking forward to what the next few years will bring,” concluded Hiroshi Mikitani.
Laurent Fabius, Minister for Foreign Affairs, commented,
"Mr. Mikitani is among the most successful entrepreneurs of his generation. His contribution to the French business ecosystem shows just how important France can be for a global company like Rakuten. I hope this award encourages more entrepreneurs to follow in Mr. Mikitani’s footsteps.”