Yoshito Hori, president of GLOBIS University, managing partner of GLOBIS Capital Partners, shares his views from an entrepreneur’s perspective.

This side story on Japan Night and GLOBIS Night, which were held on January 22, (Thursday), is being brought to you by Hiroyasu Mizuno, (Editor of GLOBIS Chikenroku (knowledge library) “Yomu”), on behalf of Yoshito Hori.

During the daytime at the Davos Conference, the world’s top leaders gathered to hold heated discussions in a heavily guarded conference hall. However, during the evening hours, away from the conference’s heavy security, the town of Davos becomes a place for global leaders to network and to meet different people while enjoying dinner and conversation. Companies, organizations, and governments hold various events and a rivalry unfolds to attract as many high-level delegates as possible.

One such event is Japan Night, which has fondly become known as “sushi night.” It is a popular event that all Davos Conference participants know about. Guests are treated to a taste of Japan, including Japanese food, sake (rice wine), shochu (a distilled liquor), and Japanese beers and whiskies. The venue where the event is held is always packed to capacity. At this year’s event, the scheduled breaking open of a sake cask and toast were cancelled in consideration of the Japanese hostages taken captive in Syria. As always, the guests had a tremendous time.

As a representative of the Japanese government and one of the main sponsors of the event, Hakubun Shimomura, Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology gave a speech. Following this, representatives from 26 private-sector companies took the stage. Our own Mr. Hori, who was among them, extended his greetings to those who came to the event.

The event provided an optimal opportunity for global leaders from different sectors to meet and strengthen their business relationships. Mr. Hori energetically made his way around the room. He had a pleasant chat with Minister Shimomura, after which they firmly shook hands.

He also greeted Yasuhisa Shiozaki, the health, labour and welfare minister.

Mr. Hori also had his picture taken with Klaus Schwab, the founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, and the man who encouraged the launch of a Japanese version of the Davos Conference, inspiring the start of the G1 Summit.

A mochi-tsuki (rice cake-making) event was held. People lined up to have their turn to experience mochi-making. Everyone had a great time. In the right-hand side of the picture, Yoshiaki Fujimori, president and CEO of LIXIL Group Corporation is posing holding a wood mallet.

The clock chimed 9 p.m. signaling the start of GLOBIS Night, which is positioned as the Japan Night after-party. The event was held in the same place as last year. A GLOBIS flag was hoisted and a curtain was draped along the wall. Mr. Hori kicked off the party with a toast.

This is the third time GLOBIS Night has been held at Davos and each time the level of recognition is increasing and we are gaining more fans. People arrived at the party asking “Is this where the GLOBIS Night is held?” Regulars said they came back again this year because they had so much fun last year. The staff were definitely happy to hear this. Small groups formed here and there and people were enjoying relaxed conversation. The atmosphere was fantastic.

This is the reception desk. Two staff members are holding up disposable hand warmers. Non-Japanese participants were not really sure what these were and had a slightly suspicious look on their faces at first. However, the staff explained in English that these were heat pads made using top Japanese technology and were used to keep warm when it is cold outside. Once people heard what they were for, they happily took them home. The package had a picture of Mr. Hori on it and GLOBIS’ profile.

Members from the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) also attended the event.

International journalist Nik Gowing also put in an appearance. He is a close friend of Mr. Hori and always serves as the main moderator at the G1 Global Conference, which is held at GLOBIS Tokyo campus every autumn.

Masks are a popular item at GLOBIS Night. Watching grown-ups enjoy reliving their childhood makes me think that people are no different regardless of where they are from.

Kendama (Japanese cup-and-ball game toy) is another popular item. Some of the guests liked it so much that they took them home with them. We ran out of the toys in no time… Kendama-meijin (champion) Akira Tsuchiya is shown in the picture (Executive Director and Head of Japan, World Economic Forum). He showed off his skills again at this year’s GLOBIS Night.

Finally, here is a picture of Mr. Hori and the event staff (three GLOBIS staff and a former GLOBIS employee now living in Europe who came to help out) celebrating the party’s success. Thanks to everyone who attended GLOBIS Night!

January 23, 2015
This article was written at a hotel in Zurich
Hiroyasu Mizuno, Editor of GLOBIS Chikenroku (knowledge library) “Yomu”