The event was held at the Tokai University Meeting Hall on the 35th floor of the Kasumigaseki building on Wednesday Sept. 22, 2010.
First up to give a speech was Mr. Drago Stambuk the Croatian Ambassador to Japan who spoke about the beauty of Croatia and how while Japanese tourism to other European nations has declined in these last few years, Japanese tourism to Croatia has grown expotentially.
Croatia Ambassador to Japan Mr. Drago Stambuk at the podium
After Mr. Stambuk, Mr. Edouard Katayama gave a speech and ran through a list of amazing details about Croatia and tourism to that wonderful country. For example, in 2003, less than 20,000 Japanese visited Croatia for the entire year but in 2009 that number rocketed to 160,000. Also the current Nomura Real Estate TV commercial for Proud was filmed in Croatia.
Mr. Edouard Katayama of CNTB
Following Mr. Katayama, came Mr. Nada Bidojevich Chairman of Croatia Investment, Economy and Industry. He ran dow a list of facts about the country, its economy and its place in Europe and how Croatia offers an attractive gateway into Europe for Japan.
Mr. Nada Bidojievich, Chairman Croatia Investment, Economy and Industry
Some of his highlight points were:
*Croatia is in the middle of Europe. It is 2 ~ 3 hours from anywhere in Europe. Easy access to 40% of Europe's entire population.
*Croatia is a member of NATO, WTO and expecting full EU membership in 2012, so it is a country that follows the rule of law.
*Croatia has the best infra-structure for business in the entire region and is definitely business-friendly for Japanese business.
*Croatia has a stable banking system.
*Even though Croatia is a small country, it has five climatic systems.
*In the last 3 years, the President of Russia, the President of the United States, the President of China and two European Presidents have visited Croatia.
The speeches were all very fascinating with Mr. Bidojievich surprising us with all sorts of trivia about famous Croatians who invented things like the ballpoint pen, the torpedo and much more.
After the speeches, the press were invited to the banquet room for some delicious Croatian wine and drinks and food.
It was an extremely successful event run by a very exciting and up and coming European nation. Look for Croatia being in the news much much more in the next weeks, months and years.
Here are some more fun facts about Croatia:
- That the Dalmatian dog from the film "101 Dalmatians" was named after Dalmatia, in which most of the Croatian Adriatic is located.
- That the first public theatre in Europe was opened in 1612 on the island of Hvar, in the town which "Conde Nast Traveler Magazine" entered at the fifth place on its Top Ten list of best island towns in the world.
- That by the end of the third century AD, the Roman emperor Diocletian decided for construction of his palace the place where the city of Split is located today. The Palace of Diocletian is one of the best known integral architectural and cultural constructions in the world, which, due to its preservation and beauty, UNESCO entered in its registry of World Cultural Heritage in 1979.
- That in the small town of Trogir, 30 km away from Split, founded in 3rd century BC, there is one of the best preserved Romanesque-Gothic complexes in the world and is therefore also on the World Cultural Heritage list of UNESCO.
- That the necktie has its origin in Croatia and that the word "cravat" came from the word "Croat"; so called because worn by Croats in the French army during the Thirty Years' War. In their own way, with the cravat, the Croats have started conquering the world from the coasts of the Adriatic Sea from 17th century. The consequences of that conquering are today felt around the necks by 600 million businessmen worldwide.
- That Marco Polo (1254-1324), an adventurer, merchant and one of the best known world travelers, whose book "The Travels of Marco Polo" is the first tourist book in the world, comes from Korcula on Korcula island in Croatia.
- That in 1458 Benko Kotruljevic from Dubrovnik wrote one of the first books on world economic literature, "On Trading and the Perfect Merchant", and that he was the first to establish the basis of modern double-entry book-keeping.
- That Shakespeare's Twelfth Night was staged in Dalmatia.
- That Agatha Christie spent her second honeymoon in Dubrovnik and Split.
- That James Joyce was a teacher of English in Pula from 1904 and 1905, in the town that has existed for three millennia with one of the best preserved Roman amphitheatres worldwide.
- That the ball-point pen was invented by a Croat, Eduard (Slavoljub) Penkala (1871-1922), that it bears his name and is in daily use.
- That two winners of the Nobel Prize in chemistry came from Croatia - Lavoslav Ruzicka (1939) and Vladimir Prelog (1975).
- That Nikola Tesla (1856-1943), the father of alternative current electricity and technology of wireless communications, after which the unit for magnetic induction is named, was born in Croatia, and that he refused to receive the Nobel prize he had to share with T. A. Edison.
For more on the exciting country of Croatia see here.
Keywords: Croatia, 101 Dalmations, Marco Polo, Nikola Tesla, Shakespeare, Dubrovnik, Split