Masayuki Matsushita, former vice chairman of Panasonic Corporation, speaks during an interview with Xinhua in Osaka, Japan, Sept. 13, 2019. "China's development benefits its neighbors and the world," said Masayuki Matsushita. On the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, he spoke with Xinhua in an interview on China's development as well as Panasonic's stories with China. (Xinhua/Ma Caoran)
TOKYO, Sept. 25 (Xinhua) -- "China's development benefits its neighbors and the world," said Masayuki Matsushita, former vice chairman of Panasonic Corporation.
On the occasion of the 70th founding anniversary of the People's Republic of China, he spoke with Xinhua in an interview on China's development as well as Panasonic's stories with China.
Matsushita, 73, is the grandson of Konosuke Matsushita, the late founder of Panasonic. "Panasonic became associated with China in 1978. In October of that year, Deng Xiaoping visited Panasonic during his visit to Japan. Konosuke Matsushita, who was then in his 80s, welcomed and accompanied him. In their in-depth exchanges, Matsushita expressed his willingness to provide help for China's modernization drive," he recalled.
Konosuke Matsushita visited China in 1979 for the first time and initiated the first technical cooperation between Panasonic and China. During the trip, he also climbed the Great Wall.
"Japan and China are neighbors separated only by a narrow strip of water. Since ancient times, Japan has learned a lot of thoughts and technology from China. Thanks to this, Japan continues to develop, " Matsushita said.
"Panasonic suffered severely from World War II. As the founder of the group, my grandfather has bitter hatred toward the war."
"Therefore, when the Chinese leaders sent an invitation, my grandfather felt compelled to reciprocate and contribute to China's construction. He also believes that China's prosperity will benefit neighboring Japan and the rest of the world, "Matsushita said.
In 1980, Konosuke Matsushita paid his second visit to China. Masayuki Matsushita, then 35, asked to go with his grandfather. "I really wanted to take the opportunity to visit China. I was deeply impressed by the dynamic development of China, and I was confident that China would continue to grow in the future."
About three years later, Masayuki Matsushita, was in China for a second time as head of washing machine technical cooperation. Panasonic has established cooperation with factories in Yingkou, Liaoning province, which has become one of the first Sino-Japanese technical cooperation projects. After that, he went to China once or twice every year.
Although he often goes to China, he is amazed at the rapid development of China every time.
In his opinion, improving people's living standards is one of the main purposes of China's development. Konosuke Matsushita also thought this way. "My grandfather put forward the 'tap water philosophy', which means that everyone could enjoy the fruits of development like using tap water, which coincides with the goal of China's reform and opening up."
It has been 40 years since Panasonic started its cooperation with China in 1979, he said. Japanese enterprises represented by Panasonic are gradually integrating their business in China with the country's development and construction. The Chinese market has become an important pillar for these companies, while Chinese companies became their stable partners, healthy competitors and innovation drivers.
Konosuke Matsushita was awarded the China Reform Friendship Medal during an event to celebrate 40 years of the country's reform and opening up policy last year, and was hailed as "the pioneer of internationally renowned enterprises participating in China's reform and opening up."
His grandson went to Beijing as a representative to receive the prize. "The China Reform Friendship Medal was only awarded to 10 foreign friends, which is a great honor for both our family and the Panasonic group," Matsushita said.
The medal and certificate are now displayed at the Panasonic Museum adjacent to the Osaka headquarters. "The exchanges between China and Japan are greater than ever before, not only in products and technologies, but also in people-to-people exchanges, culture and sports. In the future, exchanges in various fields will be more active and in-depth," he added.