Yesterday, the largest Japanese event took place at the Legend Hotel. Aeon Vietnam hosted its “Opening Ceremony” last night. Aeon established operations in Vietnam last year, they plan to open their first department store, which will be located in the Tan Phu District, sometime in 2014. Construction commences this summer. Once open, it will be the largest department store in Vietnam. Aeon also plans to operate other stores in Vietnam as well, roughly 20 across the country.
The Opening Ceremony was attended by the majority of the Japanese community in Saigon, well it seemed like that. Potential vendors, contractors, suppliers and consultants, were invited. My invitation came from the IT director. Roughly 280 people attended. My Japanese friend, Hiro, and I attended together. Unfortunately, we both were not informed that it was a formal event so we were suit-less. Thank god, despite the air conditioning, it was hot inside.
Guests were greeted by Vietnamese girls in Japanese kimonos.
When we got there, the place was already packed by many Japanese and Vietnamese businessmen. Beer and other drinks were being served to the guests.
Eventually the presentation started. The President of the Aeon Group in Japan, Mr. Motoya Okada, gave a speech introducing Aeon Vietnam Co., Ltd., the guests and thanking key Vietnamese government officials. No English, the entire presentation was in Japanese and Vietnamese.
(Mr. Motoya Okada – President of Aeon – Open Ceremony Vietnam)
After all the speeches were presented, all the guests were given a cedar box filled with Japanese sake for a group toast.
We then were served one of the best buffets I have had in the city. Japanese know how to throw a party! Sorry, I was too busy eating to take some pictures. Towards the end of the event, I met some Japanese managers of Aeon.
Below is a picture of the Tan Phu District Aeon Superstore.
Of course, here is a picture of yours truly at the event. 🙂
As we left, all the guests were given a bag full of Japanese food and some hygiene items. This was one of the best events I ever attended in Vietnam.