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Japan's love affair with Alsace grows stronger

After 150 years, French region continues to attract Japanese companies

A market square at Kientzheim, Alsace, in eastern France (Photo by Tom Vater)

"If a Japanese company wants to get off the ground in France, it will move to Paris," says Japanese entrepreneur Kentaro Kitajima. "If it wants to access the European market, it will settle in Alsace."

Kitajima began traveling to France to find new markets for MF, an Osaka company that produces protective materials for construction sites. The young businessman from Tokyo had previously studied in France, spoke French and loved French culture. He even named his son Alain after the French actor Alain Delon, whose performance in the 1967 movie "The Last Adventure" he admired.

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