The honour was bestowed upon Mr Mitarai for exceptional service rendered to The Netherlands and for Canon’s significant investment in the country since 1968. Canon established its European headquarters, Canon Europa N.V., in the Amsterdam suburb of Amstelveen in 1982, which remains the company’s operational headquarters for the Europe, Middle East and Africa region. In 2010 Canon acquired Venlo-based Océ N.V. and Veenendaal-based Delft DI in 2012.
In October 2010, Mr Mitarai presented the Venlo city mayor with an Endowed Canon-Océ Chair in Business Services Innovation, which has been established at the Venlo campus of Maastricht University. The Chair serves to promote innovation and knowledge sharing as new services related to documents are developed.
Canon has also worked to strengthen the ties between Japan and The Netherlands over the years. Canon supports the Japan Festival Association which aims to further promote ties between the two countries and has sponsored World Press Photo, another Netherlands based organisation, over the last two decades. Through the Canon Foundation in Europe, also based in The Netherlands, international cultural and scientific exchange flourishes between Japan and Europe.
The honour bestowed on Mr Mitarai today, the Commandership in the Order of Orange-Nassau, is the highest class in the Order for civilians and the third highest class in the Order of Orange-Nassau.