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Alsace Japan Agency

A Hotel for Japanese Companies

In the 1980s, thanks to an initiative of André Klein and the support of Alsace's local authorities, Alsace and Japan intensified their economic relations. Alsace was one of the first French regions to create a representative office in Japan, in Tokyo and Nagoya. After the establishment of Sony Alsace and the Japanese school Lycée Seijô d'Alsace in 1986, many large companies came to settle in our region. At present they number 24.

This development of economic exchanges justified the creation of a special structure for to promote the Alsace-Japan relationship: the Centre Européen d' Etudes Japonaises d' Alsace (CEEJA), established in 2001. In 2016 its economic activities were merged and strengthened under the new name of Agence Japon Alsace (AJA). The AJA receives financial support by the Region Grand Est, the Pôle métropolitain (Strasbourg, Mulhouse, Colmar), and the Communauté de communes de la Vallée de Kaysersberg.

In order to support the international development of Japanese SMEs, a “Hotel” for companies was created in 2015, entirely dedicated to Japanese companies, with offices and support in Japanese. In this “Hotel for Japanese Companies” the only one of its kind in Europe, several small and medium-sized businesses have already been set up.

Alsace-Japan: a long history

Pôle d' excellence Japan in Alsace

Alsace was one of the very first regions of Europe to have direct relations with Japan in the second half of the 19th century. These friendly relations began in 1863 in the textile industry. These first exchanges lasted several years and were important not only economically, but also in the field of art. Indeed, the drawings sent from Japan to Alsatian textile printers were among the first documents that allowed the European public to discover the world of Japanese forms, a discovery that had important repercussions on European art and on the genesis of Impressionism and Modern Art.

These contacts have been extended in various fields until now, making Alsace a privileged partner of Japan in Europe and a Pôle Japon with excellent relations in the economic, academic, cultural, and tourism field.

The European Centre for Japanese Studies in Alsace

A unique centre in Europe

Established in 2001, the Centre Européen d’Etudes Japonaises d’Alsace, CEEJA, aims to develop exchange with Japan in many fields. Since its foundation, CEEJA has built relationships in relationship in research and training with prestigious universities in Japan, while at the same time emphasizing cultural and tourist relations. It is this global approach to relations with Japan that makes CEEJA unique in Europe. The CEEJA receives financial support by the Département du Haut-Rhin, the city of Colmar and the Communauté de communes de la Vallée de Kaysersberg as well as by the Toshiba International Foundation.

In the academic field, the CEEJA, located on the site of the former Japanese school Lycée Seijô d'Alsace, houses a large library of more than 130,000 volumes open to the general and specialized public. In addition, our centre hosts numerous seminars run by the member universities of the CEEJA's Europe-Japan Academic Club, which enhance cooperation in research between Europe and Japan on many topics. In addition, many Japanese students from these partner universities are welcomed to Kientzheim every year for internships to discover Europe.

In addition to its academic activities, our centre disseminates Japanese culture throughout the Upper Rhine department and is also a partner in the "Takumi, Japanese Art Restoration Centre" project, which is unique in Europe and will soon be located on the Kientzheim site.

Furthermore, CEEJA maintains a privileged partnership in the tourism sector with the Strategic Research Institute of the Japanese airline ANA and develops exchanges with regions in Japan to create sustainable partnerships.