One of the recipients of this public honor is Atsushi Horiba, Chairman & Group CEO of HORIBA, Ltd., who received the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon, in recognition of his distinguished service to society through the development and diffusion of analytical and measurement instruments, which are often hailed as “mother tools” for academic research and industry, the spread of which has been done in the course of expanding the business of the HORIBA Group. The honor is also in recognition of his significant contributions to industrial development, which he has done by stimulating the analytical and measurement instruments industry in his capacity as the Chairman of the Japan Electric Measuring Instruments Manufacturers’ Association (JEMIMA) and the President of the Japan Analytical Instruments Manufacturers’ Association (JAIMA).
The decoration was conferred upon him on May 27 and he was granted an audience by the Emperor Reiwa at the Imperial Palace on the following day.
Atsushi Horiba received the honor in recognition of his outstanding service to the development of industrial society at large by fostering the business expansion of his company with his unique, strategic approach to management and taking the lead in vitalizing the analytical and measurement instruments manufacturing industry.
Atushi Horiba’s Distinguished Services Leading to This Honor
True to the corporate motto, “Joy and Fun,” Atsushi Horiba has remained consistent in everything he does in the spirit of “open and fair,” which is his personal credo.
After assuming presidency in 1992, he began diversifying HORIBA’s business into the semiconductor and medical-diagnostic fields while sustaining growth of existing businesses. He also conceived and promoted a series of unique, strategic management reform programs, including “One Company Matrix Management,” under which Group companies across the globe coordinate to pursue opportunities in the five business segments, as well as the “Black Jack Project,” which helps each and every employee (“HORIBARIANs”) to give concrete shape to their “omoi” or passions for business reform and growth.
Among his numerous undertakings, what deserves special mention is his approach to M&A partners: So ubiquitous was his reputation for being “open and fair” that he often received offers from prospective partners saying that they wished to become a member of the HORIBA Group. In the post-merger integration process, he made it a rule to respect the ownership of the new members of the Group in their home countries and communicate with new employees face to face, thus successfully creating a powerful team that shares everything including corporate culture in a short period of time. Thanks to his consistent commitment to extending the company’s global reach, HORIBA’s business scale and operating income grew approximately 5- and 10-fold, respectively. He thus made meaningful contributions to society by developing and providing excellent analytical and measurement instruments.
Atsushi Horiba has also been an ardent advocate of this industry; he served as Chairman of JEMIMA in fiscal 2011, 2012, 2017, and 2018, and as President of JAIMA from fiscal 2007 to 2011. For both associations, he successfully vitalized the industry by increasing the scale of exhibitions sponsored by each association and built systems that enable smooth and flexible business promotion and active provision of information by building partnerships with their overseas counterparts, renovating information systems, and restructuring organizations, among others initiatives. At the same time, he made broad contributions to the industrial society by improving technologies for analytical and measurement instruments, which are often hailed as “mother tools” for academic research and industry.
For the host city of Kyoto, he has contributed many years of efforts to stimulate its economy and develop people of future generations by serving as the Vice-Chairman of the Kyoto Chamber of Commerce and Industry and chairing the world-renowned Kyoto Youth Hostel Association, as well as facilitating communication with school teachers and students in his capacity as the Chairman of the Kyoto Education Forum.
As detailed above, Atsushi Horiba has maintained a consistent approach to management of his business for over a quarter century, while at the same time creating better partnerships on a number of fronts, including public activities and vitalization of the local economy and education, accomplishing significant achievements in each of these attempts, in recognition of which the decoration will be conferred upon him.
Comment from Atsushi Horiba
“It is truly a great honor to receive this decoration, which would never have been possible without the kind guidance and support from so many people, including our valued customers throughout the globe and the most generous cooperation from my peers in the analytical and measurement industry. I owe them all my deep gratitude. The industry in general is at a major crossroads, where AI, autonomous driving, and other technologies are changing the face of the world. Accordingly, the roles of and expectations for analytical and measurement technologies are increasingly growing. I would like to take this opportunity to further advance our industry, while letting our corporate motto, “Joy and Fun,” guide us to further stage to work toward continued prosperity of the industrial society."
Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon
Established in 1875 as the first national decoration awarded by the Japanese government, the Order of the Rising Sun is bestowed upon individuals in recognition of their distinguished service to the nation or public in their respective fields. Through the reform of the honors system in 2003, the Order was reorganized and consolidated into six classes. The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon is the third highest order following the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun and the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star, and is also conferred upon corporate chief executives who have made meritorious achievements in the development of the economy and society.
Brief history of Atsushi Horiba
1971 Joins OLSON-HORIBA Inc. (U.S.A.)
1972–1977 Joins HORIBA, Ltd. Transferred to HORIBA Instruments Inc. (U.S.A.), where he gains field experience as a service engineer at the frontline of the overseas market
1975 Receives a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from University of California, Irvine (U.S.A.)
1977 Receives a master’s degree in electronics engineering from University of California, Irvine (U.S.A.)
1977 Manager, Overseas Technical Service Department, HORIBA, Ltd.
Returns to the headquarters in Kyoto; since then he has directed the HORIBA Group’s overseas business.
1981 General Manager, International Division
Introduces full-fledged global projects, including a large-scale environmental measurement system in the Middle East
1982 Director, General Manager, International Division
1986 Director, General Manager, Marketing Division
1988 Senior Managing Director, General Manager, Marketing Division
1991 Senior Managing Director, General Manager, Marketing Division, concurrently General Manager, Production and R&D Division
1992 President and CEO
Establishes matrix management and other unique approaches to management of global business, driven under the M&A strategy since the late 1990s and the “HORIBA Group is One Company” slogan, which started in 2003
2005 Chairman, President and CEO
2018 Chairman & Group CEO (to present)
Vice Chairman, Japan Electric Measuring Instruments Manufacturers’ Association (JEMIMA)
(to serve as Chairman until May 16, 2019)
Adviser, Japan Analytical Instruments Manufacturers’ Association (JAIMA)
(to serve as Vice President until May 22, 2019)
Director, Semiconductor Equipment Association of Japan (SEAJ)
Member, Manufacturing Industry Committee, Industrial Structure Council, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (MEXT) of Japan
Vice-Chairman, Kyoto Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Special Manager, Kyoto Association of Corporate Executives
Councilor, Advanced Science, Technology & Management Research Institute of Kyoto (ASTEM RI)
Chairman, Kyoto Education Forum
Member, Kyoto State Guest House Management Council, Cabinet Office
Chairman, Kyoto Youth Hostel Association
External Director, SoftBank Corp.
January 1998 L’Ordre National du Merite, Officier, French Republic
January 2010 L’Ordre National de la Legion d’honneur, Chevalier, French Republic
July 2015 Doctor Honoris Causa, University of Montpellier, French Republic
October 2018 Special Award to Recognize Individuals with Distinguished Service to Municipal Administration on the occasion of the 120th anniversary of autonomy of Kyoto City