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14th September 2010, Tokyo

Shima Seiki President awarded honorary medal for contribution to Italian Republic

Dr Masahiro ShimaDr. Masahiro Shima, president and CEO of Shima Seiki Mfg., Ltd., leading manufacturer of computerized flat knitting machines, has been awarded an honorary medal for his contribution to the Italian Republic.

On 15th July this year, Dr Shima attended an award ceremony at the residence of the Italian ambassador to Japan in Tokyo, where he and eight other recipients were awarded the medal of the Order of the Star of Italian Solidarity. The medals were presented by Ambassador Vincenzo Petrone on behalf of Italian President Giorigio Napolitano.

The Order of the Star of Italian Solidarity recognizes expatriates and foreigners who have made an outstanding contribution to the Italian Republic and Dr Shima was awarded the title of Commander (Commendatore dell'Ordine della Stella della Solidarieta Italiana), which is the second-highest honour of the Order.

Dr Shima received the award for his contribution in promoting and advancing Italian fashion as well as expanding economic relations within the Italian fashion industry. Shima Seiki has been selling its brand of computerized flat knitting machines in Italy since 1982 and currently holds a major portion of market share there.

Order of the Star of Italian Solidarity medalShima Seiki’s technical advancements have helped to keep the Italian knitting industry at the forefront of fashion and in particular the Italian knitting industry's early adoption of Shima Seiki's exclusive Wholegarment knitting technology, where an entire garment can be produced in one-piece without the need for labour-intensive sewing or linking of parts, has helped the industry to remain stable against the onslaught of inexpensive imports from Asian markets with low wages. In 2006 Shima Seiki established a subsidiary company in Milan, further strengthening ties through direct sales to its customers.

In addition to the sales of knitting machines, Shima Seiki has taken an active role in cultivating and promoting Italian knit fashion designers by commissioning fashion shows and trend seminars in both Italy and Japan, while providing timely fashion information to its customers. Dr Shima's personal fondness for things Italian has also inspired him to promote Italian fashion, food and culture in varying degrees for his other business ventures.

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