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Address by the Ambassador of Italy, Gianluigi Benedetti, on the occasion of the “Leonardo Helicopters Japan Seminar 2022” (Tokyo, October 13, 2022)

Dear Mr. Vittorio DELLA BELLA,

Senior Vice President for Customer Support & Training of Leonardo Helicopters (LH),

Dear Representatives of Japanese and Italian Institutions and companies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a great pleasure to be here with you tonight, to officially kick off the “Leonardo Helicopters Japan Seminar 2022”.

I am particularly pleased to see so many authorities and participants from various backgrounds and affiliations – military and civilians, governmental and business – attending tonight’s reception. Your presence and your solid interest in LH products is a clear testimony of the great job done by Leonardo in the last 40 years in Japan.

It is also a manifest sign of trust accorded to one of the most highly technological and innovative Italian companies in the world, endlessly committed to develop cutting-edge capabilities and ensure the highest flight safety features.

As Ambassador of Italy to Japan, I am particularly proud to see that more than 200 LH helicopters – especially AW169, AW139 and AW189 types – fly over the Japanese territory and its many offshore islands for public transportation, public utility roles and public service operations.

This happens, for instance, for Emergency Medical Services (EMS), search-and-rescue, firefighting and patrolling missions, to give relief and support to the local populations in the aftermath of natural disasters or just to move people or for other commercial activities.

In more general terms, the solid partnerships built by LH in this country in the past decades, are also contributing to the strengthening of our bilateral relations in the aerospace and defense sectors where Leonardo and several other Italian industries have significant capabilities and cutting-edge technologies.

The recent visits to Japan of the Commander General of the Guardia di Finanza, General Zafarana and of the Chief of Staff of the Italian Air Force General Luca Goretti, give the sense of our common determination to build up stronger bonds between Italy and Japan in these sectors, particularly in light of the current critical situation at international level.

In this perspective, the Leonardo Seminar, which this year includes the 3rd Fire Fighting & Disaster Relief Users Conference and the 1st Japan National Police Agency Users Conference, represents a very important moment of the long-standing cooperation between Japan and Italy.

It will also be a great opportunity for further strengthening the commercial relations between our companies and deepening our business ties by pursuing the shared goal of integrating more and more our industrial systems, particularly in the hi-tech sectors and in the area of research and development.

Let me conclude by inviting all of you to raise the glasses and to make a toast to the enduring friendship between Italy and Japan, wishing the best success for this seminar and for the cooperation between our industries.

Campai, Salute!