Dear Norio Sasaki, It is a joy for me to welcome you today in the salons of the Ministry of Culture and Communication to pay tribute to Toshiba’s commitment and generosity, a generosity commensurate with the importance of your company on the world stage of innovation and high technologies. Since 2009, you have been chairing a historic giant of Japanese industry, which is taking part in this new adventure of patronage for sustainable development, dear to my department.

Over the past year, you had begun discussions with the Louvre Museum. They have resulted in an extremely generous patronage, both in kind and in cash. Thanks to Toshiba’s support, which is part of an effort to control energy consumption, the Louvre, the centre of French culture and universal heritage, will be able to completely renovate the lighting of the pyramid designed by Ieoh Ming Pei, then the façades of the Cour Napoléon and the Cour Carrée, using an innovative LED lighting system: light-emitting diodes allowing substantial energy savings while preserving the aesthetic dimension of the palace lighting.

Today, it is the great pyramid, the three pyramids and the Colbert pavilion that benefit. The illumination of all the facades of the Court Napoleon will be completed in the first half of 2012, and that of the square courtyard in 2013. Toshiba, the Louvre Museum’s main lighting partner, is financing more than half of the cost of the operation and is helping us to promote responsible energy consumption and environmental protection.

The Louvre, by its size and world prestige, must be, among our public institutions, exemplary. In September 2010, the Louvre made a strong commitment to energy management by signing the Charter Sustainable development of public institutions and public companies. The renewal of lighting allows the Louvre to achieve 73% savings in electrical energy, which is a considerable advance; and the cost of exterior lighting at the Louvre should be reduced from 50,000 euros to 13,000 euros per year.

I would like to point out that for the Louvre again, the non-profit Fondation Internationale Toshiba financed in kind the Japanese version of the information sheets that can be consulted in the Museum’s rooms between the 1990s and 2005: the partnerships between your two houses are therefore part of a history.

For all these reasons, as Minister of Culture and Communication, I would like to express our gratitude and gratitude to Toshiba, its president, and all your collaborators. Despite the disaster suffered by Japan last March, despite the constraints of a national convalescence in which you are also actively involved, you have made a point of honouring your commitment to the Louvre. For that, I wanted to pay you a sincere and warm tribute.

Toshiba is the company that produced the first lamp in Japan in 1890. Has become one of the world’s largest players, with some 200,000 employees, in fields ranging from electronics to social infrastructure systems, from semiconductors to electric cars, Toshiba, whose strategy aims to create both value and improve lifestyles, is demonstrating today, under your chairmanship, an exemplary and an integrity in eco-responsibility of the most ambitious kind. It is in this spirit that your company made the choice to stop the manufacture of incandescent lamps in March 2010.

In addition to your outstanding support for scientific research and environmental protection, cultural patronage is also a priority for Toshiba. The Japanese company intervenes with the most prestigious international institutions: I think of the donations to the Victoria & Albert Museum since 1986, whose company is a member of the Society of Friends since 2008; your support of the New Tokyo National Theatre and the Japan Festival at Carnegie Hall in New York in 2010-2011. I would also like to mention your generous support for the commemorative project “France and Japan: 150 years of diplomatic history” organized in 2008 by the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-lettres.

I am delighted that a company like yours can support my department’s work in support of culture and sustainable development. I am also particularly sensitive to the fact that this convergence of our commitments honours a friendship between Japan and France that remains inalienable.

It is with great pleasure, dear Norio Sasaki, that I present you this noon, for Toshiba Corporation, the medal of Great Patron of Culture.