VGP Special Jury Prize for LG痴 Organic EL

I have a heartwarming memory of an incident that occurred 30 years ago. I was on a trip to South Korea to do some research on the Korean company GoldStar (now called LG Electronics). It was 1987, and I was 43 years of age and in my fourth year as president of our company.

Owing to a mistake by our general affairs department, I ended up traveling first-class. I didn稚 like flying, so I took along my Walkman headset and some music tapes, mainly classical, each one placed in a brown envelope. Once we had taken off, I reclined my seat and leisurely began listening to a Mahler symphony.

In the seat beside me there was a foreigner in a priest痴 attire who seemed to be startled every time the plane shook. Since he seemed to be so full of fear, I asked him whether he could see the ocean. When he answered yes, I told him, in Japanese, that it was okay now, because the plane wouldn稚 rock anymore. Hearing our conversation, the purser came over and interpreted for me.

When I asked about the priest痴 attire, the purser told me that the passenger was the Vatican痴 prime minister and introduced us. During the 150-minute flight to Seoul, I became concerned about my fellow passenger痴 restlessness every time the plane shook, so, through the purser痴 interpretation, I asked him where he was going after Seoul. 的知 going to Philadelphia in the United States, where I will meet up with the pope, he replied. Thinking that he was going to be agitated on that long flight too, I presented my Walkman and music tapes to him, saying, 滴ere, if you have these, you値l be all right even if the plane shakes a little.

The minister was delighted and thanked me profusely. He then gave me a piece of paper, about the size of a business card, on which was written his home address. 的f you ever come to the Vatican, he said, 澱e sure to visit me. He also presented me with some men痴 perfume and around 20 crosses.

At Gimpo International Airport, as I walked behind the minister, a guard asked in Japanese who I was. When the minister replied that 滴e is my friend, the guard took my bag and carried it for me. I then headed for the immigration queue, and the minister, after shaking hands, went toward the VIP exit, where he was greeted by what appeared to be some very prominent figures and disappeared.

That evening the section chief of GoldStar and his colleagues came to welcome me. The section chief had visited my office in Japan, so we were on familiar terms. When he asked what I would like to eat, I replied that I would like to go to one of their usual haunts. So we went to a Korean-style pub. I showed them the crosses, explaining how I had come to get them. Being ardent Christians, they were delighted when I then presented the crosses to them along with the souvenirs I had brought from Tokyo. That was the kind of relationship we had with GoldStar while doing VTR tape business with them.

I was very impressed by the warm atmosphere at GoldStar (later LG Electronics). At that time, and still even today, my image of Japanese companies resembled corporations like Hitachi. In other words, they were not family businesses.

The appearance of LG痴 organic electric lighting (EL) was like a savior for Japan, where the panel business had become limp. Since it must have involved a huge amount of investment, I salute the company痴 consistent management philosophy.

In recognition of the achievement and future potential, in our company痴 Visual Grand Prix awards, we have presented a special jury prize for the development and commercialization of organic EL. It is a truly laudable event indeed. Heartfelt congratulations!