Takeshi Niinami, CEO of Lawson Inc., remembers how Japan captured the attention of world leaders gathered in Davos a year ago.

Niinami along with economic and fiscal policy minister Akira Amari and industry minister Toshimitsu Motegi was attending a private session on Japan held on the sidelines of the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum. Although it was the last day of the Davos conference, which fell on a Saturday, many prominent figures, such as American business magnate and investor George Soros, stayed on for the session and listened to them discuss the impact of the so-called "Abenomics."

"I've been attending the Davos conference for the past several years, but that was the first time Japan attracted such huge attention. By attending Davos, you know which country is the center of world attention and you understand geopolitics," Niinami, who is a regular at Davos, said ahead of this year's annual meeting, which kicked off Wednesday.