I would like to congratulate all of you on joining our company. It is with the greatest pleasure that I welcome you as new members of the Nagase Group.
It is now three weeks since the Tohoku Pacific Earthquake struck northeastern Japan. I would like to express my deepest, heartfelt sorrow for the loss of so many lives and for the suffering of many survivors of this natural disaster. Recent reports place the number of dead or missing people at close to 28,000, and more than 170,000 people are still living in evacuation shelters or temporary accommodations. On top of this, we also are dealing with a crisis situation at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant. Japanese industry is suffering from tremendous damage in many areas, and the impact of rolling power outages, the nuclear crisis, and other problems have crippled many functions of our industrial base. Our country is currently in a state of emergency. I am sure that each and every one of you wants to play some role in bringing relief to the victims of this disaster, who are faced with extreme difficulties.
It is our duty, and our mission, to do everything we can to get Japanese industry back to normal as soon as possible. Doing so will best serve the interests of the disaster’s victims and of all of Japan, and indeed of the global economy. Many of our customers have suffered direct damage from the disaster, while many others have had their operations interrupted by shortages in necessary materials and energy. Every day, Nagase is inundated with requests to help customers procure needed materials, and your new colleagues in our sales departments are working frantically to meet their customers’ needs. Whether you will be working in sales and operations, or in administration, or in research, I look forward to all of you gaining the skills and know-how that will enable you to contribute not only to Japan’s revival but also to the world’s development as soon as possible.
Nagase has faced and overcome numerous crises since its founding almost 180 years ago in 1832. I firmly believe that we will overcome this current crisis too and make solid contributions to a new Japan and to the world’s development.
Nagase and Nagase Group companies are moving into a phase of major change in business structure. We are strengthening our manufacturing, processing, and other functions, and by adroitly combining those enhanced functions with our traditional expertise as a trading company, we will create a new business model unique to Nagase.
I look forward to all of you becoming able to take the lead in propelling change here at Nagase. But first I want you to acquire the skills and know-how needed to conduct the business of a trading company and to immerse yourselves in the Nagase corporate culture so that you become true Nagase people. Here at Nagase, all of our employees uphold our corporate philosophy of maintaining “good and fair business practices.” Grasping and internalizing this basic philosophy is essential for all of our employees, whether you are assigned to sales and operations, administration, or research.
Although we face a difficult period, I look forward to working with all of you as we exert every effort to help Japan rebuild from the recent disaster. And I look forward to working with you to build the new Nagase!