The following “New Year Message 2015” was addressed to all officers and employees by President  Hiroshi Nagase

Happy New Year,everyone.
I am truly pleased that we can greet the New Year together.

I am sorry to say that last year was one of continuing global violence, including conflict in Ukraine and the emergence of a terrorist organization calling itself the Islamic State. Economies of the emerging countries and the EU decelerated, clouding the future direction of the worldwide markets. While on the surface, Japan’s economy is looking brighter with the devaluation of the yen and higher stock prices, I don’t think anyone can say that our economy has improved substantively. No, we cannot yet take an optimistic view of the future of the economy, either in Japan or globally.

The NAGASE Group reported fiscal second quarter earnings level with the same period in the prior fiscal year, widely underperforming our initial plan. This result has forced us into the position of having to revise our full-year forecast downward.

And, while this fiscal year marks the final year of our Change-S2014 mid-term management plan, we are likely to miss our plan targets by a significant margin. As a result, we have decided to delay the rollout of our next mid-term management plan by one year. We must give through thought to our future direction and long-term vision because merely creating a management plan as we have always done in the past would only lead to the same result as before.

I believe you have been discussing your ideas of the future of NAGASE in your own departments and work areas. Along with the management team, I have also spent the last several months in frank discussions about our future vision. Our next task is to marry our top-down vision with the bottom-up vision to form the basis of our next mid-term management plan. Accordingly, we will only publish a single-year plan for the fiscal year ending March 2016. It goes without saying that this plan will achieve targets as we work to grow all of our business lines.

Next, I want to address the Global Branding initiative we introduced last year.

In the past, NAGASE had never felt the need to establish a strong corporate brand and selling proposition as a business. But, as we move into new regions and business lines, we are beginning to produce more unique products under the NAGASE name. We are at a junction where we need to think about how our name is perceived by outside parties, as well as what roles and functions we should define for our products. A strong brand will tie directly to shared values of NAGASE Group that have been spreading and diversifying globally, playing a role in creating a more united Group.

As we consider this brand identity, of course we must also visualize long-term vision that we want to become in the future. Our brand must harmonize with our vision in support of our next mid-term management plan.

My thanks to all of you who participated in this branding project.

As a Group, we have determined three overall aspirations related to our Strengths and Character, the Value we provide through our businesses, and our Vision of society in the future.

We will be publishing Statement (concise descriptions of each aspiration) and Slogan (even more concise representations) in the future.

Statement and Slogan will be a distillation of the discussions to date related to the future of NAGASE. I feel that it is important that every employee understand their individual role in creating our future, so that they can work with purpose and pride.

As a Company and Group, we will be discussing and communicating these aspirations. I hope that you will understand and support them. Communicate these ideas to your families and our business partners. Become part of a new NAGASE movement to create a brand known and valued throughout the world.

Founded in 1832, NAGASE will observe our 200th anniversary in the year 2032.

No doubt the world will continue to change at a tumultuous pace. And, while we may not notice them as they happen, the changes are truly astonishing when looking back over 10 or 20 years. I am not certain what the next 20 years will bring, but I strongly hope that we all will move together forward, creating a NAGASE that matches our vision.

In conclusion, let me leave you with my wishes for a safe, happy, and healthy year for you and your families.

Best Regards,