Happy New Year to everyone in the NAGASE Group. I wish all of you good health and prosperity for 2019 when the new imperial era begins in Japan.

We, NAGASE Group could continue the growth last year following the previous year and expect the record highest sales and profit at the end of FY2018. This is attributed
to the efforts of all group companies.

Every year I have talked the speed of our business environment change is so dynamic and extremely fast, but I have never felt it stronger than last year that the change affects us directly. The populism has still propagated over the world, and it has affected the various businesses in the free trade areas. The several issues caused by the trade friction between the USA and China is gradually giving the negative impact to the developing countries and the supply chain of the advanced technology, such as semiconductor industry has even been forced to be reorganized.

The change is not limited to the politics and economics, but our life style as well as business model have been also changing. The AI and high-speed data processing make impossible thing possible and invisible thing visible. I feel that brand new custom has suddenly become standard.

Until last year I had talked with the nuance of meaning that we need to keep up with these new changes. But this year, it is not the same. We can’t wait anymore. This year we must estimate the future 2032 when the NAGSE Group reaches 200 anniversaries, by discussing thoroughly about how the Nagase group should be towards the future and what we should do. And this year we will also take action, not just ending up with discussing. It’s not too much to say that this year is crucial to decide our future. I will take action with the sense of danger.

In the ACE-2020, you have already tried various new measures to fill out the gap. Please do PDCA cycle management and proceed with the measures. And please propose and realize the measures once you identify new one. I believe it must lead to the future business base creation for each organization to do such PDCA managements. Regarding ACE-2020, each organization is proactively proceeding with the Reformation of Profit Structure which is one of the basic policies. But how about the Reformation of Corporate Culture which is another base policy? I would like you to bear strongly in your mind that the Reformation of Corporate Culture is essential on top of the Reformation of Profit Structure when we plan for coming 10 years.

The corporate will add new element to the business management by promoting the
ESG /SDGs related matter and work style reformation. And we will distribute our resource to base creation of the digital transformation.

I suggested the slogan each year such as One Step Forward, Speed-Up and Raise The Bar. This year, our slogan is “Do It!”. There is my strong wish that you will try new thing without being feared or hesitated, not to miss the chance/opportunity by being too much mindful of other members. You have enough discretion and responsibility for the outcome from what you Do. I would like you to spend this year with a mindset of Do It!.

Very important year for us has just started. As I think this year will be tough for our company and we will encounter many difficulties, I expect your proactive participation to overcome difficulties one by one together. Lastly, I want to extend my best wishes for a peaceful and healthy 2019 to everyone in the NAGASE Group and their families.

Representative Director and President
Kenji Asakura
January 7, 2019