2020 New Year’s Message from President & CEO Kenji Asakura to all NAGAE employees is as follows.

Happy New Year to NAGASE & CO., LTD. and all NAGASE Group employees. I am delighted to deliver my message as we begin the new year.

I hope that each of you have refreshed your body and mind during the long holiday. In the meantime, looking abroad, the tension has been rising in the Middle East. There will be elections for choosing leaders in Taiwan and the United States, as well as a general election in Korea. Each result will have a considerable impact on Japan. The environment surrounding us, including the US-China economic friction and the stagnation of emerging nations still remains unclear.

Under such environment, NAGASE Group as a whole will be working together on two important objectives this year; the completion of the medium-term management plan ACE-2020 and acceleration of various measures for the next-generation businesses. From this moment and on, I expect that all of you will do your best to fulfill your assigned roles.

Last year was a very tough year. Markets both domestic and overseas were worse than we had expected. NAGASE Group’s performance was far below our target. However, in order to accomplish ACE-2020 and further goal, we cannot stop here. Please continue to work with positive attitude.

In the midst of such a difficult environment, each business department and region within NAGASE Group are trying to commercialize new business. I’m very happy to say that some of the new businesses have come to fruition last year. Environment-related business, 3D printing-related business, and 5G-related businesses that are underway in cross-functional organization within NAGASE are some of the cases. I’m really happy to see the result of identifying new business themes, taking time to investigate them, and doing trial and error lead to such positive results. I hope that these businesses that harmonize with our corporate vision “Identify, Develop and Expand” will grow into the future pillars of the company. At the same time, I hope these kind of business themes with future potentials will be created one after another.

Accelerating measures towards the next-generation business is not just this year. Various business themes have been discussed within the Group, including Materials Informatics, digital marketing, business related to environment, autonomous driving, energy and next-generation communication. I chose the term “next-generation” because the market of each area is expected to move significantly this year for sure. The land scape of each market will take shape and the they will grow. In such circumstances, we must make firm and timely decisions and allocate sufficient resources to each area. There will be no future if we are late in the game. Please have a keener antenna for changes and movements around you during your day-to-day work.

As for DX (Digital Transformation), we will begin a full-scale initiative this year. I hope all Group personnel will have interests in DX and have lively discussions.

It has become an annual event but I would like to announce our 2020 slogan. This year, the slogan is ” LISTEN “. Please keep in mind to proactively “LISTEN” throughout the year. In the age where internet is flooded with information, I believe “LISTEN” is now important than ever in various activities such as organizational operation, servicing customers, market development, technology development and self-development. Make sure you listen proactively and sometimes naturally to the market, your business partners, boss and piers, team members, colleagues, friends, and your family. The firsthand information you gain by ” LISTEN ” are full of diverse information that are insightful and will be a source for original ideas and actions. Sometimes “LISTEN” takes courage. COMMUNICATION is also required. “LISTEN” is the slogan of the year. I want all of you to think about it and keep it in your mind at all time.

In year 2020, the long-awaited Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games will be held. I hope not only the success of the blind runner Mr. Shinya WADA, an employee of NAGASE & CO., LTD. who will participate in Paralympic Games, but also hope it will be an exciting and successful Games.

To conclude my message, I would like to extend my best wishes to everyone in the NAGASE Group and their family.