The following is an excerpt from the New Year’s speech made by NYK president Hitoshi Nagasawa as business opened for 2020 at the company’s head office in Tokyo.
- Excerpt from the speech
Happy New Year! At the start of this year, I would like to take the opportunity to say a few words to mark the occasion.
I will start with the current business situation at the NYK Group. Consolidated ordinary profit in the first half of FY2019 was about JPY 16 billion (US$150 million). This is an improvement of JPY 25 billion (US$230 million) compared to the same period of last year. Although this is still not a satisfactory amount, profit has recovered to a stronger level. Let’s continue to work hard in remaining three months to further increase profits.
Next, I would like to mention the Rugby World Cup, which was held in Japan last year. The Japanese team performed remarkably, and I believe one of the factors in their success was the combination of diverse cultures. The players overcame cultural and communication barriers to truly become “One Team.” This also corresponds very well to our group, where a total of about 54,000 people work around the world. Let’s work to communicate more thoroughly, deepen mutual understanding, and make use of our strengths as a group.
Next, I would like to share with you two issues we need to address this year.
One is the system reforms. For example, we intend to overhaul the personnel evaluation system and decision-making process. Under the new system, both the company and employees will be required to make achievements faster to correspond to the drastic change in circumstances and I strongly want the personnel and organization to respond to those requirements.
The group companies are also asked to conduct various reviews and successively execute the necessary system reforms to create a company that will succeed in the coming era.
The second issue is ESG. The speed at which ESG has become established within society has been blindingly fast. Under the basic philosophy of “Bringing value to life.”, we have contributed to the advancement of society and the global economy through our business, but is this enough?
For example, the transportation of fossil fuels such as LNG, oil, and coal is one of our main businesses. At the same time, as the transporter, we consume fossil fuels in the operation of our businesses. Given this reality, I want to discuss this theme with everyone in the NYK Group and clearly indicate the direction we will take our customers, shareholders and the whole society.
This year, the Mitsubishi Group will celebrate its 150th anniversary. The Mitsubishi Group is said to have been founded in 1870 when Yataro Iwasaki, a Japanese industrialist in the late 19th century, established a shipping company named Tsukumo Shokai, and as you know, this company is the precursor of NYK. I am very proud of the contributions we have made to the modernization of Japan and advancement of the global economy over the past 150 years, and at the same time, I strongly want us to remain a company that is needed by society.
Change is occurring extremely rapidly these days, and it is said that the future is uncertain. However, assuming the future is uncertain for everyone, we should advance forward together without fear of failing. This year, I want everyone working at the NYK Group to firmly express yourselves and achieve solid results.
In closing, I wish that you and your family have a healthy, fulfilling year. This has been my first New Year’s address, and I thank you for your attention.
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