President’s Address at 2017 Company Entrance Ceremony
Apr. 3, 2017
Mitsui Chemicals, Inc.
Please let me extend my congratulations to all of our new employees on joining Mitsui Chemicals, Inc. On behalf of the Mitsui Chemicals Group, I warmly welcome you all. Today you start your careers with many expectations. This memorable day has arrived thanks to the support of many people. Please give appreciation once again for those who have helped and supported you.
Aim of the Long-term Business Plan
Mitsui Chemicals prepared its 2025 Long-term Business Plan in November 2016. This plan declared our determination to strongly contribute to improving future society in the five business domains of mobility, healthcare, food & packaging, basic materials and next generation business.
Our financial results for fiscal 2016 are currently being finalized and we expect to attain the highest profits as a result of the hard work of your superiors.
In our long-term business plan, we aim to achieve net sales of two trillion yen and operating income of 200 billion yen, doubling that of the previous fiscal year, by boldly making investments in growth of one trillion yen and doubling research and development expenses.
Given the significant changes in the world, as symbolized by the use and expansion of artificial intelligence (AI), we won’t be able to fulfill our mission if we remain as a chemical company that is mired in the past. I would like all of you to understand that this bold long-term business plan is a major challenge that can’t have hesitation in order for us to remain a company that is strong enough to bear the weight of societal expectations.
The 20th Anniversary of our Founding and Core Values
This year, Mitsui Chemicals will celebrate the 20th anniversary of its founding. For the past 20 years, the Company has continued to take on challenges, learning a variety of difficulties, and has grown to have business locations in 27 countries around the world, literally supporting the lives of people globally. Mitsui Chemicals has placed importance on the Core Values, which consist of three phrases.
The first phrase is challenge. This expresses our belief that a daring move without fear of failure will give rise to success.
The next one is diversity. We will be able to create value only if we mutually recognize and carefully connect the numerous diverse ideas and strengths generated by the distinct personality of each individual.
The third phrase is one team. We are a team of people that have gathered from across the world to achieve the major goal of creating a better future. There are infinite possibilities that we will be able to materialize only by mobilizing the power of the 15,000 people in the Group. Please remember that you are also important members of the Group.
Now I will tell you about 3 things that I want you to bear in mind.
1. Safety is Our Top Priority
Please conduct yourselves by giving the highest priority to safety. The most important responsibility we should fulfill as a member of society is to preserve safety. To that end, I would like each of you to be reminded that safety is for yourself, your family, your colleagues and society and take actions toward this goal, always giving the highest priority to safety. I imagine that when you were a student, you didn’t have much of an opportunity to think deeply about safety and may have thought that you would be all right even if you did something a little unsafe. From this day forward, please change your perspective completely. This is true regardless of where you work and the same on duty or off-duty. Think about what you can do to establish the safety culture that Mitsui Chemicals aims for and put it into practice.
I want you to become a person of action who has acquired “Tanshiki (practical wisdom)”. Masahiro Yasuoka was a Japanese scholar of yangmingism who was known as a leader for politicians, businessmen and bureaucrats in his late years, and he had some words about comprehension. He said that there were essentially three kinds of comprehension, and the first is “Chishiki (knowledge)”. This is a very elementary and shallow comprehension that is gained by listening to other people and reading books, etc. This becomes “Kenshiki (wisdom)” if a person adds experiences and learning to that knowledge. Furthermore, only if the ability to finish things is added on top of wisdom, does this become Tanshiki. Therefore, knowledge is not enough, and it becomes useful only if it becomes Tanshiki eventually after knowledge became wisdom. For the Company to deliver results, the ability for the employees to finish things is of prime importance. I would like you to become a person of action with Tanshiki, or practical wisdom, by deepening your Kenshiki, or wisdom, by actively gaining experience.
3. Aiming to Become an Engaging Person
I would also like you to aim to become an engaging person with a wide perspective gained through mutual respect. Sorai Ogyu, a Japanese Confucian philosopher in the middle of the Edo period, wrote Sorai-Kun (Sorai’s Principles), which includes the following: “All we have to do is to look at others’ virtues, and we need not know their shortcomings.” The Mitsui Chemicals Group is an organization with rich diversity where experts of diverse nationalities, ages and genders in various fields have assembled. In our job, we will achieve concrete results through collaborative work with people of different strengths, and what matters the most in the end is the power of each individual. Aim to become an engaging person with a wide perspective through mutual respect.
Conclusion: Expectations for New Employees
Technologies to support the world will be rapidly and significantly changing. Each region in the world faces major uncertainties. No matter the site where you are assigned to work, your work will be never the same from day to day. Please find something exciting every day. There will also be a variety of changes in your daily life outside of work. Enjoy using your imagination and insight about what will be needed for the future of society and share what you have found with your colleagues. Each will no doubt become a source of power at Mitsui Chemicals and nourishment for your growth.
I am look forward to seeing the changes you will bring to Mitsui Chemicals. Make the most of what you have in the wide field of Mitsui Chemicals. I expect great things from all of you.