First, I would like to convey my thanks to all of our shareholders for your support of the Bridgestone Group.
The Group's operating environment is undergoing substantial changes in a wide range of areas, including international relations, politics, economics, environmental issues and technical innovation, and I realize that social structures and consumer attitudes also are changing significantly. Under these circumstances,, based on the corporate philosophy outlined in "The Bridgestone Essence", the Group remains firmly committed to the principles of "Lean & Strategic" operations (a streamlined current structure in a balance with strategic goals in the mid- to long-term) and "Optimize on a Group and Global Basis." In relation, the Group will continue implementing management reforms with "Strategic Business Unit (SBU) organization" and "Mid-Term Management Plan" as reforming tools, in order to pursue the ultimate goals of becoming "a truly global company" and achieving "Dan-Totsu in all aspects of our business."
Furthermore, the following three points will be priority tasks in managing the Group's business operations.
1.Cultivating a global corporate culture-The Group will continue to promote a consistent group and global brand strategy; accelerate innovation of technology, business models and designs; and promote continuous improvements.
2.Developing human resources capable of global management-The Group will continue to promote the diversification of its human resources through active development and promotion of talent across regions including early-career employees and women, as well as the designation of English as an official company language.
3.Upgrading the global management structure- To continue to build the global management structure, the Group will focus on three primary approaches: enhance governance systems, restructure the tire business SBUs and expand the diversified product business.
Highlighting a renewed commitment to enhancing governance systems, the Company received the 1st Corporate Governance of the Year® honorable Grand Prize from the Japan Association of Corporate Directors for the first time in 2015. While the Group recognizes this award as an achievement of its management reforms, it will pursue further improvements on governance systems in order to continue to enhance the quality of management and promote improvement in business operations.
To support these key initiatives, the Group will promote continuous improvements and management reforms. I respectfully ask all of our shareholders for their continued support as we pursue our goal to further strengthen Bridgestone's business operations.
CEO and Representative Board Member; concurrently Chairman of the Board
* "Dan-Totsu" is the Japanese term for "the absolute and clear leader"