Again, 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. But also in daily life, I recognize that we are now facing significant changes such as in consumer attitude and climate which leads to natural disasters at times. However, under these circumstances, basing activities on our corporate philosophy, the Group remains firmly committed to the principles of delivering lean and strategic operations (a streamlined current structure that is in balance with strategic goals in the mid- to long-term), and we continue to work to optimize the Group on a global basis. Accordingly, the Group will continue implementing management reforms, using Strategic Business Unit (SBU) organization and the Mid-Term Management Plan as tools to help us achieve our ultimate goal of becoming a truly global company and achieving Dan-Totsu in all aspects of our business.The Olympic Games Rio de Janeiro 2016 were our first as a Worldwide Olympic Partner, and we also had partnerships with the Japanese and U.S. Paralympic teams. We became a founding partner of the Olympic Channel, which allows fans to experience the power of sports and the Olympic Movement on demand year round, and we also became a Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Gold Partner. The global expansion of these activities will be carried out from this year, and we will further promote our branding activities using the world's best platforms.
Furthermore, the following three points will be the priority tasks in managing the Group's business operations.
1. Cultivating a global corporate culture - The Group will continue to promote brand strategy and innovation, and strive for further improvements.
2. Developing human resources capable of global management - The Group will continue to nurture global leaders, and promote utilization and assignment of diverse human resources.
3. Upgrading the global management structure - To continue to build the global management structure, the Group will focus on enhancing governance systems and expanding the diversified products 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.
I would like to thank our shareholders for their continued support and encouragement in the years ahead.
Member of the Board
CEO and Representative Executive Officer;
Concurrently Chairman of the Board
* "Dan-Totsu" is the Japanese term for "the absolute and clear leader"