Sojitz Corporation


HIROSHIMA GAS Co., Ltd. and Nissho Iwai to Enter into a Service Sector for the Elderly, Announcing the Outline of the First Facility, 'Care Center Ujina'

Feb. 4, 2002

HIROSHIMA, Japan(February 4, 2002)--Regarding entry into the service sector for the elderly, which is a promising field for future city-life support business, as part of its business diversification, HIROSHIMA GAS established the managing company 'Be Smile Corporation', jointly with Nissho Iwai in June last year (capital composition: HIROSHIMA GAS 70%, Nissho Iwai Group 30%), and has been preparing its entry.
Herein, Nissho Iwai is pleased to release an outline for the first facility 'Care Center Ujina'. 

1. Background of entry into business for the elderly 
(1) Senior related market of great promise in an aging society 

- Those aged 65 or older account for 17% of Japan's population (approx. 120 million) and 70% of individual financial assets (approx. 1,300 trillion yen).

- In addition to the 4 - 5 trillion yen market subject to the public nursing-care insurance system introduced in April 2000, a gigantic, peripheral market (not subject to the public nursing-care insurance system) of 15 - 20 trillion yen has appeared.

(2) Necessity of HIROSHIMA GAS's efforts in senior related businesses

- Along with the aging of society, the customers of each group company also age. It is essential to respond to the changes in customer needs, that is, to provide customers with new products and services. 

- Effective use of resources possessed by each group company (unused land, gas shop network, meter readers, engineers, etc.), through new business development. 

- Living in an age where each business that contributes to society improves corporate value and image.

(3) Possibility of the senior related business by HIROSHIMA GAS Group 

- Based on the intra-regional network and the trusting relationship between homes and offices built through energy supply businesses, it is possible to demonstrate great advantages in senior related businesses that require community-based business development. 

- By bringing into view not only direct service provision to the elderly, but also life infrastructure for the elderly and logistic support provision to elderly care service providers, and establishing networks and trusting relationships in a manner similar to those used in the energy supply business, long-term business expansion will become possible.

2. Corporate profile 
(1) Company Name: Be Smile Corporation

(2) Company Address: 
Ujina Kanda 2-9, Minami-ku, Hiroshima-shi (formerly used as the Ujina company house [approx. 184 tsubo]) 

(3) Business Description: 
     1) Communal living care business for senile dementia sufferers (group-home care) 
     2) Day care business (day-care service) 
     3) Home care support business (care planning) 
     4) Home-visit care business (home assistance) 
     5) Lease and sales of welfare equipment 
     6) Life care business for care recipients at specific facilities (pay nursing home) 
     7) All operations incidental to each of the above
     8) Other relevant life support businesses

(4) Capital: 50 million yen

(5) Shareholder Composition: 
     HIROSHIMA GAS Co., Ltd.: 70%
     Nissho Iwai Corporation: 15%
     Nisshoiwai Nishinihon Corporation: 15%

(6) Executive Members:

President/Deputy Manager of Business Development Dept. (Fumiaki Tanaka/loaned executive - 51 years old) 
Administration Director - one person (in his/her thirties, to be appointed as a loaned executive)
External directors - three persons 
Auditor - one person

(7) Number of Employees: about 35 (including loaned and part-time employees)

(8) Establishment: June 21, 2001

3. Business development plan 
For the foreseeable future, it is planned to undertake business that focuses on care services for the 'elderly in need of support', and to sequentially expand to general service businesses for the elderly. 

(1) First step 

- To establish home care service bases at site of the former Ujina company house (Ujina Kanda 2-9, Minami-ku).
- To absorb and accumulate senior (care related) business know-how. 
- To develop business know-how utilizing a group network. 

(2) Second step 

- To pursue multiple business development utilizing company-owned land and unused dormitories owned by other companies.
- To expand the service menu (services for the healthy elderly).

4. Outline of Care Center Ujina 
(1) Address: Ujina Kanda 2-9, Minami-ku, Hiroshima-shi 

(2) Name: 'Care Center Ujina' 

(3) Business concept: 

Care Center Ujina will establish bases to provide comprehensive services (multifunctional services), mainly targeting at sufferers of senile dementia. Although its business is centered on group homes, a wide range of services will be provided in order to continuously secure residents. 

(4) Facility concept: 
The facility will not only be multifunctional, but will also blend into the area. 
     - Day Care Center quota - 25 people/day 
     - Group Home 3 units (quota - 27 people: 9 people/unit) for senile dementia sufferers
     - Home care support business (care planning) 

(5) Construction outline 
     - Lot area: 608.25M2 (184.00 tsubo) 
     - Building area: 300.40M2 (90.87 tsubo) 
     - Gross floor space: 1163.72 M2 (352. 02 tsubo) 
     - Construction scale: Wall type RC construction, 4-storey building, parking space for 8 cars, 1 elevator 

     1F) Day care room, lobby, office, counseling room, bathroom, rest room, kitchen, etc. 
     2F) Group home (9 resident rooms, dining/living room, bathroom, kitchen, etc.) 
     3F) Group home (9 resident rooms, dining/living room, bathroom, kitchen, etc.) 
     4F) Group home (9 resident rooms, dining/living room, bathroom, kitchen, etc.) 
     RF) Rooftop garden 

(6) Operation commencement: August 2002 (plan) 

(7) First year sales target: 140 million yen 

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