Company Entrance Ceremony 2015 - Opening Address
Apr. 1, 2015
My name is Yoji Sato, and I am the President CEO of Sojitz Corporation.
I am very happy to welcome the 75 of you joining the company today. Additionally, I would like to recognize the 6 overseas recruits who joined the company last year, just a little before you, and whom you underwent training together with last December. They have now finished their intensive training and will receive their letters of assignment alongside the rest of you today.
On behalf of all of Sojitz Group, I warmly welcome you 81 to our company.
<Sensitivity to Global Trends>
I believe that you probably chose to join Sojitz because you dream of working in a global field. Indeed, now is the time, more than ever, to develop business outside Japan. My hope is that you will take pride in developing these businesses and make a fresh start towards realizing your dreams.
At the same time, working in a global field also means turning your gaze towards what is happening in society. I am confident that up until now, you kept a close watch for information related to areas which you were interested in or concerned about, such as those relating to your research topic or hobbies. From now on, in addition to those areas, I want you to take interest in global trends from a Sojitzer’s perspective and make a habit of always thinking about how global politics, economics, culture, and events in every conceivable field may impact your work.
Allow me to give a few examples of the kind of global trends I am referring to, the exact events which are bringing about so-called “globalization.”
The creation of a suitable business environment in emerging nations, including their globalization of information and distribution channels as well as the strong workforce spurred on by growth in these countries, has done much to kindle interest in overseas expansion for companies looking to gain a competitive edge in manufacturing costs. Japanese companies are no exception to this, given that 2011’s dramatic rise in the strength of the yen dealt a lethal blow to the competitiveness of Japan’s export industry.
This led many Japanese companies to move operations overseas. While fewer exports did negatively impact trading companies, it also lead to the birth of a new business whereby trading companies help and provide comprehensive services to Japanese companies in need of information and support overseas.
Economic growth has both raised income levels and stimulated social interaction in emerging countries. The increased mobility of people in these countries foreshadows increased demand for transportation infrastructure, such as air carriers to provide means of transport and airport facilities to support these businesses.
Then there are those events still fresh in our minds. As I am sure you remember, the recent weaker yen triggered a huge rise in foreign tourism to Japan and a massive sales boom referred to as “explosive buying” around the beginning of the year. These various events around the globe exert their influence on each and every one of Sojitz’s businesses.
Very soon now, you will receive your formal appointment and discover where you are to be placed within our company. Regardless of which department you end up in, however, you will experience the impact that global events have on your work which I have described.
Even in our domestic real estate business, for example, the market is strongly influenced by the real estate investment markets of other Asian countries—especially China. No matter the department, you will all be working in a globally competitive environment. Always bear in mind that as a Sojitz employee, being sensitive to global trends is of the utmost importance.
Naturally, our company has prepared a plethora of initiatives to provide opportunities for junior staff to interact with other countries, including overseas language training and programs which dispatch staff early into their careers. I hope all of you will make the most of these opportunities and continually work to better yourselves.
<Expectations Placed on New Employees>
There is one other important thing which I would like to share with you before you become members of the Sojitz family.
Namely, how to gain the trust of those around you.
I joined this company to realize my dream of working overseas. However, my first assignment was to the accounting department in Nagoya, a position with very little interaction with places outside Japan. I believe that the reason I am here today, bearing responsibility for management of this company, is that I was able to gradually build trust working alongside the many bosses and senior staff who were my coworkers at the time.
I imagine that right now, finding out your placement may be at the top of your concerns. But regardless of your department, I am confident that you will be given opportunities to take on new challenges so long as you put your heart and soul into your work, meet others with sincerity, and earn the trust of those around you. That trust is not something which you will win in a day. Whichever departments you find yourself in, I want each and every one of you to stare down the work you are given and remain true to yourselves.
Finally, allow me to speak be a little about the Sojitz Group Statement and the Sojitz Guiding Principles.
Sojitz Corporation celebrated its 10th anniversary on April 1st of last year. On the same day in 2004, two companies which had existed in one form or another for over 100 years, Nichimen Corporation and Nissho Iwai Corporation, merged to give birth to Sojitz. Since then, the members of Sojitz Group have come together to make Sojitz what it is today.
As we move forward now, all of us, including you 81 new Sojitzers gathered here, must work to make Sojitz a company which can endure for not just 10 years, but a hundred. In order to rally all Sojitz Group members towards this goal, we used our 10th anniversary as an opportunity to revise part of the Sojitz Group Statement and set five new Sojitz Guiding Principles.
Sojitz Group Statement
The Sojitz Group creates value and prosperity by connecting the world with a spirit of integrity.
Sojitz Group Slogan
New way, New value
Sojitz Guiding Principles
1.TRUST: Build enduring trust.
2.INNOVATION: Innovate with foresight.
3.SPEED: Strive for Speed
4.CHALLENGE: Take calculated risks.
5.PERSEVERE: Persevere until successful.
By having each employee align their conduct with the Guiding Principles, we can create “the Sojitz Way” –the foundation upon which our company will stand for a hundred years or more. We are creating a company which our customers, clients, and business partners will come to equate with trust, reliability, and integrity.
I have been told that part of your orientation training will include an explanation from the HR & GA Dept. about the Group Statement and Guiding Principles, and as Sojitzers from today onwards, I hope that you will strive to apply these to your work. Start by turning an eye overseas, staying attuned to global trends as well as working to earn the trust of the people around you.
Sojitz’s philosophy is to contribute to the industrial advancement of countries and societies by conducting businesses in alignment with our Guiding Principles. Recognize that you are now members of this company, and that wherever you are assigned, you should continue to set your sights high, aiming to help society.
May all of you mature into employees of sound mind and body, trusted by your coworkers, and able to contribute to both our company and society at large.
Once again, congratulations, and welcome to our company!
President & CEO
President & CEO