2017 Entrance Ceremony for New Employees –President’s Address (April 3, 2017)

Apr. 3, 2017

Preface
Congratulations, everyone. My name is Yoji Sato, and I am President & CEO of Sojitz Corporation.

It is a pleasure to be able to greet all 107 of you new Sojitz employees here today.

Last year, we welcomed over 100 new employees for the first time since Sojitz’s founding in April 2004. As president, it is a joy to greet over 100 youthful faces for the second consecutive fiscal year.

Remember this as the day you will gain a group of peers, who will be an irreplaceable presence in your life.

On behalf of all Sojitz Group employees, I wholeheartedly welcome you to Sojitz.

The Role Companies Play in Society
Starting from today, all of you will finally begin your careers as members of the Sojitz Group. First, I want to share the role companies play in society and what my expectations are for you in this respect.

While you have spent much of your lives studying and absorbing knowledge, from today onward you will also be taking on a new responsibility: to create two types of value. Along with our financial performance, we must now consider positive opinion of our social contributions as a part of Sojitz’s corporate value as well.

Let me give you an example. Sojitz is currently executing several contracts for work for a high-speed rail project in India, which increases our profits and adds corporate value. Additionally, once this rail project is completed, the quantity of cargo that can be transported between Delhi and Mumbai will increase exponentially and transportation time will also be significantly reduced. With this project, we will be able to make a substantial contribution to the development of India and local communities.

While our aim is to “create two types of value”—in other words, though we strive to maximize “value for Sojitz” and the “value for society” — I want all of you to act with the understanding that we live in a day and age where simply going after profit will not add corporate value.
In addition, I have two pieces of advice that I would like you to apply in your new working lives here at Sojitz.

Gain the Trust of Those around You
My first piece of advice is something that I am always telling Sojitz employees: earn the trust of the people around you.

I am sure that having entered Sojitz there is work you are interested in pursuing and challenges that you would like to take on. In order to create a hospitable work environment, it is crucial that you secure everyone’s trust, including your managers and superiors, fellow colleagues, and customers. Our corporate statement says that “Sojitz Group creates value and prosperity by connecting the world with a spirit of integrity.” I would like all of you to value trust and integrity in your work ahead.

Be Attentive to the Operating Environment and Refine your Skills
My second piece of advice is for you to be attentive to the operating environment and work on refining your skills.

Keep in mind that political changes, for example, can greatly impact our operating environment and society. It goes without saying that you remain up-to-date on domestic affairs, but you must also cultivate an interest in foreign affairs and remember to work on expanding your own skills, to deepen your understanding of changes that are occurring across the world.
The key to success is being able to respond to the dizzying shifts and changes in our environment. Mankind has come this far by constantly adjusting to change, so I hope you will all recognize the importance of demonstrating an avid interest in the changes occurring across the world.
Conclusion
Finally, let me say a few words on where Sojitz is now.
Since Sojitz was founded in April 2004, we have overcome all kinds of difficulties. You are joining us at a time when we have established the solid foundation necessary to be able to catch up with other general trading companies.
I believe that this upcoming year will be a particularly important year for us to demonstrate this capacity.
I ask that you work together with your fellow first-years and join forces with managers and senior Sojitz staff members to become a member of the company who accelerates the growth of the Sojitz Group.

The last thing I would like to mention is the importance of staying healthy. Familiarize yourselves with the company’s policies on annual leave and remember that good health is the foundation for success.
Once again, congratulations!

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