As COVID-19 continues to spread with no end in sight, there are concerns that social and economic activities will be stagnant for a long time. We would like to express our heartfelt sympathy to those who have been infected and their families, and to all those whose lives and business activities have been severely disrupted by COVID-19.
In addition, regarding the issue of forward processing in the tallying operations of exercised voting rights which came to light in September 2020, we would like to express our sincere apologies once again for causing great inconvenience and concern to all companies that have entrusted the provision of stock transfer agency services business to SuMi Trust Bank, Tokyo Securities Transfer Agent and JAPAN SECURITIES AGENTS, as well as to all shareholders and capital market participants.
We have defined our Purpose (reason for existence) as "To create new value with the power of trusts and let prosperous future for our clients and society bloom," and have launched a Medium-Term Management Plan that places the "balanced creation of both social value and economic value" as a core management philosophy. By steadily advancing initiatives to solve a variety of social issues in the Group’s wide-ranging business domains, we aim to achieve sustainable development of society as well as sustainable and stable growth for the Group.
Looking at the macroeconomic environment, the concept of "Build Back Better" is being advocated to realize a stronger economy going forward compared to pre-COVID times based on lessons learned from the Global Financial Crisis. In Europe, enormous sums are being allocated on accelerating the climate-neutral Green Deal policy initiative to make it a pillar for economic recovery. Even in Japan, which has been lagging behind, a change in government policy is expected to lead to a strong push for monetary policies that promote environmental innovation. As a signatory to the Principles for Responsible Banking (PRB), which calls for conformity with the Paris Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), we will also play our expected roles in realizing a carbon-free society by promoting innovation of or facilitating the transition to renewable energy, hydrogen, next-generation storage batteries, and carbon recycling.
In addition to raising concerns about climate change, the spread of COVID-19 has also highlighted the importance of human capital. I feel that it is the mission of top management to create a workplace where the people responsible for executing the Medium-Term Management Plan and supporting the sustainable growth of the Group can safely take on the challenge of figuring out new ways to work under the new normal environment and contribute to improving performance. In March 2020, the Company was selected for the first time as one of the Nadeshiko Brand enterprises by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), which recognizes companies that are carrying out outstanding initiatives to promote the advancement of women. We will continue to make every effort to support women’s career development by promoting them to positions of responsibility. Moreover, diversity is not just about gender. We are determined to further strengthen our initiatives to create a comfortable workplace and reform awareness in consideration of the super-aging society, for example by expanding opportunities for seniors with specialized skills and helping employees balance work and nursing care.
This year’s Sustainability Report adopted the common metrics of stakeholder capitalism, which was announced at the World Economic Forum (Davos) in January 2020 and officially released in September. As such, it is organized into four sections: Principles of Governance, Planet (Environment), People (Society), and Prosperity (Economy). This report also serves as the first release of the Report and Self-Assessment on the Principles for Responsible Banking required of PRB signatories.
Precisely because we are in this challenging environment, we will strive to become a company that creates positive impact by integrating sustainability into our management and developing sustainability initiatives as our business. I am grateful for the continued warm support of all our stakeholders.
Director, President Toru Takakura