Table Speech


Two initiation speeches

September 21st, 2005

President of the Meiji Dairy Co. Ltd.
Mr.Shigetaro Asano
Councilor of the Nissan Real Estate Co. Ltd.
Mr.Kanemitsu Anraku

Two initiation speeches were given at the meeting of September 21. The first speaker was President Shigetaro Asano of the Meiji Dairy Co. Ltd. who spoke on the role of milk and dairy products in our daily living:

It is said that health comes from our daily diet. Recently, as our life styles have changed our eating habits have also become more variable. In the Diet Guidelines, the consumption of dairy foods is recommended. We are promoting the A Day movement to rectify a one sided diet.

Regarding our people’s consumption of dairy products, it is or a par with that of vegetables and rice.

Although dairy foods are close to us today, our acquaintance with them is relatively new. They were introduced to us following the Meiji Restoration (1867) when Western culture was simulated by our people. After the last war, efforts were made to improve our diet and Westernize our style of life. With their introduction into school meals their consumption grew.

Thus dairy food consumption grew by leaps and bounds in Japan, compared with overseas it is quite low. Compared to the best consumers, the Finnish, our consumption is only one fifths of their figure. There is a great difference between Japanese and foreign diets, but I do not believe that we should follow their pattern. Our Japanese diet has incorporated meats and fruits which have come from the West and is a well balanced one. Milk and dairy products provide an excellent source for proteins and calcium which are lacking in our diet, so I believe that even not comparable to the West, their consumption will grow.

In our old age society, many suffer from lack of calcium which weakens the bone structure. Yoghurt is an easy way to remedy this situation as it has more calcium than milk and helps calcium to be more easily absorbed by the intestines. It is therefore called the anti-ageing medicine. There are many micro-organisms in Yoghurt which are helpful for health.

We all long for a healthy long life, and in order to realize this you must eat regularly nutritionally well balanced meals I intend to do my best to provide you the means as a member of the dairy industry.

The second speaker was Councilor Kanemitsu Anraku of the Nissan Real Estate Co. Ltd. who spoke on the last ten years of the automotive industry:

I worded for Nissan motors for the last 38 years, and therefore my business knowledge concerns that of the automotive industry on which I will speak: The industry is undergoing severe competition in techniques and cost, and the leader GM is now faced with grave trouble. I was in charge of finance and accounting for Nissan during our troubled years, and then worked for Mr. Ghosn under which Nissan made a remarkable recovery, so let me tell you about this.

Nissan ran a deficit in 6 years out of 7 in the 90’s, had a loss of 2 trillion yen, and its survival was seen to be difficult. When President Ghosn took office, the issues were lack of profits and customer mindness, a lack of crisis mindness. The employees strongly desired for the firm to break out of this, and President Ghosn pointed out that this was our strength.

The firms position was sharply reversed, and in 2000 we repeatedly recorded our highest profits. There are 2 reasons why we were able to do this:

1. Our entering into a contract with Renault Motors which enabled them to invest 600 million yen in Nissan
2. President Ghosn
3. Cooperation with Renault

The other reason was our starting in 2000 of the Nissan revival plan.
President Ghosn plans were for running in the black with profits in excess of 4.5%, reducing our liabilities by half, and President Ghosn stated that he would retire if these goals remained unachieved. He cut the number of our suppliers by half, stopped production at our Murayama plant, and sold the shares of out related companies.

He also introduced cross functional teams where persons with different ideas and abilities could work together.

He also introduced the stretch culture by which everyone would stretch his ability to reach a higher level of attainment. Due to these, Nissan was able to reach its goals a year ahead of schedule, and since then have been able to better its profit record every year.

There are 3 reasons for our success. No.1 is the presence of President Ghosn who set the target and announced he would remove himself if the goals were not reached. No.2 is receiving the huge amount of 600 million yen invested by Renault Motors. No.3 is the ability of the Nissan employees who were able to concentrate their efforts on our recovery. Our success would not happened if we lacked any one of these.

President Ghosn announced in April that the recovery of Nissan has been accomplished, and he is now CEO of both Nissan and Renault. A Japanese COO has been born, and we are now seeing a new step forward of Nissan under Japanese management.

I hope what I have said will be of interest and help to companies in a similar predicament.