Table Speech


Initiation Speech

April 26, 2006

Mr. Yoichiro Nakagawa,
Mr. Thomas Heil,

“Specialty Steel Story”

Mr. Yoichiro Nakagawa,

Representative Director and President,
Nakagawa Special Steel Co., Inc.

In nature, iron exists as iron ore, an alloy of iron and oxygen.
The process of extracting iron from iron ore is done in a blast furnace. Iron ore is melted at high temperature, and eliminating oxygen and adding carbon produces iron, called “pig iron”. Pig iron is fragile.
Pig iron is refined in a converter furnace, and when the carbon content is reduced to 1% or less, and when other impurities are reduced, it transforms to steel (or iron and steel).
Specialty steel is a substance created by adding nickel, chrome, molybdenum, or carbon, and the like, to steel. Specialty steel has various features, such as strength, tenacity, heat resistance, friction resistance, corrosion resistance, and electromagnetic properties.
The largest demand for specialty steel is for use in automobiles, and roughly 50% of specialty steel is consumed for this purpose. In automobiles, many components such as engines, transmissions, and brakes use specialty steel. There are other applications that are used in daily life, and it has become an essential in today’s life.
The level of quality in Japanese iron and steel, particularly the quality of specialty steel, is perennially the highest in the world, and the roots of specialty steel products used in the automobiles that are produced overseas are in Japan. It tells the high quality of Japanese specialty steel.
The pinnacle of artistry in iron is the Japanese sword. The Japanese sword is made of a combination of 3 types of specialty steel. The sword is composed of the tip of the blade, “blade edge”, the core, “core bar”, and the exterior, “coating steel”. This is to give the sword the two qualities of sharpness and strength, and is the greatest metallurgical artistry of modern times, born out of the long experience of swordsmiths. We remain amazed that we had such magnificent technology in the old times, and we also take great pride in it.
We delight in the fact that owing to having the technology to make a Japanese sword as our base, we are able to mass-produce specialty steels that are of high quality in the modern times.

“Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) ーLittle Known Pulmonary Disease Contracted by 8.5% of Over-40-Year-Olds”

Mr. Thomas Heil,
Representative Director and Chairman,
Nippon Boehringer lngelheim Co., Ltd.

[Definition of COPD]
COPD is made up of 2 related illnesses, chronic bronchitis and lung emphysema, and in most cases when one suffers from either, the symptoms of the other also begin to appear. A symptom is a difficulty in natural breathing. In order to remove the blockage in the airflow, an improvement using a bronchodilator is possible, but the effect is limited.
[Social Burden of COPD]
COPD is the most common respiratory ailment seen among adults in advanced countries, but it is difficult to distinguish COPD and severe case of chronic asthma. Patients with light to moderate symptoms may not even be diagnosed as having COPD.
COPD ranks fourth as the cause of death in United States and Europe after ischemic heart disease, lung cancer and cerebral vascular disease. In England 18% of men and 14% of women between the ages of 40 to 68, and in the United States 13.6% of men and 11.8% of women between the ages of 65 to 74, are estimated to be suffering from COPD.
In Japan, according to an epidemiological survey conducted by Professor Fukuchi in 2000, 8.5% of men over the age of 40 are confirmed to be suffering from COPD.
In spite of the high rate of prevalence, it is regretful that the interest level in the disease compared with other respiratory ailments is so low. The cost to insurance and to the society is enormous, and recently as measures against the disease, the respitory organ associations in the United Kingdom, the United States, and Japan have introduced guidelines regarding administering and treating patients.
[Causes of COPD and Risk Segments]
It was in the later 1950’s that chronic bronchitis caused by smog had been certified as a disease. On the other hand, while there is no doubt that smoking is a cause, not all smokers contract the disease. There are no differences of the risk of COPD sideration between men and women, but the effect of prevention of reduction of lung functions from non-smoking may be greater in women.