Table Speech

Initiation Speech

December 13, 2006

Mr. Masanori Tsuno,
Mr. Kazuharu Ogura,

“Various aspects in managing your assets”

Mr. Masanori Tsuno,
President,GPM Partners, Ltd.

 These days, they say each and every one of the Japanese people has to become a CFO(Chief Financial Officer). One of the reasons of this saying is pension problem in Japan.

 Each of us has to make living by proper management of our assets, including pension assets. Management of individual Balance Sheet is important.

 In Europe and in the United States, they say you need three advisers to manage your life properly. First, they are health advisers including medical doctors and mental health counselors. Second, they are lawyers as legal advisers. Third, they are advisers on money. They include accountants, tax advisers and investment advisers. In Japan, investment advisers are lacking in the social structure.

 In the world of investment, it is important to make a proper forecast. But you always make mistakes in forecasting. Every year, at the beginning of the year, forecast of the year end market will appear on the newspapers and magazines but these forecasts are almost always wrong. Difficulty of forecasting applies to professional fund managers. If the forecast by a fund manager continues to be correct for three years, he/she will be treated like a God. However, maximum rate to be correct forecast will be 60% to 70%, even by such expert.

 You tend to be misguided by short term speculation. For example, in late 1980’s, when Nikkei Average reached 30,000 yen, some forecasted that the price will reach 100,000 yen. Conversely, in 2003, when the market was below 8,000 yen, some expert forecasted the market will go down to 2,000 yen.

 The basic rule of managing investment is long term investment and diversified investment.

 Since people tend to live longer these days, you have to consider much longer term investment. If you invest with a long term view point, your investment will be appreciated by the growing companies which receive investment money and you will also receive the benefit of long term investment.

 In order to build “Beautiful Japan”, it is important to do business on long term basis and to invest on long term basis.
I hope that you will succeed in managing your assets attaining long term profit target.

 Also I hope you will distribute part of your profit from your management of your assets to Yoneyama Foundation, Paul Harris and others.

“Struggling Publishers, but they are indispensable for the enhancement of Culture”

Mr. Kazuharu Ogura, PhD(Honors)
President,Medical Friend Co., Ltd.

 It has been 46 years since I entered the publishing business in 1960.
It all started when a publishing company which was established by my senior friend of the same hometown went into bankruptcy and I was asked to rebuild the company.

When I accepted this offer, I have always kept in my mind to pursue the will of founder of the company.

Today, I wish to explain about the publishing business in Japan as a whole which includes publishers, distributors and bookshops.

Publishers: about 4,400 companies.
 Except a few large companies, all others are very small companies.
 Distributors : 8 large companies and about 40 other companies.
 Bookshops : about 6,700 shops.

Scale of publishing industry and its difficulties.
 Total net sales of publishing industry is about 2,200 billion yen (year 2005).

 Sales of publishers are about 1,500 billion yen and gross profit of distributors and retailers are about 700 billion yen. Besides, 500 million yen is a direct cost of returned books and this expense is born by publishers.

 Historically, publications and newspapers were sold anywhere in this country with the uniform prices and this was developed under the system called Resale Support. Therefore the returned books and periodicals were taken care of by the publishers. When time passes after publication, there will be a possibility that the books and periodicals may be damaged, and their value will go down, resulting in unprofitable poor stock. Therefore the actual sales of the publishing industry is about 1,000 billion yen. The publishing industry is such a small one that it has been suffering to survive since the Meiji Restoration.

Retail bookshops are also suffering from Katsujibanare ( phenomenon of people not reading books as much as they used to), shoplifting, and too many new publications(73,000 a year)
Publishers and bookshops heavily depend upon distributors. Distributors function not only as distributors but also as coordinator of the number of publications while financing the industry. They have done a great deal of work to enhance the cultural standard of Japan after the World War .

 As I mentioned before, I joined the publishing business taking over the company which went into bankruptcy. Although I didn’t have any experiences in this field, I established my own policy to be free from the old customs while keeping the good tradition of the publishing society. I emphasized the introduction of budget control system, manpower management and market research. The market research is naturally the editorial planning. Presently our industry is very much influenced by personal computers, internet, mobile phone, etc.

 There is a tendency in present society of seeking only convenience, thus producing the less disciplined people. But we, as a publisher, are proud of further enhancing the culture which our predecessors have developed for many centuries to create the matured society.

 I believe the important thing in our human life is to be healthy, to enhance culture, and to improve our sensitivity to our environment, which leads to our happiness.

 I have been engaged in the publishing of health related issues, such as enlightenment of health professionals and providing information. The Japanese Health Insurance System, which started in 1960, was once considered best in the world, but it is now almost collapsed. It goes without saying that the present medical service is maintained by the sacrifice of the medical people. I believe, in order to maintain the quality of the medical care with limited resources, the national movement initiated by the medical people and supported by the government will be the mission of the society.