Table Speech

Developing Forests that Nurture Water

October 30, 2013

Mr. Nobuhiro Torii
Suntory Beverage & Food Limited

 Whiskey, wine, beer and non-alcoholic beverages that we produce are all supported by the blessings of nature like water and agricultural products. We have felt a sense of gratitude and respect to the grandeur and fineness of nature since we started our business over a hundred years ago.

 Above all, clean water is essential to make our products. “Natural water,” which is high-quality groundwater, is definitely the lifeblood for our business. Under our corporate message “bringing water to life,” Suntory conducts various initiatives to maintain sustainability of the precious resource, water.

 One of our initiatives is the forest development project named “natural water sanctuaries.” We work to develop forests that nurture groundwater in areas across Japan to ensure that groundwater supplies exceed amounts used in Suntory plants.

 We launched our project in 2003 from the somma of Aso in Kumamoto, and today, we have 17 “natural water sanctuaries” in 13 prefectures nationwide that cover over 7,600 hectares.

 Rain water reaches the ground and gradually soaks into it to become groundwater. As forests serve as the gateway for such water, our project aims to achieve the best soil conditions by ensuring soft and aerated soil, covered with many different kinds of plants and microbes and insects.

 Suntory also conducts research on water, based on hydrology, at our own specialized research institute “Water Science Institute.” Our research fields include analysis of water components, underground geological research as well as gathering information on water wells around our plants to eventually identify the water source area of each plant.

 In addition, we conduct various researches on vegetation, soil, birds, insects, erosion control and microbes, together with top-class researchers, university professors and experts. Based on research results, we design our projects that best meet the needs of forests in different locations and conditions.

 Forests account for nearly 70% of our land area, yet so many man-made forests are ill-maintained with overgrown cedar and Japanese cypress trees. We start from tree thinning or cutting down unnecessary branches to allow sunlight into the ground. Over time, shrubs begin to grow that will eventually become forests rich in biodiversity. We work in close collaboration with members of the local forestry cooperative to implement our projects.

 Various problems observed in our forests, including ill-maintained artificial forests, feeding damages caused by deer or pine wilt disease, are mainly caused by deterioration in biodiversity. The fundamental solution, I believe, lies in “how to revitalize biodiversity native to each locality.” Forests rich in biodiversity will make rich soil that will nurture high-quality groundwater. This is exactly what our project aims at.

 As a company “bringing water to life,” we are determined to continue our “natural water sanctuaries” project that will protect water and life in the coming 50 years, 100 years and beyond.

Prospects for Secure and Safe Services

October 30, 2013

Mr. Yukiyasu Aoyama
Sohgo Security Services Co., Ltd.

1. History of the security industry that provides secure and safe services During the Edo period, security of each feudal domain was maintained by its own samurai warriors. There existed no security business after the Meiji Restoration, as security duties were exclusively undertaken by the police authority.

 The sheriff system was introduced in the US to maintain security of the settlements in the West. Back then, settlements were beyond the power of the federal police, so citizens had to take self-protective measures. In such context, security companies like Pinkertons were born to maintain railway security that crossed state borders.

 Security companies in the UK and US have come to engage in the management of prisons or military services since the 1980s. In Iraq and Afghanistan, they are responsible for military logistics as well as information gathering and analysis.

 In Japan, security companies were founded in the 1960s to complement the police. The industry started to expand after the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games and the Japan World Exhibition in Osaka in 1970.

2. Current situation of the security industry
 The market size totaled 3.2 trillion yen as of the end of 2012. There are over 9,000 security companies, which is 12 times more than in 1972 when the Security Services Act was enforced. The number of security guards total 540,000, which is nearly double the number of policemen and 13 times more than in 1972.

 There are 4 categories of security: facility security, special events security, security transportation and personal security guards. Narrowly defined, the security business provides physical and property protection (both hardware and software, including information). Recently, our scope of services is expanding to guarantee comfortable living that includes nursing-care.

 Today, almost all the public, private and financial facilities are guarded by security companies, including access control, patrol, manned guarding, and automated security. Security companies also guard the nuclear power facilities as well as transportation of nuclear fuel.

 Companies and financial institutions used to have in-house security using their own employees. Today, they outsource security duties to save costs and improve business efficiency and specialization. The majority of companies opt for automated security that utilizes the latest sound and image surveillance technology.

 In some cases, we complement the public authority by PFI (Private Finance Initiative) prison management and guard prisons day and night.

 The ratio of individual security service is still only 2% at present, yet it is likely to grow rapidly. We currently provide home security through smartphones to check images, services targeted for the elderly to monitor their health, life support services of house cleaning and homemaking, as well as security system targeted for children and women.

 We aim to make social contributions by bringing a secure and safe society. We send our employees specialized in security to elementary schools to give lectures, organize lectures for the elderly and women to teach countermeasures against fraud or stalkers.

3. Towards the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games
 Thanks to the endeavor by former Governor Mizuno and others, Tokyo won the bid on September 8th to host the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics. In the candidate file, it was stated that we will “provide a harmonized security by the public and private sectors.” I believe it will be a good chance to demonstrate what the security industry can offer in the 21st century, through close collaboration with the police authority, based on a “truly Japanese hospitality.” With this goal, we need to formulate comprehensive security measures that guarantee high-quality risk management.

 The Tokyo Olympics in 1964 was a big opportunity to demonstrate postwar reconstruction of Japan to the world. I am sure the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will be another good opportunity to give a refreshing image of Japan to countries around the world.