Last month, we announced our FY2013 business results. Thanks in large part to your generous support, our group sales reached a record high and we enjoyed increases from the previous fiscal year in both revenue and profit. I would like to express my appreciation once again for your support.
The Japanese economy seems to be finally beginning to emerge from its doldrums, mainly due to the effects of the aggressive monetary policy and flexible fiscal policy conducted by the Abe administration. I feel, however, that this fiscal year is going to be the very time when companies’ true capabilities will be put to the test. It is no longer expected that Japanese companies can continue to receive benefits from the yen depreciation. There is still no knowing how much the increased consumption tax will affect the Japanese economic climate. In addition, there are many other factors that prevent us from forecasting future trends, such as the slowdown in the growth of emerging economies, as well as unstable political situations in Ukraine, East Asia, and elsewhere in the world.
The two policies discharged so far can be described as symptom therapy. On the other hand, the third policy, a growth strategy, will be designed for encouraging companies and society to change their way of thinking. I believe that achieving this goal will take some time. The Japan Revitalization Strategy, which was unveiled one year ago, sets the necessary key measures as following: unleashing the power of the private sector to the fullest extent; participation by all and fostering human resources who can succeed in the global competition; and creating new frontiers. This suggests that the result of the strategy might depend on efforts made by companies and society.
If a company wants to secure sustainable growth, the company should know better than to pursue easy gains by simply following the market sentiments, which change very frequently. As a manufacturer, the Sumitomo Electric Group must conscientiously continue working on human resource development and SEQCDD (safety, environment, quality, cost, delivery, and research & development) improvement. In addition, we need to examine the measures provided by the strategy, reflect them into our operations, and thereby create products and services that can contribute to society, make advances in our businesses, and become more competitive in the international marketplace. I believe that this is the crucial point in determining whether we will continue flourishing or not. Although it is certainly necessary to try to forecast future trends, we also need to maintain a down-to-earth spirit and not forget the maxim of “Haste makes waste.”