Messages from Monthly Keidanren, February 1997

Disclosure: Key Factor to Keep Integrity with Our Company

Vice Chairman, Keidanren

There is a growing concern from the general public, which is getting more severe than before, towards corporate activities. Influence that a company can cause to the public is also growing. It is needless to say that the severity is stronger abroad than in Japan, since the culture and customs are different from those in Japan. We have thus to bear in mind the following things when we manage a company: the ideal role that a company should act, the general public's expectation from a company, and how influential the company's activities can influence the public.

Presently, a global mega-competition is going on, This competition can be activated and further developed in a positive way, only by the corporate behaviors based upon "fair spirit". If a company has a fair viewpoint, it will gain credibility and thus become eligible to join the competition. I believe that fairness is based upon "integrity", which is our company policy. What we define by the word "integrity" is: not to tell a lie, and not to spoil the credibility that we have gained. By encouraging all of our employees to show integrity, the entire company should be acting fair. A total of 110,000 employees of our company and its affiliates, have been striving to establish a corporate culture with fairness and integrity. I consider that a thorough corporate structure, which will not allow any single exception, will require a continuous repetition of encouraging awareness and reviewing of the initial objectives to be a fair company, as well as self-discipline by each of us at all times.

What I think are indispensable for the establishment of fair corporate culture are:

Above all, disclosure should be eagerly promoted to increase transparency of our company within the public. Not only management figures, but also our future management plans and tasks, should be actively disclosed to the public, to enhance the corporate image of "speaking out". We should always try to make our thinking and actions clear and easy-to-understand, and we should do what we have said we will do, which will enable us to keep the fairness, integrity and credibility with us.

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