A truly tragic accident occurred at our Mandom Indonesia Headquarters Plant on July 10, 2015, causing the loss of many lives. To the families of the deceased, to those who were injured and to those for whom we caused a great deal of worry, and to all parties who suffered negative effects as a result, I offer my most humble apologies.
We have endeavored to respond to the utmost of our abilities. In addition to round-the-clock care, victims were offered a sincere monetary gift of goodwill in the name of the Mandom Group as a whole, and compensation from Mandom head office. Moreover, we established a fund to provide scholarships for the children of the deceased.
At the same time, an Accident Investigation Committee consisting of five experts including independent academics was established to investigate the cause of the accident and to prevent a recurrence. In May 2016, their report was finalized and we are currently restructuring our safety management system based on the results.
We will learn from this accident. We will be better prepared, and will strive to raise safety awareness among all employees of the Mandom Group.
"Aiming to provide a comfortable lifestyle supported by health and beauty" — this is our mission under which we have conducted our business while working toward the sustainable development of society. On September 24, 2015, the Mandom Group subscribed to the United Nations Global Compact. We publicly support its ten principles as laid out across four areas of focus: human rights, labor, the environment, and an end to corruption measures. This participation is an opportunity for the Mandom Group to "contribute to a comfortable life of consumers" in its own unique way.
In particular, our international operations are one area in which we have sought to make such a contribution, for instance by tailoring products and services to suit local consumer income levels, as illustrated by small-size or sachet products. Recently, consumers in the middle- to high-income bracket have come to expect a high level of quality from Japanese-made goods. By keeping abreast of such changes, we will be able to make a broader contribution to the comfortable lives of all consumers. Moreover, with the ASEAN Economic Community on the rise, we intend to pour more effort into development in the ASEAN region.
From a human dignity and human rights point of view, we hold it as our mission to offer all people lifestyles rich in culture and style. Even in the maturation of our supply chain, rather than simply using developing countries to manufacture products for sale in developed countries, we aim to both manufacture and sell in developing countries, thereby creating jobs and improving income levels, and contributing also to raising general standards of living through our products and services. Indeed, our goal is the same for all countries and regions: we want to be an opinion leader, contributing to comfortable lives rich in culture, and delivering products and services that enable consumers to follow styles and fashions to their hearts' content.
In addition, as a new initiative, we have collaborated with The Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences at Osaka University and begun basic research toward developing cosmetics and establishing alternatives to animal experimentation using regenerative medicine technology. This project has the potential to make a huge difference to society, and we are working hard in the hope that the outcomes will be applicable in a broad range of areas.
Environmental destruction, economic turmoil, youth unemployment, inequality, and poverty — these problems that are facing society cannot be solved with temporary measures. The world's problems need to be met with stable, solutions that address the cause and eliminate the symptoms.
To make this possible, we at Mandom need to accept differences. We need to be magnanimous toward different cultures, different talents, and unorthodox opinions. We need to constantly update and add to our in-house pool of knowledge, and anticipate global trends to innovate in a real sense by being forceful and persistent. It is also important that we create a corporate culture that respects heterogeneity.
Whether this is a sustainable way of thinking or not, in these dizzying times of change, perhaps it is better to set aside the attitude of focusing solely on competition. Instead, we should turn to making a cohesive effort toward achieving our vision for the future. The Mandom Group will celebrate its centenary in 2027, and instead of relying on past experience, let us "backcast" from our ideal vision of the future, i.e. ask ourselves what actions we must take now to realize that future. Our role at the Mandom Group is to be a stable, dedicated force for good in society, pursuing our business in a way that contributes to a comfortable life for all. Each employee should look to the future, not from the view of things as they currently are, but with our vision firmly in mind as we strive to create new values.
President Executive Officer