President's Speech at the Fiscal 2021 Entrance Ceremony

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April 1, 2021

The entrance ceremony was held on April 1. President Kaoru Tanigawa gave a speech to the new employees as follows:


Congratulations on joining Kanematsu Corporation.

It's your first day as a member of the workforce, and I'm delighted to welcome you to our company.

It was just before your senior year in college that COVID-19 started to spread. The virus prevented you from doing many things, such as taking in-person classes, enjoying club activities, and eating and traveling with friends. Our hiring interviews had to be conducted online too. It's a shame that you were deprived of the chance to enjoy your last year in college to the full.

But now I'm very happy to be able to see you in person.

Focusing on diversity

We place a focus on character and personality when hiring recruits. Furthermore, this year's new employees include those of other nationalities and graduates of foreign universities, representing our focus on diversity strategy.

This year marks the 132nd anniversary of the founding of Kanematsu. The company has hired many foreign employees throughout its long history. They are leading successful careers in their home country, some even serving as ministers of state and managers of major companies. Thus, Kanematsu has cultivated diversity strategy.

The reason why Kanematsu is focused on diversity is because we want to keep on incorporating diverse values into our organization. New employees with diverse values also bring with them professional skills covering language, knowledge, and many other aspects including their own culture. We want you to leverage your skills in your work here.

"Kanematsu University": Why leaning matters

Another important thing is to acquire the basic knowledge necessary for you to work as a member of Kanematsu.

We have an education system called Kanematsu University which you can use to gain a good understanding of the basics. It's the same with sports: professional athletes have a strong foundation in the basics. Some of you might feel relieved, thinking that your graduation from university signals the end of your long days of learning. However that's not the case, as constant study and learning are a part of working life too. That includes myself. Starting today, I want you to always be aware that constant study will benefit you in your life going forward.

We're currently engaged in the medium-term vision, future 135. The vision involves active investment for the growth of the company. In the process, many new companies have been formed through investment and acquisition. But our biggest problem is that we don't have enough managers.

The purpose of Kanematsu University is for young employees to not only learn the basics but also develop their ability to become capable business managers. By learning in Kanematsu University and completing the courses, I'd like you to develop the ability to become managers of Kanematsu and its group companies, including affiliated companies and overseas subsidiaries. There are a lot of opportunities for younger members and I hope you give it all you have.

The challenge of transformation

Kanematsu has earned an established reputation through its 132-year history, and has also become a very robust organization with full of potential. However, society is changing at an increasingly rapid rate, and we're faced with many challenges but not limited to DX and environmental issues. Trading companies, including Kanematsu, have transformed their own organization and business in response to these changes in society and grown. There were times when we were focused on textile or energy, but at this moment, we're stronger in the fields of electronics and ICT. This is a result of our efforts to transform ourselves and it continues.

You will find that Kanematsu is promoting DX within the company. All process of internal application forms were digitized last year, making paper, photocopying, and seals unnecessary.

You and your skills are what are going to change Kanematsu going forward. Always keep this in mind when engaging in your work. Furthermore, I'd like each one of you to actively exhibit your personality, values, and new ideas to stimulate the company.

Relationships are key

Although I've talked about some important aspects, the most important thing is your relationship with others.

The recent increase in online meetings and communication has made it difficult to meet in person. This has led me to rediscover the importance of relationships. That's why I decided to hold today's ceremony in this format so I could meet all of you in person.

There are many kinds of relationships--those with customers, friends, etc. Relationships with others lead to the development of the company, and will also make your life more fulfilling. Your relationship with other employees who joined together today is especially important, a priceless part of your career and life. I hope you cherish this relationship.

Closing words

Through its business operations, Kanematsu generates revenue, contributes to the development of the Japanese and global economy, and contributes to society as well. Therefore, as new members of the company, your mission is to contribute to both the domestic and foreign economies and also contribute to society.

Be proud that you are an employee of Kanematsu and an individual contributing to society, and always be ambitious in your career. Let's grow together, aiming for a better future.

I wish you all the best in your life and career. Thank you.

President Kaoru Tanigawa
Kanematsu Corporation

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