Message From thePresident

OceanTrading Co.,Ltd.
President 米田多智夫

While some leading enterprises and companies that benefited from the weakened yen achieved healthy profits last year, Abenomics did not by any means improve the Japanese economy as a whole. In the past year, Japanese government bond issues increased by approximately 30 trillion yen, and the national debt is now in excess of one quadrillion yen. In fact, Japan has the worst debt-to-GDP ratio among leading developed countries. The economic strain is becoming even stronger for the young in Japan.

The Japanese stock market was also off to a rocky start in 2016. For the first time since the Tokyo Stock Exchange reopened after World War II, the Nikkei average marked a new year losing streak of 6 days.

Meanwhile, overseas, the impact of terrorism and the Middle East refugee crisis is causing political disarray in the US, Russia and Europe. Concerns over the future are increasing with the slowdown of the Chinese economy and slide in crude oil prices. Furthermore, the growing tension in the Middle East since the start of the year, claim of a hydrogen bomb test by North Korea, and other factors led investors around the world to take immediate evasive action against risks. This may possibly lead to the arrival of an even greater recession than the global financial crisis that followed the collapse of Lehman Brothers.

There is danger inherent in continuing to manage businesses optimistically as in the past. However, I believe that we can achieve optimal results if we think of risks and challenges as opportunities in disguise, and take the helm accordingly.

オーシャン貿易株式会社 代表取締役社長 米田多智夫

Eyeing the future of the Japanese market, Ocean Trading expanded overseas eight years ago and opened a large-scale horticultural facility in Vietnam (for the cultivation of flowers and ornamental plants). Using it as a foothold, we opened SENDO ICHI (a wholesaler of Japanese food products), first in Vietnam, followed by Malaysia. We offer freshness management technologies and carry out product development and sales. Today, SENDO ICHI is highly regarded by both local customers and employees as a company that they cannot do without.

This year will see the establishment of KOME88 in Vietnam and commencement of the sale of safe and secure foodstuffs directly to the wealthy demographic. Furthermore, we will also cultivate new markets outside of Southeast Asia. Efforts will include the import of marine products from Africa, which is as of yet an untapped area for us, as well as exports there from Japan. We will also survey the Dubai market and exports to Dubai from Japan. Our export business has been growing rapidly over the past few years, and we will further accelerate its growth. We will increase the ratio of sales accounted for by exports, and compete purely through product strength and the competence of our employees, remaining undaunted by foreign exchange and other risks. We will exhibit a competence surpassing that of even major companies, and aim to become a leading medium-sized firm continually chosen by customers.

There is no use casting a fishing line into waters that are devoid of fish. If we had not ventured into Vietnam eight years ago, the kinds of achievements that we are accomplishing today would not have been possible. It shows just how important timing, strategy and inspiration are for success.

As the famous Japanese quote goes, “A business is its people.” Any kind of challenge or crisis can be overcome if a company is armed with employees who possess an abundance of intelligence, sensibility and experience.

Seventy-one years have passed since the end of World War II. Very few who know firsthand the hardships experienced during and after the war are still with us today. Now is the time in which thoroughgoing employee awareness raising and education are essential. This is particularly true considering the significant decline in sensibilities and the ability to think caused by the widespread use of personal computers. There will be no future for us if we are unable to resolve such issues. This is why we are making a sharp change, from “education that is taught” to the “education of self.” As part of this, we will implement domestic and overseas on-site training, ultimately aiming to nurture “special-ops” (elite) employees (troops) who have rich experience, sensibilities and enterprising spirit. In addition to this, we will reward our employees more than ever while further developing and expanding the holding company to encourage changes in employee consciousness. Ocean Trading will realize, in reality and in name, a business of all of its people.

January 2016