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New Year Message from President and CEO at the Start of 2022

Ichiro Okamoto
President and CEO
Nippon Light Metal Holdings Co., Ltd.


New Year Message from President and CEO at the Start of 2022


Happy New Year to all, and GO ANZEN NI!*1.
As we welcome in the new year, I would like to make a few brief comments. 

This year, I will once again start with a talk about safety. The reason is that I believe safety is the foundation of all corporate activities. “Safety takes priority over everything else.” This year, I would also like to add “health” to this. “Safety and health take priority over everything else.”

The COVID-19 pandemic, ongoing since the year before last, has been an acute reminder that both are essential to the happiness of colleagues who work together. This year, let us once again continue to do our jobs based on the determination to build a culture in which people do not become injured or cause others to be injured, and to create a work environment in which everyone is filled with health, life, and vitality, both mentally and physically.

During this year, we must first restore trust in the NLM Group, which was lost due to quality issues, and make this a year in which all involved in the Group take pride in their work. Regarding quality issues, the cancellation of JIS certification remains in effect. In addition, the externally commissioned Special Investigation Committee is also continuing its investigation, and it is essential that everyone cooperate. At the same time, various primarily internal corrective activities are proceeding smoothly, and we are in the process of developing firm countermeasures.

We are reviewing our rules and organization, but in the end, I believe that it all comes down to the ethics and heart of each and every Group employee. I would like to make the Group a collection of people who are uncompromising and who do not tolerate “good enough.” I am always talking about “you” and “everyone” because a company is its people. We will not be able to regain in a day trust that we have lost. We will do so through the steady accumulation of honest, ongoing efforts, by everyone, in every aspect, without compromise. “Hardship makes the person.” Let us work as one and take this opportunity to create an even better NLM Group.

Needless to say, simply regretting past mistakes is nowhere near enough. We must, at all times, remain constructive and proactive. As we engage in proper reflection and take appropriate preventive measures, we will look steadily toward the future and continue to take on new challenges.

Last year was a year in which people’s everyday lives were threatened by the spread of COVID-19. At the end of August, marking the peak of the fifth wave in Japan, just under 100 people across the Group were infected with COVID-19. Very fortunately, almost all of them have since returned to work. I give my heartfelt thanks to everyone who put in the time at their workplaces while thoroughly implementing measures to prevent infection in the heat of summer.

Now, a new variant of the virus is rapidly spreading around the world. Let us avoid giving in to excessive fear and continue to thoroughly implement basic infection prevention measures.

Turning to a business perspective, business was brisk up until the first quarter of last year in accordance with the recovery of automobile production from the second half of the year before last. What lies in store for the second half of the fiscal year, however, remains opaque. This is due to such factors as the economic slowdown centering on automobiles caused by the lack of semiconductors since last year’s first quarter; and the scarcity of various materials caused by steep price jumps in raw material and fuel prices coupled also with a shortage of shipping containers.

Rooted in diversified business domains, the strategy of the NLM Group is to exercise intelligence and wisdom in the continuous creation of new products, which closely link our strengths with value that our customers can feel. Seeing the changes taking place in the world, I can’t help but feel strongly that this is a strategy without flaw. The reason is that in a world where values are diversifying and what people are interested in can change in an instant, I believe we have the right to take on the challenge of remaining strong and persistent.

While continuing to be even more aware of current events and trends, we must also avoid simply joining in on fads. It is essential that we instantly assess such factors as our strengths, position, role, and competitors, think deeply about what direction to take, and then swiftly turn this into action. To do this, as well, I again feel the importance of continuing to implement unfailingly the five keys I asked of you last spring. Do you remember them? I apologize for being repetitious, but I’d like to go over them again.


    1. Harnessing our agility and diversity as Team NLM, put the creation of value for customers first.
    2. Proactively engage with outside parties and look not just at what is valuable for a customer right now but, based on information from a variety of sources, anticipate what will be of value to a customer in the future and make that a target to achieve.
    3. Look at development as not just a mere technical aspect but from the perspective of “business.”
    4. While continuing to value “MONOZUKURI (manufacturing),” aim to take the business elements derived from “MONOZUKURI” - things like maintenance operations, design, and consulting work - and build on them to develop our “MONOZUKURI & something extra” approach.
    5. However, our Group’s strengths must be the starting point for the above activities, and we must never be afraid of change, including in the workplace.


The people who will be implementing these keys are each and every person who is a member of the Group. I would like to repeat: A company is its people. The question is with what kind of mindset will each individual face their work each day.

The world is constantly changing. Environmental awareness has grown, and the speed at which society moves when this awareness asserts itself has already been demonstrated. The implementation of various carbon neutrality measures to combat global environmental issues is something that contributes to the realization of a sustainable society. Accordingly, for the Group as well, implementing such measures is a pressing matter on which we cannot relax. We cannot stand by and do nothing. We will accept the changes of the world and continue to change ourselves. Over the past few decades, the NML Group has continued to change in order to survive, and this corporate DNA is sure to continue to be a strength going forward.

This year, we will formulate a new mid-term management plan. In addition, this year also marks the 10th year since we switched to a holding company system. Going forward, it is my intention that we continue to pioneer the future by intermixing the many strengths we possess today with value as it is seen by our customers and the world; and by sincerely and unflinchingly tackling the world’s needs.

Let us marshal the intelligence and wisdom of the Group, openly and sincerely walk the proper path, and open the door to the future.

Team NLM - Groundbreaking Innovator of Aluminum and Beyond. This year we will once again believe in ourselves and always look to the future as we continue to move forward. We are the ones who are in charge of what this company looks like.


Thank you.


*1 GO ANZEN NI: A greeting that means “safety takes priority over everything else” and that expresses a wish for mutual safety and health.


Contact: Public Relations and Investor Relations
  Planning Administration Dept.
  Nippon Light Metal Holdings Co., Ltd.