Today's Notables

Planting the Seeds for an Active Workforce (Part 1)

December 2003
Hisashi Furuichi
President and C.E.O.

Victory eluded Hanshin in league playoffs and unfortunately could not claim to be Japan's number one baseball team this year. However, the excitement and optimism had a positive effect on Japan's economy. Now, we are in the off-season but Seibu Lions announced Kazuo Matsui would go to the major leagues. Every time I hear of another great player going overseas, I can't help but be disappointed. However, from the player's point of view, the opportunity to play among the best and be tested in front of the world, usually manifests in an increase in their talents and ability. It's a chance to find their true limits.

Furthermore, it's not uncommon anymore to see the likes of Yankee's Matsui, Seattle Mariner's Ichiro and soccer player Nakata making a huge names for themselves overseas. This has been a tremendous source of pride for many Japanese that love to watch their success but one must wonder if it's okay to be proud to see them leave. When I hear such news, I can't help but think, "Darn, there goes a source of income tax." I often wonder about the huge number of Japanese people living and working overseas and have tried to find statistics on the total income but unfortunately couldn't. There are those earning several hundred million yen per year that in total would be billions of yen that are not going into this economy. It would be nice if a baseball player came home to Japan after making a name abroad or invested in Japan to improve the world of sports here as Nakata and Sasaki did. However, there are those like Professor Shuji Nakamura of University of California at Santa Barbara, who developed the blue optic diode and patented it; then started a lawsuit against his previous employer, Nichia Corporation for 20 billion yen.

Japan is plagued by an ever-aging society and a low birthrate, vastly decreasing the work force. If we continue to see talented youth leave our country, the decline will hasten. Although there are aspects about Japan that make talented people want to leave and go elsewhere, there has never been a case where an economy can expand with a decreasing workforce. If we don't do something, who knows what will happen. As Governor Morihiro Hiramatsu of Oita Prefecture has advocated, we are at a juncture where we need to think globally but act locally, but we need to think about what each of us can do now. For so long, people have continued to say during this recession, "The economy is bad so... "or "If things would only get better...", that the likelihood of a recovery will grow dimmer. In this situation, goods that don't sell well now will not sell well even if there is a recovery.

In the coming year, I hope everyone at Tokushu Kika (*) can continue to move toward the "excellent professional" and make TK evolve into a company that continues to improve its contribution to society. It is my priority to develop the type of environment that talented people want to stay and work hard in while keeping in mind what it takes to be a company in a global market.

*PRIMIX Corporation has been change name at November 21,2005, from Tokushu Kika Kogyo.

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