A fertile ground for accepting diversity is the driving force for change. - YOSHIMARU Yukiko A fertile ground for accepting diversity is the driving force for change. - YOSHIMARU Yukiko

Since becoming an independent outside director of Mitsui Chemicals in June 2019, I have attempted to actively speak up as the voice of stakeholders based on my experience in manufacturing and my fundamental knowledge from specializing in applied chemistry.

At meetings of the Board of Directors, the basic question of whether a given decision will contribute to sustainable growth of the Company and society and whether it will lead to solutions for social challenges is always kept in mind as we engage in discussions. I also participated in the recent discussions on the establishment of VISION 2030 from an early stage with this question in mind.

The Human Resource Advisory Committee consists of the chairman, the president, and three outside directors, including me, while the Executive Compensation Advisory Committee consists of three representative directors and six outside directors and outside corporate auditors. As the pace of change in the business environment increases, the Human Resource Advisory Committee is monitoring the training and selection of candidates while focusing on diversity of human resources in particular. In regard to executive compensation, the current executive compensation system is balanced, consisting of fixed compensation and variable compensation. However, to engage in more aggressive risk taking in response to accelerating environmental changes, I believe the ratio of variable compensation to fixed compensation needs to be increased. Furthermore, demand for ESG considerations has been increasing in recent years, and to implement solutions to social challenges, which is the starting point of Mitsui Chemicals, at a higher level, we are also considering adding the perspective of an ESG-related assessment to variable compensation.

Mitsui Chemicals is at a major turning point for achieving sustainable growth over the next 50 years. Going forward, while taking advantage of its 100 years of technological prowess and its global platform and diverse human resources, the Company will not be able to rest on tradition. Instead, it will have to engage in swift reform ahead of changes in the world, maintain flexibility, and allow and learn from mistakes while taking up big challenges. The instrument for that will be diversity and inclusion. I believe that diversity is the source of innovation. I have long been involved in this theme at multiple companies and on award judging committees, so I am painfully aware of the difficulty in sharing that objective with each individual in the organization and the importance of accelerating the implementation and increasing the effectiveness thereof. Currently, initiatives such as activities to promote the advancement of women and work style reform are in the spotlight, but these are nothing more than means. Raising the priority of diversity and inclusion as a corporate strategy to achieve sustainable growth and development of global businesses in the midst of rapid environmental change and engaging in repeated and persistent communication to raise awareness is what will lead to innovation, which is the fruit of diversity.

Mitsui Chemicals has fertile ground for accepting diversity that has been cultivated through multiple business combinations since its founding. It has also made diversity one of the three elements of its core values along with taking up challenges and has given it importance as something that supports sustainable development. I am confident that the Company will achieve sustainable development and become a major contributor to solutions to social challenges while leveraging this strength and incorporating further diversity from both inside and outside its organization.

The sources of Mitsui Chemicals’ competitiveness are its points of contact with customers and the manufacturing sites themselves. - FUJITSUKA Mikio The sources of Mitsui Chemicals’ competitiveness are its points of contact with customers and the manufacturing sites themselves. - FUJITSUKA Mikio

Key to the evolution of corporate governance is the idea that there is no such thing as perfection and that there is always a goal ahead. A company must always seek things to improve and head in that direction. Such an attitude is indispensable. As an outside corporate auditor, when I attend meetings of the Board of Directors and the Board of Corporate Auditors, I focus on the validity of management decisions and follow-up in the course of execution. Having experience in various accounting positions, I also place importance on the perspectives of appropriate risk hedging and risk-based decision-making. That said, if you only look at the risks, the business will never move forward. While taking into account the balance between risk and return and the feasibility thereof, I attempt to provide suggestions and advice from an outside viewpoint so that the common sense inside the Company is not outside the bounds of common sense outside the Company. Material related to the agenda is shared several days ahead of meetings of the Board of Directors, and the atmosphere is conducive to speaking freely regardless of term of service, so officers with various backgrounds provide their honest opinions, which allows for fruitful discussions in the limited time available. I have served for just over two years, and I see Mitsui Chemicals as having room for growth because I have gotten a solid sense that the Company is making gradual improvements by reflecting the opinions of outside directors and outside corporate auditors and past experience as it implements a PDCA cycle.

As can also be said from the standpoint of ESG, corporate value is the sum of a company’s credibility with society and all its stakeholders. When establishing its business plans, the Company has long incorporated discussions not only on economic elements such as sales but also social elements such as environmental and safety factors. Its commitment to making products that hold significance in creating a better society and fulfilling its responsibility as a member of society rather than simply selling products and making a profit is also evident in its original Blue Value™ and Rose Value™ indices.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, I was impressed by the fact that the workers at the production sites gave enthusiastic explanations when I visited the plants on multiple occasions. I have personally been involved in manufacturing for many years, and I feel that a big strength of Mitsui Chemicals is that each employee has a pure sense of mission to contribute to the world through manufacturing. The key to future growth will be how well the Company is able to build on its two major sources of competitiveness, namely its points of contact with customers and its manufacturing sites, and how well it is able to increase efficiency and allocate investments in the necessary fields to make that possible.


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