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Third Party Opinion / Independent Review

Third Party Opinion

Itaru Yasui/President, National Institute of Technology and Evaluation/Professor Emeritus, The University of Tokyo

Will the world become more unstable? Recently, this has been an issue of considerable concern. To give an example, differences in thinking by Germany and other EU member countries with respect to the Greek financial crisis is becoming increasingly prominent. Will we see an end to European monetary unification in the near future?

With regard to the environment, the Kyoto Protocol on reducing greenhouse gases was adopted more than 10 years ago, but today it seems to be something of an enigma. A mechanism to help prevent global warming that does not include the participation of China and the United States is meaningless, and a shared global mechanism now seems like a far-off dream.

What brought about this situation is the assertion of individual rights by each person and each country and the lack of room for an accurate awareness of the responsibilities to the public that are inextricably linked to those rights, including responsibility to all humankind, the global environment, and future generations.

Koshiba, President of JSR, emphasizes in this report the need to prepare for an era of diversity. It seems likely that this type of mild language has been used to express a similar sense of crisis as that pertaining to the environment. And it is also likely that we can expect rights to be asserted while responsibilities are fulfilled.

During the FIFA World Cup, the Okada Japan team greatly exceeded initial expectations and gained support not only from within Japan, but from around the world. The key to that success was adopting strategies tailored to the Japanese athletes’ abilities. The strategy of “reinforcing solidarity, maintaining a strong defense, and waiting for good opportunities” is one at which the Japanese people excel. In addition, it is a strategy that does not rely on flashes of brilliance by a small number of star athletes.

Japanese industry has similar strengths. Although they do not necessarily stand out, Japan’s high-quality materials are extremely difficult to develop and thus difficult to imitate, and the key behind that development is good teamwork. I believe that this is the fundamental strategy of Japanese industry. The corporate philosophy of the JSR Group is “Materials Innovation,” which is a statement of intent in terms of the necessary teamwork as well as a clear expression of the confidence to achieve such a goal.

“Diversity” is also a keyword for 2010. The 10th meeting of the Conference of Parties (COP10) to the Convention on Biological Diversity to be held in Nagoya will likely establish a new appreciation concerning the difficulty of cultural exchange between Japan and other nations.

The preservation of biodiversity cannot be left as a declaration; it must be backed up by action too. However, we still don’t have a complete definition. It is not a matter of simply protecting endangered species, nor is it just the issue of how to deal with non-indigenous species. It also includes the fundamental issue of how to understand the changes that have taken place as a matter of course until now to achieve economic development by humankind.

In terms of land area, agriculture, animal husbandry, and forestry have had the greatest impact on the environment. With respect to the degree of change, the extraction of metal resources through strip mining may have caused the most change. As we can see from the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico, much of the responsibility also lies with acquiring energy resources.

Starting action to preserve biodiversity has been set as a goal for 2010, and based on the impressive nature of other activities, I look forward to seeing what types of measures will be taken concerning the preservation of biodiversity, and what understandings they will be based on.

Independent Review

The CSR Report 2010 (Japanese version) has been reviewed by the Responsible Care Verification Center and we have received their subsequent Independent Review Report. The Independent Review Report, which includes an explanation of its purpose, scope and procedures, indicated that no areas requiring material revisions to the Japanese version of the CSR Report 2010 were found.

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