CHRO Message

We will continue to drive cross-industry
initiatives and innovation,
with emphasis on our core values of “Open-mindedness”,
“Challenge and Innovation” as well as
our corporate culture “Mitsui is People”.

Representative Director, Executive Vice President,

Yoshiaki Takemasu

What is your assessment of progress made under Mediumterm Management Plan 2023 from a human resources strategy perspective?

Under the previous Medium-term Management Plan (MTMP2023), as the important pillars of our human resources strategy, we worked on fostering highly-capable individuals and allowing them to fully exert their capabilities, promoting diversity and inclusion (D&I), and matching the right people to the right positions through the enhancement of talent management.

We have made steady progress with our efforts to promote D&I, especially in relation to career advancement for female staff and people recruited overseas. As of March 31, 2023, the percentage of female managers was 18.8% on a consolidated basis, and 8.5% at the nonconsolidated level. Thanks to the expansion and development of our talent pool, we expect this indicator on a non-consolidated basis to reach our immediate target of 10% by 2025, and to continue rising steadily thereafter. During the three years covered by MTMP2023, the number of female managers rose by 12%1, and there was a 27%2 increase in the number of female divisional general managers and line managers. Our female leadership pool continues to grow year by year, in part because of workstyle innovation and the reinforcement of in-house training programs for selected individuals, such as the Sponsorship Program and the Women Leadership Initiative.

There was also a steady increase in promotions of staff hired overseas under MTMP2023, with a growing number advancing to the line manager level3. For example, since 2020, an Indian local colleague of ours has been the president of Mitsui India, one of our most important overseas units. Because of such initiatives as the Change Leadership Program, we expect further growth in the number of staff hired overseas promoted to executive positions.

Furthermore, we have flexibly implemented measures to match the right people with the right positions in order to accelerate cross-industry initiatives and the formation of new business clusters. In April 2020, staff members from multiple business units were brought together to form the Energy Solutions Business Unit as the hub organization for our efforts to provide industrial solutions to climate change and take the lead in the development of next-generation energy industries. This business unit has since created a range of new businesses in such areas as renewable energy, hydrogen, and ammonia. In addition, we have newly developed the global talent management system “Bloom,” as a platform for matching the right people to the right positions. The first location we introduced Bloom to was the Asia Pacific Business Unit in October 2022.

The three-year period covered by MTMP2023 saw drastic changes in the external environment due to factors that included the pandemic and heightened geopolitical risks. Future trends have become unpredictable, and we are facing a variety of changes and unexpected situations that require our staff to make difficult decisions and take actions. I have been very impressed by the flexibility and adaptability with which our highlycapable individuals have responded to these unprecedented changes. Their efforts have enabled our company to achieve record profit despite this challenging environment. I attribute this success to our long tradition of human resources development.

What is Mitsui’s human resources strategy under Medium-term Management Plan 2026 and what are the specific priorities?

One of the five Corporate Strategies in Medium-term Management Plan 2026 (MTMP2026) is to develop and promote globally diverse talent. Based on the key measures under MTMP2023, we identified, as the pillars of our human resources strategy, the development of highly-capable individuals to support our expanding and increasingly complex business activities, “inclusion” to establish an environment that enables diverse talent to fully demonstrate their capabilities in an open-minded manner, and “matching of the right people to the right positions” from our global talent pool. In addition, we would like each one of our people to continue to take up new challenges and pursue innovation by using DX to transform business processes and achieve further productivity improvements.

Under MTMP2026, there is a growing need to develop cross-industry initiatives and pursue innovation, in order to address today’s increasingly complex social issues. We will flexibly form teams of people from diverse backgrounds and combine knowledge and experience from different industrial and business fields with various functions, offering solutions to social issues, which reflect Mitsui’s unique capabilities.

To achieve this, we will fully introduce the Bloom system as a platform for accelerated cross-border, cross-segment promotion of human resources. By applying digital transformation to our global talent data base, we will enhance our ability to match the right people to the right positions globally based on the knowledge, experience, skills, and career aspirations of each individual. One of our core values is “Thrive on diversity”, and we will continue to steadily develop the infrastructure toward that goal under MTMP2026.

We are currently considering the abolition of the distinction between Business Staff and Administrative Staff4 and the introduction of new personnel system as a way of driving greater career development for female staff. This would expand the range of career options for Administrative Staff performing core middle- and back-office processes. We will also enhance inclusion and further improve both individual and organizational performance by reviewing remuneration structures to reflect job responsibilities.

What are your views on the link between the company’s human resources strategy and corporate value enhancement?

Our “create, grow, extend” business model is executed by our people. Our long tradition of investment in human resources and our commitment to human resources development and career development have led to the creation, cultivation, and expansion of many business activities, serving as a source of improvement in Mitsui’s corporate value. Our approach to human resources development is based on the systematic and well-balanced provision of opportunities for on-the-job training through practical frontline business activities, and off-the-job training through a wide range of internal and external programs. One example of a unique training program that combines these opportunities is our overseas language and business trainee system. During their first year under this program, participants withdraw completely from work in order to study at a university or other institution in the location to which they are assigned. The second year is devoted to on-the-job training.

Over 1,500 people have been dispatched to locations throughout the world under this program since its start in 1952. In addition to language studies, the purpose of the overseas language and business trainee program is to acquire a deeper understanding of local culture, society, and markets. Many graduates of the program subsequently support our robust overseas networks and develop new business as experts on the countries and regions to which they were deployed.

What are your future goals as CHRO?

During its long history, Mitsui has fostered values expressed in such keywords as “Open-mindedness” and “Challenge and Innovation”. To ensure “Open-mindedness”, individual staff members must be independent and true professionals, and it is also necessary to create a more inclusive environment in which these diverse individuals are accepted and supported so that they can realize their full potential. “Open-mindedness” is the foundation that allows us to work in the spirit of “Challenge and Innovation” to provide solutions for ever more complex social issues.

My mission as CHRO is to ensure that Mitsui’s values, as enshrined in these words, together with the corporate culture expressed in the phrase “Mitsui is People,” are manifested even more strongly in the global group, leading to the further growth of our company.

In addition to this Integrated Report, we are preparing to publish a report that will help our diverse stakeholders to gain a deeper understanding of the philosophy behind our focus on human resources, and the practices guided by that philosophy. I hope that all stakeholders will read this publication, which will introduce specific examples of Mitsui’s long-standing commitment to human resources development from various perspectives, in the context of the positive chain reaction with the continuous improvement of corporate value.

1. From 252 to 283
2. From 51 to 65
3. From 99 to 116
4. We are considering the removal of the distinction between Business Staff, whose location of employment is not limited to a certain region, and Administrative Staff, whose location of employment is basically limited to a certain region in Japan.