New Year Message 2020

Jan. 6, 2020

Main Contents

The following "New Year Message 2020" was addressed to all officers and employees by President Tatsuo Yasunaga.


I want to wish a Happy New Year to everyone in the Mitsui & Co. group around the world. I'm delighted to be speaking with you again as we begin the new decade.

Business environment

In recent years we have seen increasing divergence in the values and ideologies of different nations and regions, ongoing friction between the United States and China, and also stark contrasts in intergenerational preferences and behaviors. All of this has contributed to political and economic uncertainties and a multitude of different perspectives. At the same time, the evolution of IT and other technology has continued at breakneck speed, and there has been a rapid increase in stakeholder pressure on companies to properly address environmental issues.

Today, when multiple factors combine in complex ways and new ideas and technologies can sweep across the world in an instant, it is harder than ever to anticipate the future. Of course, it is still critical to develop a forward-looking strategy, but it has to incorporate a flexible response to change, both in our strategy and in our organization.

Medium-term Management Plan 2023

In Japan, preparations for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 are adding momentum to the start of new era. Mitsui & Co.'s new Medium-term Management Plan 2023 kicks off in April, and in May we will return to Otemachi and our new Head Office after five years of reconstruction. For all these reasons and more, 2020 marks a new starting point for Mitsui.

Our new management plan spans the three years from April 2020. Its main theme is Transform and grow, with a sub-theme of Commitment towards a new stage. The plan positions us for a major change in the way we have planned and taken action to date, so we can reach new heights. It's like a blueprint for shedding our old skin and growing into something bigger and better. The key to successfully adopting this theme and reaching our targets as a company is for each of us, in every part of Mitsui, to play a role in transforming how we think and what we do as individuals. Let me talk about two main points associated with this.

Stronger individuals

My first point is that each of us must constantly strive to become stronger and more effective as individuals. This means appraising your professional knowledge, your hard and soft skills, and your mindset—and then working to develop and add value through these skills. One of Mitsui's former chairmen said that 'the individual builds the business, and the business cultivates the individual'. One of the surest ways to develop as an individual is to apply yourself wholeheartedly to a challenging job. The good news is that at Mitsui there is no shortage of challenging jobs with ample opportunity for self-improvement, and no shortage of opportunities to create challenging new works from scratch.

Mitsui, at its heart, is a group of strong and effective individuals, and by refocusing on this we can build on our strengths.

Creating together

My second point is about 'creating together'. It reflects the fact that it has become much more difficult for an individual or a single company to develop new added value alone. It's important to remember, however, that this concept of 'creating together' has always been one of Mitsui's core values, and for many decades we have created business together with our customers, business partners and others.

Mitsui is home to an incredibly diverse range of people and skills in many different areas. In our new Head Office building we are incorporating some interesting features to encourage people to joins forces across the different areas of business. I want everyone to make use of this environment, to be sensitive to customer needs, and to actively engage with outside partners in a collaborative process of new value creation that underscores the concept of 'creating together'.


I began this message with the notion that predicting the future is harder than ever. So let me finish by saying that Mitsui, with its long history of self-improvement through challenge and innovation, is almost perfectly evolved to succeed in this era.

Our task is to improve our capabilities as individuals and as a group, bringing customers and partners into the fold and developing synergies that create value far greater than we could achieve on our own. While maintaining our fundamental approach to value creation, we need to lift our game, working together to take Mitsui & Co. Group to the next stage of success and growth.

That completes my message. I hope you and your family have had a great New Year, and I look forward to working with you all during 2020.