Message from President
and CEO


At the start of fiscal 2024

The new fiscal year begins today.

Looking back over the past year, we experienced ongoing uncertainty both domestically and internationally. This was mainly due to the continuing instability in Eastern Europe and the Middle East, the economic slowdown in China, the sharp rise in global prices and the increasing frequency of climate-related disasters.

In Japan, there were some positive developments, including a rebound in private consumption and inbound demand, as the new coronavirus infection was classified as a Level 5 infectious disease, leading to a relaxation of behavioral restrictions and a return to social activities. Economically, the Nikkei Stock Average reached a historic high, surpassing the 40,000-yen mark in March and maintaining its elevated position. In addition, the dollar-yen exchange rate, which had been around 130 yen to the dollar, fell below 150 yen in November 2023, indicating a significant weakening of the yen. This year, the factors such as the U.S. interest rate cut and the Bank of Japan's discontinuation of negative interest rates are expected to strengthen the yen, potentially curbing the upward trend in commodity prices.

In terms of our business performance, we were affected by various external factors, resulting in stagnant sales compared with the previous year, which is worrisome. Our business policy for this year remains the same as last year, with the aim of once again demonstrating Okuno's creativity and strength.

"Aim for 40 billion Yen!! Achieve the goal by strengthening the ability for planning, proposal, and innovations."

Global economic growth is forecasted to reach around 3 percent this year, falling short of the 3.8 percent average recorded between 2000 and 2019. The anticipated slowdown is attributed to tighter monetary policies implemented in several countries and a worldwide decline in trade and investment. Moreover, there's a concern that maritime logistics might falter due to tensions in the Middle East, geopolitical factors, and climate change. Additionally, a potential downturn in China's economy and real estate sector could reverberate across the global economy, making the year ahead likely to be fraught with challenges.

Amidst these circumstances, there's another groundbreaking technology that is gathering significant global attention: generative AI. Generative AI is among those innovations that have the potential to trigger a profound transformation in the world, transcending political, economic, and geopolitical risks. We also see it as a gateway to immense business prospects.

Founded in 1905, we are celebrating our 120th anniversary this year. As major trends emerge, it's essential for a progressive company to recognize its strengths and differentiate itself from the competition. Aiming to become a company capable of adapting to societal changes, we aim to make this year a period of significant progress by harnessing the "creativity" of all our employees.


April, 1, 2024
President and CEO Kazuyoshi OKUNO