President Izumisawa began by presenting an overview of MHI, including its origins in 1870 with the founding of Tsukumo Shokai by Yataro Iwasaki, and the start of full-scale operations in 1884 with the establishment of the Nagasaki Shipyard & Machinery Works. He noted how MHI, as a global conglomerate comprising around 300 companies worldwide, has contributed over the last 135 years to the development and manufacture of a wide range of products, many of them firsts in Japan or global markets, by continually embracing challenges with courage and expertise without fear of making mistakes. President Izumisawa cited as an example the MRJ (Mitsubishi Regional Jet), Japan's first passenger jet developed through the concerted efforts of the entire MHI Group. Development of this aircraft began in 2008, and through great effort, in March this year test flights to gain safety certification began in the United States. President Izumisawa noted that entry into the market for finished aircraft will not only support the advancement of MHI Group, but has been a longstanding aspiration for Japan's aerospace industry, and that this ambition is now steadily becoming a reality. He urged the recruits also embrace new challenges in their own way.
The president stated that the MHI Group is pursuing new strategies and initiatives outside its conventional framework in order to accelerate global expansion, and achieve a business scale of more than five trillion yen. He described the company's program of selection and concentration, including the reorganization into three domains (Power Systems, Industry & Infrastructure, and Aircraft, Defense & Space) aimed at taking advantage of the group's collective strengths to provide high value-added solutions to meet the current era. President Izumisawa also explained MHI's shift to management emphasizing earnings improvement and cash flow, describing it as an "offense and defense" strategy to hedge against risk and support expanded investment in new businesses. He stated that going forward, in order to raise MHI's presence in overseas markets and establish a brand as well recognized as it is in Japan, he is looking to combine MHI Group's proprietary technologies with the needs and values of customers around the world to offer new levels of value. President Izumisawa pointed out that under the more offense-oriented organization established through the range of structural reforms, the company is implementing measures to advance to a higher stage for sustainable growth, and he urged the new employees to join in combining their strengths, and working together as a group to advance steadily forward.
President Izumisawa noted that in 2016 MHI formulated a new tagline, "Move the World Forward," for all employees within the MHI Group. He explained that this phrase incorporated the spirit of all employees striving alongside customers and communities around the globe to drive the world forward and develop a sustainable society.
The president also introduced the new employees to MHI's three principles, the values to which all MHI employees should adhere, and explained each in more detail.
President Izumisawa also noted that on the occasion of MHI's 130th anniversary in 2014, the company adopted the goal of "active participation of women and greater diversity in the workplace," seeking to ensure that all employees can work in a climate of fairness and diversity, regardless of such factors as gender or nationality.
Lastly, President Izumisawa offered some mentoring advice to the new recruits, based on his own experience, on how to approach work. He noted that with the increase in collaborations and mergers with foreign companies, it's likely that they will have a non-Japanese boss or colleagues. He encouraged them to continue working as a team to learn together and advance to the next level, even if their language skills are not so strong. President Izumisawa asserted that to seize the next opportunity a bit of luck is necessary, and that for those who are prepared these are moments of serendipity, as everything depends on one's own actions. He pointed out that the incoming employees will be the foundation of the MHI Group, and encouraged them to set 5-year and 10-year goals for themselves, work to achieve them, and seize opportunity.
President Izumisawa also spoke about his personal motto of "shu-ha-ri" (the three stages of mastery), a term from martial arts such as kendo, which he has practiced since his school days. He explained that "shu" (obey) is the stage at which one faithfully follows the teachings of one's instructor and acquires fundamental skills, followed by "ha" (deviate), when students enhance their abilities by applying their own ideas based on what they've learned, and finally "ri" (separate), the stage at which learners establish something new on their own. President Izumisawa stated that it's only once you've firmly acquired the basics, that you begin to deviate from established forms. He urged the recruits to find the positive traits in their seniors and eagerly make them their own. He concluded by expressing his hope that the incoming employees will become international businesspersons with cosmopolitan outlooks who will forge new paths for MHI Group and the world.
President Seiji Izumisawa welcomes new employees at the ceremony