Offering Broader Perspectives to Contribute to Improved Management Quality
I was appointed to assume office as Outside Director from 2020. Each company places emphasis on ensuring diversity among its Outside Directors so that they can make use of their respective external perspectives in participating in management. Kuraray increased the number of Outside Directors from this year to further enhance its portfolio mix of such varied external perspectives, and I intend to live up to the expectations as one who is part of such effort.
I have gained business experience at a general trading company in acquisitions involving global businesses, risk management, talent utilization, and others and have also engaged in ESG management, corporate governance, and compliance, among other things, as an officer in charge of the corporate planning division. Additionally, by utilizing my experience in handling consumer products, I believe I can provide useful advice from a “downstream” perspective for Kuraray, which is an intermediate materials manufacturer.
The Kuraray Group’s corporate culture emphasizes “For people and the planet—to achieve what no one else can,” suggesting technologies with originality, a pioneering spirit, and a stance toward solving social issues that are tied to ESG management. For the Kuraray Group, which boasts highly original products and has achieved global expansion, I believe its future challenges lie in permeating such corporate culture throughout the entire Group and building mechanisms for internal control and communication within the organization. As the common sense surrounding companies is constantly changing due to globalization, the issues to be addressed for a sustainable society, digital transformation, and so on, increasingly broader perspectives will be required for management judgment. I will contribute to improving management quality by always keeping high-quality questions in mind, shedding light from an angle different from that of internal officers, and adding new dimensions to judgment.
Identifying Multi-Dimensional Risks in Business Activities to Prevent the Occurrence of Problems
During the first year I took office as Outside Corporate Auditor, safety and compliance issues resurfaced in the wake of a civil action relating to the fire accident that occurred at the U.S. subsidiary and a cease-and-desist order issued by the Fair Trade Commission of Japan under the Antimonopoly Act, demanding a review of internal control. While the responses, including measures to prevent recurrence, were under discussion, I engaged in verification and interviews from the standpoint of a person with legal expertise. As an Outside Corporate Auditor, I believe I am expected to provide such monitoring and comments that capitalize on my experience as a lawyer and accountant, and to promote diversity from a female perspective.
The Board of Corporate Auditors of the Company engages in discussions based on reports about important internal meetings attended by the Corporate Auditors, and confirms the recognition of and responses to issues by periodically inviting those who are in charge of operations to the Board of Corporate Auditors meetings. I believe that identifying multi-dimensional risks through such internal communication and audits by visiting domestic and overseas bases, and thereby preventing issues from occurring in advance while coordinating with the internal audit division and the accounting auditor, is one of the important roles for an auditor to play.
As the Company accelerates its overseas expansion going forward, we will be required to establish a global risk management system that also covers responses to new corresponding risks. Additionally, the types of constraints management may face due to environmental issues and the types of contributions we can make will be important themes going forward. I hope the Company will manage to tie those initiatives to sustainable growth and realize a truly global company.