Message from the President May.2021

Creativity Through Innovation

We often hear the phrases "creative destruction" and "game change" in the media. "Creative destruction" is the breaking down of long-held systems and creating new growth industries in their place. A "game change" is when a service or product is produced that completely changes industry business models or rules by transforming conventional views and ways of thinking. Both of these phrases express creativity through innovation.

There is something that I say to new employees. It's about smartphones, which made their debut in around 2008. Feature phones were popular in Japan because smartphones of the time did not have substantial functionality as devices. Japanese manufacturers developed unique feature phones by being particular about functionality and performance, and these phones were equipped with functionality that smartphones of the time didn't feature, as you could watch TV on them and they could even be used for mobile payments. However, that was only for a passing moment, as smartphones were, as their name implies, "smart" mobile phones, and their functionality and services made great progress through software updates, becoming something necessary for every moment of the day. In short, smartphones are information devices that combine a miniaturized computer with communication functions, and are a symbolic example of creativity through innovation, clearly altering the concept of conventional mobile phones.

Mobility as a service (MaaS), a transportation service using automobiles, has also become established in the automobile industry. More and more people do not own cars, and there is a shift in value towards automobiles going from something that is owned to something that is used or shared. When fully autonomous vehicles emerge in the near future, it will likely become possible to easily be transported to one's destination with just the push of a button. It will also become possible to use that time when in transit to look out the window, watch a movie, eat food, and more, just like when riding public transportation. At the same time, rather than just selling cars, how automobile manufacturers make car owners feel a sense of value through owning cars and how they expand their added services through automobiles will also become important. Rather than having the value of long-term ownership deteriorate, innovation that increases the value is required.

"Creative destruction" and "game change" do not come from nothing; rather they are a way to solve current problems and their purpose should be the realization of a sustainable future. Let us also bring about innovation again and again to first solve the problems that lie before us. This will impress our clients and lead to the realization of a sustainable future.

May, 2021