Box-1 is celebrating its 30 year anniversary on April 21, 2019.
What I originally had in mind as part of my message at the beginning of the current term was about making it through the coming five months until the end of the Tokyo 2020 Games and expecting a recovery in sales in the latter half of the year.
But this business year turned out to be much more critical than I expected and I was forced to rewrite my message from scratch.
The outbreak of COVID-19 which originated in China has rapidly spread throughout the world including Japan since February, causing lingering, extensive, serious damage.
The world economy is still in turmoil from regression and no one knows when we can see signs of recovery.
Even if we succeed in putting an end to the spread of infection and bring the economy back to life, it is obvious that the impact of the Olympic Games, which was postponed to the next year, will be extended to 2021.
It means that even if we succeed in making it through the crisis this year, we then will be forced to gather strengths from distress and muddle through the Olympics in 2021.
The postponement of the Tokyo 2020 posed a triple whammy to us indeed.
Starting this April, the government-driven work style reforms are finally applied to SMB's.
In addition to compulsory five days paid holidays a year, there will be a legal cap imposed on employees'after-work hours, prohibiting our workforce from working any additional hours.
We, as a company, will address this challenge by putting more efforts in promoting the full use of compensation leave and paid leave as well as reducing overtime work at office and on site.
Our efforts in compliance with these work style reforms may give each of our team members at Box-1 to think over how to use their limited time.
I wish everyone of you to come up with an out-of-the-box, flexible workstyle, avoid or reduce waste of time to take time out for your meaningful pursuits in private life as well.
Work style reforms are said to be one of the best methods to improve workforce productivity.
By avoiding overwork, I wish every one of of our team members will protect their health, find the right work-life balance to lead a more meaningful life.
The spread of COVID-19 infection is altering our day-to-day lives with invisible threats, fueling worries and driving us feel cooped up.
The suspension of big events and trade shows is putting exhibition industry players like us in a very difficult position to make tough managerial decisions going forward.
However, Box-1 has survived many hardships over the past 31 years and has built a strong financial foundation to support us after our recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake.
We will definitely overcome this crisis of COVID-19 infection and restore our lives soon.
Until then, we would like to keep calm and carry on, focusing on what we can do day after day.
This business year is going to be a tough year for us.
But that is all the more reason I would like to share the joy of working together as a team with every one of you as we get through the year 2020.