Auspicious Numbers 2003 and 2005

When I meet many top business leaders, I am reminded of the significance of the year 2003. Everyone seems to say that the year 2003 is not simply the year 2003. To put it in extreme terms, the year 2003 is a crucial turning point that will determine the fate of companies in the future.

The twentieth century ended, and the twenty-first century began. During the first three years we greeted the new century, with the reverberations of the twentieth century still echoing. It was a period in which we settled the values that had continued from the twentieth century and began to shift toward new values for the twenty-first century. Of course, we did not set about cleaning everything up in just three years. The process started with the collapse of the bubble economy, since when we have been overturning values from their roots. And there was the information technology bubble. We have been forced willy-nilly to accept the fact that things without substance are going to perish.

It is interesting that even numbers are inauspicious ones. The three years from 2000 to 2002 started with an even number and ended with an even number. Rather than being offensive, these three years were a period of arrangement, adjustment, and preparation, including the investment necessary for this purpose. Even though the three-year period might have been a joyous one worldwide, we have to admit that actually it was just like that.

The most important thing was that during those three years we did make advances in these directions, confirm the results, and cultivate a lifeline to the future. For a company, a lifeline to the future means product development. We can definitely say, therefore, that the year 2003 has important significance in terms of developing products for the future.

The number 2003 is an auspicious one. So is 2005. Three and five, seven and nine. Then back to zero and another auspicious numeral, 2010. It is really very interesting to speculate in this manner. Many top business leaders, such as Matsushita Electric Senior Managing Director Mr. Toda, Sony Marketing Deputy President Mr. Ikedo, Sharp Corporate Senior Executive Director Mr. Hamano, Pioneer Senior Managing Director, President of Home Entertainment Company Mr. Niijima, Bose President Mr. Sakura, says that the twenty-first century begins in 2003 and emphasize the importance of products introduced this year. Certainly, Panasonic's meeting to announce a new DVD recorder, which featured the appearance of Bob Sapp, was truly startling. There is no mistake that companies are going to be announcing idea-oriented products that are strongly connected to the future.

It is for this reason that developments in the year 2003 are so important. We must make our mid-term plan for the next period beginning in April and ending in March 2005 even more substantial than before. It must be really offensive. It must be forward-looking, positive, and strong. We cannot have a mid-term plan that consists only of eliminating the negative factors. It is important to formulate a mid-term plan that brings positive factors to the forefront and then sets about sorting and quickly eliminating negative factors. The year 2003 is the first year of this mid-term plan. The period begins with an auspicious number. Let's fully digest this fact.