A Principle of Nature
The world continues to face a severe situation. In such circumstances, what I most dislike are people who spend their time sitting in a cozy environment speaking negatively and gloomily about everything. In times like these, only people who are forward-looking and positive will be able to win through.
The current recession, triggered by the subprime loan problem, is a once-in-a-century worldwide phenomenon. The important point is that it is an unnatural event sparked by the excesses of US-born market fundamentalism and the greed of people who have nothing to do with manufacturing. It is a recession that makes people feel helpless and saps their energy.
Think about it, though. In light of the principles of nature, did you feel suspicious or angry about the behavior of the hedge funds? Did you object to the cold-blooded reforms carried out under the administration of former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, which were based on market fundamentalism? Did you get angry at the behavior of young people like Takafumi Horie, who ridiculed society? What about the Murakami Fund? Didn't you just silently and uncritically accept this behavior as a sign of the times and maybe have a go at the money game yourself?
Companies that are purchased and managed by funds get tossed about by the money game. Their assets are sold off, their scale is reduced to a minimum, they are stripped of any corporate semblance, and they lose hope for the future. The funds do not treat the employees as humans and only think of them as parts of a machine. Employees are always on edge, so needless to say they are unable to do their work properly. Even at remote plants in Japan, for example, meetings are held in English and employees who cannot cope are fired. Practices are allowed that obviously run counter to labor legislation.
The funds treat companies as products that eventually will be sold for a profit. Such fund management is quite outrageous, but did we protest that it was violating laws and regulations?
What I want to say is that the current recession is having most impact on those who, in the era of market fundamentalism, just sat back and did not utter any word of criticism at all. It is these people who cannot find a way out of the predicament.
And that, again, is a principle of nature.
I believe that people always come first. That is my personal philosophy. Manufacturing is for the people. It makes people's lives more affluent and prosperous. That is the providence of nature, just the same as the cycle by which the sun rises in the morning, sets in the evening, is followed by night and darkness, and then rises again the next morning.
Only people and companies that place this essential fact at the root of their operations will be able to survive the difficult situation and have hope for the future. We should be suspicious of odd things and, if they are mistaken, show our anger, whether it be a social problem or a company problem. People and companies that firmly see the correct road ahead and march positively in that direction will be the ones who win through.
From now on, funds and other such bodies around the world will be subject to regulations, and there will be a shift to emphasis on the real economy. Unless we grasp these trends, we will not be able to survive.