Message from the President

  1. Aiming for “Becoming an Indispensable, Brilliantly Individual Company”
  2. Integrating CSR into Management
  3. Addressing Strategic CSR Themes
  4. Aiming to Contribute to Attaining Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
[ image ] Contributing to sustainable social
development as we continue to create
excitement and cultural inspiration
together with people around the world

With its activities based on sound and music as the origin, for 130 years, since its founding in 1887, the Yamaha Group has worked to share passion and performance with its customers and society as a whole. Music is a powerful and noble force that soothes and refreshes people’s minds and hearts, and, going beyond language, shares feeling with people around the world. Yamaha will contribute to the sustainable development of society as it takes initiatives to spread and further develop musical culture through its business activities.

In June this year, Yamaha reviewed its corporate governance system and made the transition to a Company with Three Committees (Nominating, Audit, and Compensation). As a consequence, Yamaha has made a clear separation between the oversight and execution in the management of its activities and, thereby, is working to enhance the overall management oversight functions, and accelerate the execution of business. In tandem with these measures, Yamaha appointed a woman to its Board of Directors as an Outside Director for the first time in order to reflect a diversity of viewpoints into management decision making. Going forward, Yamaha aims to attain sustainable growth and increase its corporate value through these initiatives in the medium-to-long term.

During the next fiscal year, Yamaha will set up its “Innovation Center” at the Headquarters, which will be a development building that will gather its research and development personnel together. Moreover, Yamaha is establishing new factories in Indonesia and India, and, by creating closer ties with local markets, will respond to the expanding needs of markets in emerging countries. Going forward also, Yamaha will accelerate its future growth with the aim of realizing its management vision of “Becoming an Indispensable, Brilliantly Individual Company,” and contribute to the creation of a sustainable society through the conduct of sound and highly transparent management as well as business activities with an eye to addressing social issues.

In fiscal 2017, ended March 2017, which was Yamaha’s first year under its three-year medium-term management plan “NEXT STAGE 12,” Yamaha was able to make a steady start toward attaining its plan target of a 12% operating income ratio, which it has positioned as a key performance indicator. This was despite the negative impact of foreign currency fluctuations and was made possible through the contributions of many products with distinctive individuality, enhanced customer interaction, improvements in productivity, and other factors. To continuously realize growth like this in the medium-to-long term, Yamaha is aware that it will be necessary to position CSR at the core of its management and integrate CSR into its management. To do this, last year Yamaha identified the CSR issues that it should pursue more actively, designated them as strategic CSR themes, and included them in its medium-term management plan. By reviewing the progress toward realization of these themes in the Management Council, the Yamaha Group as a whole is taking initiatives to promote CSR through its business activities.

Yamaha believes that the area where it can contribute the most to the creation of social value through its businesses is the activities and innovation for further spreading and developing musical culture. Initiatives Yamaha has taken to attain its strategic CSR theme of “development of regional community-based businesses” include its “School Project” that it is conducting mainly in the countries of Southeast Asia. This project is being implemented to offer opportunities to learn to play musical instruments to children who may have never had such opportunities before. Under this project, Yamaha is providing musical instruments, textbooks, and training programs as a package to public schools in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Russia. In fiscal 2017, Yamaha conducted these activities in 248 schools in these three countries. In Vietnam, Yamaha has begun to provide support for introducing musical instruments education, including recorders, and, in November 2016, Yamaha’s initiative was selected as a Certified Project of the “Public-Private Initiative to Disseminate Japanese-Style Education Overseas” (EDU-Port Japan) of Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.

A representative example of Yamaha’s initiative of “development of products and services with a focus on social issues” is its beginning to offer its Smart Education System to school music education classes, which is an ICT solution that nurtures the creativity of children and enhances the active learning experience. Also, in a series of events entitled “Geidai Arts Special—Disability & Arts,” which explores the possibilities of artistic endeavor above and beyond disabilities, held at the Tokyo University of the Arts as a base, Yamaha drew on its technologies to provide support for richer performance expression by persons who have hand and foot or hearing disabilities. In addition, with these activities as a source of opportunities, using AI technology, Yamaha overcame the restrictions of time and space to recreate performances of the late Sviatoslav Richter, one of the greatest pianists of the 20th century, with a string quartet drawn from the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Looking ahead, through research and development and technical collaboration with other organizations, Yamaha will continue to contribute to the creation and succession of musical culture into the future.

On the other hand, the principal area of risk where Yamaha’s business activities may impair social value is in the procurement of timber for use in manufacturing musical instruments. Forests and ecosystems are valuable shared social assets that should be passed on to future generations, and it is Yamaha’s responsibility to use these assets in a sustainable manner. Yamaha has indicated that “sustainable procurement of timber” is one of its strategic CSR themes, and in fiscal 2017, with the cooperation of its suppliers, Yamaha conducted a traceability study on the wood resources that it procures, and, to ensure that the wood Yamaha uses has been derived from proper sources, it has begun strict risk assessments. Moreover, regarding African Blackwood, which is used in the manufacturing of woodwind instruments, based on a partnership with NGOs, Yamaha has begun activities aimed at realizing sustainable resource management and procurement in Tanzania, the source of these resources.

In the area of “promotion of diversity and human resources development,” Yamaha is proceeding with activities to create a workplace environment where diverse human resources can be fully motivated and work energetically. In February this year, Yamaha’s employee health management and promotion of a good work life balance were recognized by Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry as a Health and Productivity Management Organization 2017. In addition, Yamaha Group company Yamaha Business Support Corporation received a best award in improvement activities by the Japan Management Association because of a high evaluation of its improvements in processes related to payroll processing, principally by female employees. Looking ahead, all members of the Yamaha Group will work to pursue the essence of their business activities to improve efficiency and put “true work style reforms” into practice to create time for creating new value in daily work and their lives.

As a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact, Yamaha observes the Compact’s Ten Principles of corporate behavior and also wants to contribute to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that have been cited as common issues that societies around the world are confronting. Going forward, as business activities become increasingly global in scope, Yamaha recognizes the importance that each and every member of the Yamaha Group will incorporate the proper understanding of SDGs and put them into action in our management and business activities. The Yamaha Group will continue to position CSR as the core of its management and work to find solutions to social issues through its business activities.

President and Representative Executive Officer
Yamaha Corporation
[ signature ] Takuya Nakata