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Toray Plastics America is committed to innovation

Oct 24, 2018
Credit : GMI Post

For several decades, Japanese companies have been among the largest foreign contributors to the U.S. economy. Because many of their compatriots have found success in the United States, more Japanese companies have invested in this massive, diverse and stable market.

Toray Plastics (America) Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer Ken Kurokawa

Founded in 1985 in North Kingstown, Rhode Island, Japanese-owned Toray Plastics (America) Inc. began with the production of oriented polypropylene film and polyester film for magnetic tape. As demand for magnetic tape declined, together with video tapes in the late 1990s, Toray adopted new equipment and technology to manufacture innovative products for new markets. Because of that bold move, from 2002 through 2010, the subsidiary was among the best performers of the entire Toray Plastics Group.

“Sustainability is essential to Toray Plastics and we aim always to be a step ahead of our customers. We are currently working on the development of a biodegradable film, which will support our customers and help us significantly expand our business,” Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer Ken Kurokawa said.

Because it mainly serves companies based in the United States, Canada and Mexico, Toray develops and manufactures new products and applications that cater to those markets. This regional, customer-focused mindset has enabled Toray to develop cost-effective purchasing and production processes that has helped the company boost profits.

While the company is involved primarily in the manufacture of polypropylene films for food packaging and polyester films for industrial applications, it is expanding into other industries and developing new applications, thanks to a fully supported research and development team.

“With our focus on innovation and our eyes on the future, expansion is underway at our Torayfan polypropylene film division. We plan to continue investing in state-of-the-art equipment and expand our operations. The future looks very bright,” Kurokawa said.

Daiwa Capital Markets America focuses on stakeholders and sales

Oct 24, 2018
Credit : GMI Post

When Naoki Suzuki took the helm of Daiwa Capital Markets America (DCMA) in 2016, he came with a lot of experience, having joined the group in 1991. Before coming to New York, Suzuki first worked with Daiwa Securities Ltd., where he focused on corporate planning and finance, then was moved to Daiwa Securities Capital Markets in Korea until 2016.

Daiwa Capital Markets America President and CEO Naoki Suzuki

Through his nearly 30 years in investment banking, Suzuki gained much insight on the opportunities that DCMA could capitalize on to secure its long-term future. But, he believed that those growth opportunities existed within the organization.

“I put special priority on improving the working environment, so that every employee could work with comfort and face no harassment. Everybody is respected. They communicate with each other,” he stressed.

The improved communication, Suzuki believes, will lead to increased profits for DCMA.

“We still have the same business model — the three-front lines of equity, fixed income product and the investment banking products. But, change is still coming,” said Suzuki, who pointed to the good performance of the U.S. stock market. Since 2016, DCMA’s customer base has doubled.

Another objective of Suzuki’s is educating consumers about DCMA and its products.

“Our mission is to provide good research with data by providing full financial reports and research papers for our institutional and retail investors,” he said.

“It’s always a good time to invest in U.S. equities. Daiwa can support these investments and provide information to help future investors,” he added.

Aligning the 'One Sekisui Team'

Oct 24, 2018
Credit : GMI Post

Established in 1947, Sekisui Chemical Co., Ltd. became the first Japanese company to enter the U.S. manufacturing sector. More than 50 years later, Sekisui America Corp. (SAC) services the North American market and has become an innovative solution provider to the chemical, transportation, life sciences, infrastructure and several other industrial markets.

With its headquarters in Secaucus, New Jersey, SAC has 10 subsidiaries in more than 20 locations across North America.

“Sekisui America and all Sekisui affiliates around the world have the ability to service customers globally because we know the local markets and how to add value to their businesses. We focus on innovative and high quality manufacturing, and pride ourselves on our strong governance foundation and culture of compliance,” recently appointed President Ian Moran said.

Prior to assuming his current role, Moran led the joint venture between Sekisui Chemical and H.B. Fuller — Sekisui Fuller — a leading manufacturer of adhesives and sealants for the Japanese market. Now, his role is to align all Sekisui’s companies on the shared vision of “One Sekisui” throughout North America, while implementing consistency in the areas of environment and social governance.

“SAC and our North American companies remains focused on innovation, the delivery of high-quality products and services, and a commitment to the environment. We look towards 2030 and beyond by investing in new infrastructure and R&D capabilities and constantly improving and developing our leadership,” he also said.

In August, SAC subsidiary S-Lec America opened its first solar-powered facility in Winchester, Kentucky, a multi-million dollar investment that provides solar generation capabilities and a more energy efficient environmental footprint.

“Making peoples’ lives better while improving the environment are our key promises that we make to our shareholders, customers and employees worldwide,” Moran said.

Along with continuously strengthening governance across North American operations, Moran is working with the North American companies to implement the “One Sekisui” shared vision by strengthening collaboration and teamwork across the region.

Eastern USA 2018 was prepared for and originally printed in The Japan Times Newspaper.

PDF of the printed report

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