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Whenever the opportunity arises, we say that Hitachi Construction Machinery has embarked on a second founding. The mountain we have to climb is clearly in sight and the real challenge begins now. Reaching the summit will not be easy, but President Senzaki and I have decided to take the lead on this journey. With Hitachi onstruction Machinery having just launched its new medium-term management plan, President Senzaki is committed to diligently fulfilling his responsibility for earnings by reviewing the plan on a monthly and annual basis over the next three years. I will tackle issues concerning the allocation of resources like human capital and funds, as well as what to prioritize in terms of ESG, with an eye on 2030. Through this second founding, Hitachi Construction Machinery will achieve true globalization. The massive market in the Americas rep resents approximately 40% of the global market for construction machinery and 30% for mining equipment. Now that we are positioned to do things not possible before, we are confident that our business will expand as the addition of new customers, dealers and employees in the Americas will have ripple effects on our presence and operations in other markets around the world. Shortly after the launch of our independent business expansion in the Americas, I was on a business trip to Australia when a very encouraging event occurred. Soon after arriving, I received an email from a local employee stating that this independent expansion in the Americas is really exciting and will expand our business in Australia. Australia is a major market for mining equipment. If our mining equipment business expands in the Americas, the production numbers for mining equipment will increase, improving overall profitability. Opportunities for exporting used equipment and remanufactured parts from Australia to the Americas will also increase. This is an example of why we think business success in the Americas will have a positive consequence on our operations in other countries and regions. Even our employees in Australia are excited about the possibility of us thriving in the Americas. This potential for true global expansion has clearly reso nated with our local staff, which is heartening to see.

Currently, more than 300,000 of our construction and mining equipment units are in operation in over 100 countries worldwide. One might wonder whether simply producing and selling more new machinery to increase this operational number aligns with our vision of ensuring a prosperous land and society for the future. I do not believe it does. For example, if we can extend the operational lifespan of these 300,000 units by just five more years, the work that they perform may make them effectively equivalent to 450,000 units. During those five extra years, we wouldn’t lose out on business as we would continue to provide services to the customer. For customers, being able to use their machinery for a longer period is certainly welcome and it brings us joy to see our customers running our machinery trouble-free. In other words, what matters more is how reliably the construction and mining equipment that we have sold is operating. By understanding the operational status of the equipment and offering detailed on-site repairs and maintenance through the value chain business, one of our major priorities, we can contribute to stable customer operations. While our production numbers may not increase, this approach benefits the customer and contrib utes to the realization of a circular economy. Even when producing or selling products globally, we recognize that Hitachi Construction Machinery cannot achieve everything solely by itself. We must deeply acknowledge that everything we do is done in conjunction with all of our stakeholders. With this in mind, we not only aim to grow our business, but also firmly commit to upholding safety, compliance and quality. We also feel obliged to convey the status of our initiatives on these fronts to everyone. Within the Hitachi Construction Machinery Group, we have a code of conduct called the Kenkijin Spirit, which consists of Three Cs: Challenge, Customer and Communication. If we keep these words in mind as we work, I am confident that we will attain our vision of ensuring a prosperous land and society for the future. The Hitachi Construction Machinery Group’s 25,000 employees are firmly united in striving toward realizing a safe and sustainable society together with all stakeholders. I hope you have high expectations for the future development of the Hitachi Construction Machinery Group and sincerely ask for your unwavering support.