Messages from Outside Corporate Auditors

Outside Corporate Auditor Atsuhiro Sonoda
Atsuhiro Sonoda
Outside Corporate Auditor

Performing audits to safeguard investor interests from the standpoint of a financial expert

Ever since I joined Takashimaya Co., Ltd., I have experienced various duties, primarily in the accounting and financial fields. In February 2023, I obtained a tax accountant license. I understand that my roles are to check the legitimacy of decisions made by the Company, to bring out the strengths of each business to improve management, and to monitor whether investor interests are realized or not.

Since the Company has many Group companies in Japan and overseas, one of its crucial challenges is to establish a governance system at each Group company. I believe that it is vital that Group auditors share governance-related issues of each company and hold discussions to find radical solutions in terms of Group governance at their liaison meetings, held several times a year. These auditors should also work to increase opportunities to provide advice from the investor’s perspective.

Meanwhile, considering overseas business expansion aimed at further growth, it is indispensable to secure human resources with higher skills regarding global strategies. Much of the Group’s income derives from the United States and ASEAN countries. In this sense, I consider it important to find and appoint appropriate individuals who can advance opinions about management from a global perspective, from among local executives of major overseas Group companies. Since I myself frequently make contact with investors, I will contribute to the Company as an “activist auditor” to improve shareholder value from the viewpoint of investors.

Outside Corporate Auditor Takafumi Katayama
Takafumi Katayama
Outside Corporate Auditor

Contributing to further improvement in transparency, capitalizing on my expertise cultivated through textiles-related businesses

For many years, I have been engaged in trading of fiber raw materials and textile products at Marubeni Corporation while overseeing sales strategy formation, governance improvement and internal control of Marubeni Group companies. I have also conducted business management as President of a major Marubeni Group company. As an independent outside auditor, I believe that I can be actively involved in better management and administration of the Company.

The Company secures sufficient coordination between the full-time corporate auditor and the accounting auditor, as I can see them exchanging candid views and sharing information. Currently, I am working in coordination with the Internal Auditing Department via the full-time corporate auditor. Going forward, I hope I will be able to have more opportunities to talk with the Department members. I can fully appreciate the appropriateness of the Board members’ business execution. I think, however, if outside directors have a deeper understanding of the Company’s activities, it will lead to more constructive discussions at board meetings. I would also like to point out an issue regarding the development status of governance policies of respective Group companies in Japan and aboard. It is important to establish a governance policy at a certain level or above that is applicable across the Group while respecting the autonomy of each company.

To enhance the Company’s corporate value, I will continue endeavoring to further increase the effectiveness of governance and ensure full compliance with laws and regulations. Moreover, I will work to improve transparency so that the Company will grow as an enterprise that earns greater respect in society.