Welcome everyone to Nissan's 107th General Meeting of Shareholders. Thank you for joining us today…here in Yokohama.
This year, as last year, we are meeting here for good reason. Nissan was founded here in Yokohama. The greatest concentration of our manufacturing and R&D facilities are here in Kanagawa Prefecture. And, as we announced two years ago, our headquarters will move "back home" to Yokohama's Minato Mirai district.
Two years ago I told you our head office move would come in 2010. Today, I am pleased to announce we will move sooner than previously announced. Our new headquarters will be ready by the time the Port of Yokohama celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2009.
We hope that our new building, designed to suggest a "sailboat on a voyage across an ocean of unlimited possibilities," will be received as a graceful and appropriate addition to the skyline of Yokohama's harbor.
But its beauty will be more than just skin deep. Many advanced environmental functions are being incorporated… plus state-of-the-art earthquake and fire safety measures. This building is designed to be simple, flexible, functional, but still aesthetic and a center for value-creation on a global basis.
The location is also ideal. Yokohama's main railway station is a convenient five-minute walk, and our many facilities in Kanagawa will now be much closer to head office. So we look forward to coming home to Yokohama.
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For a look at the design sketch of the new headquarters' building and the project logo, go to: