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Maruha Nichiro's General Meeting Lasts Two Hours with Dynamic Q&As

June 28, 2010

Maruha Nichiro Holdings held its sixth annual meeting of stockholders on June 25 in Tokyo. The meeting took two hours and 15 minutes to end, resulting from active Q&As.

President Toshio Kushiro, who assumed the position in April, played the role of moderator for the first time. Reports on the consolidated business performance for the last fiscal term and the current business conditions of the seafood and foods segments were followed by President Kushiro's statement on pressing issues to be handled: "As we bring in the final year of our Medium-term Management Plan, Double Wave21, we will continue our efforts to position ourselves as an indispensible business group in the industry, tackling the following matters." He then outlined the next five items: 1) formulation of growth strategies, e.g. M&A; 2) enhancement of the group's profit structure as a whole; 3) fortification of the financial structure, e.g. improvement in a capital-to-asset ratio; 4) finalization of the merger and pursuance of a synergic effect by optimizing procurement power and product development ability; and 5) thorough compliance practices.

Eighteen shareholders grabbed the microphone one after another in a Q&A session, throwing a wide array of questions that encompassed an update on the group's response to a Chinese tainted pot-sticker incident, preference shares, brand polices, OEM, to the current condition of tuna farming.

One shareholder voiced: "Maruha Nichiro is so low-key and inconspicuous. Aren't there more needs for advertisement?" while another hurled a tough question of "There was a broad discrepancy between the desired financial goals and the actual results. Who will claim accountability for it?" Amid a stream of inquires, some sent much kudos to the group: "I love Maruha Nichiro, so I wish for its further success." Upon termination of the term, all thirteen members of the board of directors were appointed accordingly to Mr. Kushiro's selection.

The original article was published on June 28, 2010 and was translated by Kiyo Hayasaka.

Questions from Twelve Attendees Cause Nippon Suisan's General Meeting to Last One Hour and 50 Min

June 28, 2010

The 95th annual shareholders meeting of Nippon Suisan took place on June 25 in Tokyo. After selecting seven members of the board of directors, the meeting finished in one hour and 50 minutes. In the very beginning, how a recall of "broiled rice ball" manufactured at Hachioji General Plant took place last November after pieces of plastic were detected in some rice balls, was detailed, and all board members then bowed down deep to shareholders attended.

Roughly 800 seats lined up for the meeting were all occupied and in a Q&A session twelve shareholders seized the moment for inquiry. One male shareholder expressed his praise for a dividend: "In spite of that which net income of the fiscal year ended in March 2010 was just \44 million, an annual dividend of \10 was great." Another male shareholder vocalized his suggestion: "A brand name Nissui is filtrated widely. What about an idea of modifying the company name to Nissui from Nippon Suisan?" There was a viewpoint of "there are no overseas business activities," which in actuality did not mirror the facts; despite which, detailed explanations of relevant charts and graphs were provided.

Responding to an inquiry "The Company's two major pillar businesses of seafood and foods are both struggling. How are you crafting the future growth strategies?" Board Member/Senior Managing Executive Officer Norio Hosomi, who also holds the position of Commissioned Chief Operating Officer, mentioned marine products: "At this very moment, we are experimentally producing user friendly processed products at Funabashi Processing Center, which will help induce larger fish consumption." President Kakizoe also added: "Unless you consistently keep up with your creative efforts, demand will disappear with no doubt."

In addition, replying to a concern "50 percent off of frozen foods becomes commonplace nowadays. Isn't that the reason for slumping sales? A zero dividend for the next year is something I don't want to see," President Kakizoe said, seeking understanding, "To fulfill a request for discount prices from volume retailers, we are selective of products for this particular purpose. After intricate calculations we believe we are carefully carrying it out."

To a question "why a shareholder special benefit plan isn't practiced?" Board Member/Managing Executive Officer Kunihiko Koike answered, "That is because there is more than 50 percent of foreign and corporate shareholders. If necessary, we will examine it."

After the meeting ceased, a traditional tasting event of Nissui products, e.g. broiled rice balls, white fish hot dogs, and sushi with toppings of farmed amberjack and tuna, was held, which is quite popular every year. All members of the board of directors joined the crowd to further deepen relationships with shareholders.

The original article was published on June 28, 2010 and was translated by Kiyo Hayasaka.

Osaka Market: July Forecast of Farmed Coho Salmon, Salmon, Mackerel, and Tuna

June 21, 2010

Surge in Sushi Grade Processed Coho Salmon

[Cultured Coho Salmon] Farmed coho salmon will arrive from Sanriku. The projected yield amount of salmon from this area is roughly 120 per cent over last year (weight comparison) based on a whole-fish conversion. Cold-water temperatures have been hampering the fish growth rate to a certain degree. Rising sales of processed fish for raw consumption, i.e. sushi grade loin and smoked salmon, is a trend seen in recent years.

[Farmed Salmon] Fresh salmon flown in from Norway, without major interruptions from the eruptions of Icelandic volcanoes, will go smoothly.

[Mackerel] The expected arrival volume of mackerel will remain similar to last year, so will their market rates.

[Tuna] Fresh Tuna: arrival of purse-seined bluefin tuna from Sakaiminato is anticipated, though it will depend on fishing conditions. Continued from last month, farmed Southern bluefin from Australia will roll in without a hitch. The most of yellowfin will land from Taiwan and Indonesia. Frozen Tuna: good quality fatty parts of bluefin and Southern bluefin will be scarce, leading to fewer arrival amounts. Nice quality bigeye and yellowfin, consumed mostly for their red meat, will be likewise hard to come by with meager arrival amounts.

The original article was published on June 21, 2010 and was translated by Kiyo Hayasaka.

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