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Interview with the President Market environment in 2013 and business performance The Japanese economy experienced a gradual domestic-led recovery during 2013. Along with a rise in public investment, this was attributable to improved consumer confidence that reflected the weak yen and high stock prices resulting from the Abe government’s economic policies. On the other hand, despite indications of improving performance for certain exporting companies accompanying the weak yen and the rebounding U.S. economy, overseas demand remained uncertain because of a definite slowdown of growth in emerging countries. The business environment surrounding the Toagosei Group remained unpredictable. This is due to an overall increase in fuel and raw material prices caused by the weak yen and high crude oil prices as well as disparities among business segments regarding the extent of recovery in demand and progress made in price revisions. Under these circumstances, the Group is working to secure profits by thoroughly reducing costs and implementing detailed sales policies that address the business conditions surrounding each product. A President Futoshi Hashimoto Q1 7 Annual Report 2013