Main Contents Start

Dialogue and Evaluation

Expert Comment


We asked an expert about their expectations for the TOMY Group's sustainability initiatives.

Dialog with ExpertsEXPERT TALK

● Participants

Machiko Miyai

Director, Managing Executive Officer,
Morinaga & Co., Ltd.

After joining Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. (Currently Panasonic Corporation) in 1983, she was involved in the development of household appliances and became the first female General Manager and Global Head of the cooking equipment business. After being transferred to headquarters, she was responsible for the environmental policy of the entire Panasonic Group and became the first female Officer and General Manager of Environment Headquarters. In addition to being responsible for the Panasonic Group's environmental policy, she is also involved in the promotion of diversity, and the like.
After being appointed as an Outside Director of Morinaga & Co., Ltd. in 2014, she became Director and Managing Executive Officer of the company in 2018. After serving as Commissioned General Manager of Marketing Headquarters she became involved in formulating the purpose and vision and strengthening sustainability at the company.
Furthermore, she will serve as Chairperson of the Sustainability Forum Japan (specified non-profit corporation), Auditor of Ochanomizu University, and Outside Director of SEKISUI CHEMICAL Co., Ltd. (As of May 31, 2024).

(Photo No. 2 from left: Machiko Miyai)
(Photo No. 2 from left: Machiko Miyai)

● TOMY Participants
(As of May 31, 2024)

  • Kazuhiro Kojima
    Representative Director, President & CEO
  • Akio Tomiyama
    Board Director, Executive Vice President & COO
  • Mina Tanimura
    Head of Sustainability Promotion Division, Corporate Administrations

“Asobi” is the core of sustainability for the TOMY Group

Miyai: Currently, I am responsible for overseas business, quality assurance, and sustainable management as a Director and Managing Executive Officer at Morinaga & Co., Ltd. The sustainability required by society today is not only to obtain short-term profits, but also to become a company that can sustainably create profits while facing social issues over the medium to long term. Management is required to improve not only so-called financial value but also non-financial value.

Kojima: From FY 2024, we have set new purposes: Quality Asobi can inspire and delight the world. To be able to see children's smiles, we want to realize their dreams, and for those children, we also want to include adults so that they too have the spirit of Asobi. Although it is very difficult to make sustainability sharp and easy-to-understand, we think of focusing on Asobi like the TOMY Group would.

Miyai: I think we need to polish the idea of "this area when speaking of TOMY." I think there is a lot of potential in toys; I believe that we can't do it without TOMY. Toys are essential for the healthy development of children. According to a large-scale survey conducted in Europe and the United States, early childhood education up to the age of 4 and 5 is extremely important. Depending on the qualitative difference, it seems that there is a difference in whether a person will demonstrate leadership in the future and become someone who will contribute to society.

Tomiyama: Toys are perfect for emotional education and learning social rules, and children often learn because toys are three-dimensional objects. I think that the growth rate is very fast, especially by being affected by the external environment for children from 0 to 6 years of age. In that precious time for children, we have contact points. Therefore, "enriching society through Asobi" is considered one of the most important issues for TOMY. As an example, PLARAIL will not run well if it is not correctly assembled using various rails and parts, demonstrating imagination. This may affect perseverance and a child’s expression. We devote our "passion" to making products to enable children to grow up healthy through Asobi.

Miyai: In terms of expectations from stakeholders, I don't think they are expecting TOMY significantly to reduce greenhouse gases. Of course, efforts to reduce greenhouse gases are necessary, but in terms of environmental considerations, I think it is important to fulfill basic responsibilities such as making toys with materials that give customers a sense of security and that have considered the environment when the product is discarded one day. Furthermore, I think that it is in the field of "educational value of toys" that our stakeholders have high expectations of TOMY. Even at Morinaga & Co. Ltd., our long-term goal for materiality, namely "Contributions to Healthy Lives of People around the World," aiming to deliver products that have our company-defined values of "Health of mind,” “Health of body,” and "Health of environment " to more people.

Through dialog with our employees, we have attained a workplace where each person demonstrates their individuality and empathizes with the purpose

Kojima: In FY2022-23, we held small meetings with a total of about 530 employees. I was able to hear various experiences of our employees. Among them, there were life events among our female employees, and some people thought that they were not suitable for management.

Miyai: In the case of our female employees, the timing of their promotion at the company and life events overlapped, making it impossible for them to prioritize work at important times. So that kind of situation doesn’t occur, I believe that it is necessary for the company to first provide a flexible working style, and to convey the company’s expectations of its female employees, to give them opportunities, and to send a message from the company to those individuals that although she will be in a more responsible position than before, she will lead to her own growth by challenging herself.

Kojima: We have promoted an environment in which it is easier to work; we can also work from home. Currently, we encourage our employees to design their own working style to a certain extent, in combination with our super-flex time system that does not enforce core working hours (hours when you must be worked). We hope that more employees will decide their own directions by themselves.

Tomiyama: I think there are a variety of career paths, such as the type of person who wants to play an active role as a designer, the type who likes to create Asobi, and the type who manages a team and develops a business. We are also reviewing our personnel system accordingly. At that time, a deep understanding of careers and motivations of diverse employees such as women, men, veterans, and young people will be a starting point. Therefore, I would like to proceed with dialogs that focus on each and every one of our employees. I believe that this is also important for enhancing our human capital.

Miyai: Japan is a country with a large generation gap as well as a gender gap. People in their 20s and 30s have completely different values than previous generations. It is also important to design the company so that young people, who will play a leading role in the future, can do their best.

Kojima: From now on, through dialogs with our various employees, regardless of gender or age, we will continue to promote each person's in-depth understanding of purpose and sustainability so that they can practice that in their work.

Expert Dialog: January, 2024