I am pleased to have taken up the reins as Rio Tinto Japan's President and Representative director from July 2019.
Rio Tinto is a leading global mining company with a history of over 145 years. We have evolved in many ways throughout that history, pioneering human progress through the supply of essential materials. In today's society, companies are expected to address environmental issues and to have mutually beneficial relationships with communities, and the mining industry is no exception. Rio Tinto aims to be part of the solution to global challenges. We are proactively engaged in addressing climate change through initiatives such as developing zero-carbon-emission aluminium smelting technology and transitioning to renewable energy in our operations. We are evolving our business to be sustainable for generations to come, and at the same time, working collaboratively with our business partners as well as governments and communities to create a model for mutually beneficial co-existence in this new era.
Rio Tinto and Japan enjoy a strong, longstanding relationship. We made our first shipment of iron ore from Western Australia to Japan over 50 years ago; have been supplying minerals and aluminium to Japan since the 1920s and 1930s; and we also supply Japan with copper, a resource of increasing importance today. Through collaboration with Japanese corporations, these resources have contributed to the country’s development. In recent years, by being an early adopter of Japan’s leading-edge technology to automate our mining operations, we have been able to enhance the safety and productivity of our operations. Our relationship with Japan was built over more than half a century; while it evolves with the times, I am confident that this partnership, founded on mutual trust, is the key to the creation of new growth and progress for the next half-century and beyond.
In this rapidly-changing business environment, Rio Tinto's greatest asset continues to be our people. It is our desire to share broadly our principles of putting the highest priority on safety and health, and to respect diversity.
Through stable supply of the materials essential to human progress, Rio Tinto will strive to be a trusted partner – in business, and through that business, in contributing to society.
Wataru (Bill) Horie
President and Representative Director
Rio Tinto Japan Limited