Chairmanfs Address at the Beginning of the Year 2007

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Launch of a Study for Comparing the Qualities between LED and Neon
by Junzaburo Itano, Chairman, All Japan Neon-sign Association

A Happy New Year!

Junzaburo Itano

Last yearfs GDP registered 2% growth and further growth is expected this year. One of the contributing factors is the strength of the stock market toward the end of last year in both the U.S. and Japan. This economic situation is usually described as ga sign of economic recoveryh but recently was more favorably described as ga long stable strong economyh. In our sign industry, the business results of each company vary widely. Although some companies show healthy growth, the industry as a whole has continued to be flat at a relatively low level. It is hoped that this year becomes the first year for growth for our industry. We should be active this year on gSecuring Safetyh and gImproving the Visual Environmenth as a public responsibility.

Based on the revised ordinances that became in effect a year earlier, the registration of outdoor advertising agencies was implemented last year. Accordingly, we have taken positive actions to achieve an improved visual environment in each local area.

It is regretful that some cities such as Kyoto are considering a ban of outdoor advertising because, they say, it is the cause of an undesirable visual environment. We will strongly appeal to the local government that outdoor advertising in a limited business district would not be a damaging factor to the city but, rather, it would play an important role to stimulate the local economy. We will try our best to obtain understanding by the local Kyoto government and various connected parties.

As part of our effort to deal with new light sources such as LED, our association started technological studies last year such as a comparison of electricity consumption between LED and neon. As of today, we learned that electricity consumption is lower for LED but the difference between LED and neon is not as large as we expected. We intend to continue our research to obtain more detailed data. We will identify strong points of each light source and hopefully find data that will result in more attractive neon signs.

I would like to set our goal as gExpansion of Neon Signsh by expanding ways of expression as well as usage by taking another look at the characteristics of neon tubes.

Thanks to everyone, our association will celebrate its 40th anniversary next year. We will soon start preparing for the anniversary event that will look back at past years. I hope 2007 will be a rewarding and prosperous year for each member and for the association. At the same time, I would like to ask your full support for the association. This concludes my New Year greetings.



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