Review of Fiscal 2014In fiscal 2014, the Japanese economy began showing signs of recovering from a slump in reaction to a hike in consumption tax and saw gradually improving trends in consumer sentiment and production activity.Meanwhile, the situation surrounding agriculture is increasing in severity as the agricultural population ages and declines, and the price of rice falls, among other factors.Against this backdrop, the Japanese government has begun to fast-track its deliberation of structural reforms in agriculture.Moreover, the deliberation of reforms of agricultural cooperatives has led to the reexamination of the system of audits, framework of central unions, and stipulations regarding the board of agricultural cooperatives. This has precipitated a period of major transformation never before experienced by the JA Group.In response, the entire JA Group has decided to work in unison on organizational self-reforms. Our aim is to revitalize local communities, expand agricultural production, and increase agricultural incomes as a network of cooperatives firmly rooted in Japanese agriculture.Fiscal 2014 Initiatives and Future Business DevelopmentsFiscal 2014 was the middle year in Zenkyoren’s current three-year business plan. As a result of the progress we have made with the plan’s initiatives, we were able to achieve our nationwide sales promotion targets.In addition, we also succeeded in securing a sufficient solvency margin, a figure indicating corporate financial soundness, of 1,027.0%.Initiatives for Developing Business Closely Rooted in CommunitiesIn fiscal 2014, we conducted sales promotion activities matching the local characteristics of each JA branch and introduced and developed area strategies to enhance insurance coverage and maintain or expand our business base.The sales promotion activities we conducted were closely rooted in local communities and included coverage review programs that involved follow-up visits to all members and policyholders to confirm the policy content and make sure that the insurance needs of households were being met.In addition to providing the support our Life Advisors (LA: JA staff with specialized knowledge of JA insurance) need in proposing insurance protection, we are also using tablet PCs to develop visual insurance presentations that are easy to understand.MESSAGE FROM MANAGEMENTWe Will Deepen Our Roots in Communities, Deliver More Security and Become More Trusted Based on the Philosophy of “Mutual Aid”ANNUAL REPORT 201502