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Third-Party Opinion

Eiichiro Adachi
Counselor
The Japan Research Institute
Career summary
1986 Graduated from Hitotsubashi University
1990 Joined The Japan Research Institute
Currently serving as ESG Research Center Manager, after holding lead positions at management strategy research and technology research departments. His responsibilities include industry research and going concern valuation from the view of corporate social responsibility.

I have reviewed Duskin Corporate Report 2018 with an understanding that Duskin intends to report its financial information such as Duskin's management strategies and business performance, and non-financial information such as Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues in a simplified and integrated manner. I focused on how ESG initiatives contribute to creating corporate value as Duskin works towards the goal of Medium-Term Management Policy 2018. During this year, Duskin reorganized its Direct Selling Group. I believe this is intended to build a new customer-oriented business model. Undoubtedly, the key for success is securing, developing and revitalizing franchisees and staff members who provide direct selling and technical services. From this view point, it was meaningful that this issue focused on the non-financial topics of sustainable franchise model and human resource development. At the same time, I would have liked to learn more about the strength of Duskin's franchise package and how Duskin strategizes staffing based on its experience of hiring non-Japanese nationals.

As to the food businesses, where Duskin is undertaking various new initiatives, it is noteworthy that Duskin frankly included "enhanced product appeal/variety at convenience and sweet snack stores" and "emerging coffee store chains" as threats in its SWOT analysis. This report states that material selection and quality control are strictly maintained for health-oriented and safety-focused product development. In this sense, there is room left for measures for supply chain and container and package issues.

I have also recognized anew that Duskin's food businesses have more locations outside Japan than inside Japan, yet, I found information on overseas business activities limited. I would expect significant enhancement of information disclosure on overseas businesses in the next issue. Above all other pages in this issue, the Outside Director's Message (pages 55 and 56) drew my special attention. In Japan, focus is often placed only on the ratio of outside directors and gender balance. Expertise required for outside directors and their roles in the board of directors have been more actively discussed in other developed countries. Duskin has an Outside Director with expertise to fulfill the role of monitoring the businesses from the perspective of customers and consumers. This Director assumed her position three years ago. I was impressed with Duskin's proactive approach. I hope Duskin will continue to nurture its corporate culture with high sensitivity to all shareholders' and stakeholders' interests, and achieve the goals of structural reform and overseas business expansion.

In response to this third-party opinion

We would like to express our sincere appreciation to Mr. Adachi for providing valuable opinions and comments on our report on Duskin Group's activities for these three years. For the Duskin Corporate Report 2018, we focused our efforts on helping readers better understand our value creation, strategy, business activities and ESG initiatives. For the pages describing non-financial information including sustainable franchise model, human resource development, safety and reliability, Outside Directors and corporate governance, we appreciate the favorable evaluation of our efforts to improve the contents. With this encouragement, we will continue to further enhance our initiatives in these fields.

With regards to the strength of Duskin's franchise package, staffing strategy, measures for supply chain and overseas business activities, we sincerely appreciate his precisely pointing out our challenges. In accordance with his recommendations, we will work on specific measures and information disclosure. Through steadily implementing initiatives set by the Medium-Term Management Policy 2018, the second phase of our long-term strategy, we will improve our corporate value and contribute to the development of a sustainable society.

Hiroyuki Okubo
Operating Officer
CSR Committee Secretary