In addition to developing products for consumer use, Kao also creates innovative industrial products that support the continuous growth of industry. Using fatty alcohols as starting raw materials, for example, we have developed various materials with special properties, including fat and oil derivatives, functional surfactants, and polymer materials. Through the use of these materials in new product development, we have provided our customers in various industrial fields with what we like to call surprise, trust, and total solutions. Our development of fat and oil derivatives and their use in industry began at the same time that Kao itself was founded and has grown to such an extent that we now operate research and production facilities in six Asian countries and four in North America and Europe. In fact, our operations in this field are among the most globalized in Kao. Thus, we serve customers throughout the world with a diverse product line-up spanning many industrial areas.
The fundamental type of technology used in this business area is surface science, which includes technologies for surface property control, nano-level surface modification technologies, molecular design of performance chemicals, and technologies that integrate all of the above. All of these are considered core technologies, and we use them to deepen our research and development efforts while meeting the needs of our customers through the provision of products and solutions. We will increase our presence in the information and electronics industries, which are expected to grow globally and undergo rapid change. Also, we are committed to contributing to the field of environmental conservation.