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Message from the President & Group CEO of Mizuho Financial Group

Global Economic Climate

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The past fiscal year has been an eventful one for the Mizuho group as well as the world at large.

As for the current economic climate, the global economy has continued on a path of gradual recovery. This recovery is expected to continue to be centered on the United States, but it remains necessary to monitor downturn risks such as the US governmental policies, political concerns in Europe, the economic outlook for China, and heightening geopolitical risk.

In the US, strong household consumption and capital investment have underpinned this continued recovery. Going forward, we expect this strong growth to continue, supported by current fiscal policies. However, continued close monitoring is required due to increasing concerns that the US's protectionist policies could lead to a global trade war that may potentially have a negative impact on financial markets.

In Europe, the economy has continued to recover backed by increased consumer spending and exports in addition to strong capital investment. Although the region is expected to continue on this positive trajectory, the political situations in Europe, including negotiations regarding the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union, require further monitoring.

In Asia, the Chinese economy remained stable, due partly to the effect of increased exports. As for the future outlook, although exports and consumer spending are expected to remain strong, the Chinese economy is expected to slow down gradually due to structural changes and the tightening of regulations. We are also witnessing a rally in emerging economies based on a variety of factors including China's enduring economic growth and recovery in exports. Growth in emerging economies is expected to remain gradual due to the slowdown in the pace of growth of the Chinese economy, the depreciation of currencies in emerging countries, and the increasing pressure of capital outflows.

In Japan, due in part to economic recovery outside Japan, exports and capital investment have expanded and also consumer spending is rallying after a temporary drop–off over the summer. As for the future outlook of the Japanese economy, it is expected to continue on its gradual recovery path, supported by the effects of government economic measures and growth in consumer spending and capital investment. However, the potential impact that increasing uncertainty in overseas economies may have on Japan requires continued monitoring.

Progress of the Medium–term Business Plan

Two years have passed since we launched our current medium–term business plan, "Progressive Development of ‘One Mizuho’—The Path to a Financial Services Consulting Group". Under this plan, we aim to further develop our One Mizuho strategy to thoroughly align ourselves with our customers' needs and be their best financial solutions partner.

With this year marking the final fiscal year of the plan, we are focusing our attention on progressively developing the One Mizuho strategy by implementing changes to the structure and foundations of our business, further integrating the "customer first" principle into everything we do, and fundamentally increasing productivity. In doing so we are aiming to transform into a more efficient organization and strengthen our earning power.

Looking Towards the Future

Financial institutions continue to face a challenging business environment, and this environment is expected to undergo major structural change. Under these circumstances, we are committed to implementing fundamental structural reforms with a view to securing competitive advantage in the future and ensuring the Mizuho group's sustainable growth over the next ten years and beyond. We will aim to further develop our One Mizuho strategy and increase gross profits by incorporating powerful, advanced technology into our business through open innovation. For example, we are actively pursuing collaborative partnerships with other companies, including those outside the financial industry, in order to create new business opportunities, strengthen cost competitiveness, and enhance productivity.

In addition, we will further reinforce our efforts to provide products and services that are in our customers' best interests and continue working towards our goal of becoming a financial services consulting group.

As President & Group CEO of Mizuho Financial Group, I would like to express our deep appreciation for your continued interest in and support of our group.

April 2018

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Tatsufumi Sakai

President & Group CEO
Mizuho Financial Group

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