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Annual Report 2011

Dear Shareholders,

  • Howard Stringer CEO
A review of the fiscal year ended March 31, 2011 (fiscal year 2010) must first mention the Great East Japan Earthquake, which occurred near the end of the fiscal year.

On March 11, at 2:46 p.m. local time, East Japan was struck by a 9.0-magnitude earthquake, immediately followed by a giant tsunami, which had, in addition to the tragic loss of life and property, a profound psychological and financial impact on the people of Japan. No one who works for Sony suffered major injuries or lost their lives in this disaster. However, some of our colleagues, their family members and friends sadly did suffer grievous losses. I am sure that there are shareholders who were directly affected by the quake, and I would like to begin by expressing my profound condolences to all who were affected by this disaster. You are in my prayers.
  • Howard Stringer CEO
While the scars of the disaster were still fresh, I visited Sony's Sendai Technology Center, the first floor of which had been heavily damaged when the tsunami swept through. In the tense hours after the quake, our resourceful Sony colleagues ensured the safety of the many people who had fled and taken refuge in the facility. They made boats out of containers found in their building to rescue local residents carried aloft by the tsunami. They also ferried food and other supplies to employees and neighbors in evacuation spots.

These were just a few of the many, many acts of bravery, generosity and ingenuity that so deeply impressed me. These acts, along with the patience and perseverance shown by those affected, have come to characterize the spirit of fukutsu no seishin ("never give up") that has helped to guide Japan through this challenge. I am extremely proud of the courageous way Sony employees in Japan have coped with the tremendous difficulties they have faced.

Sony Group companies and employees both in Japan and overseas generously responded to those in need. More than 70,000 Sony employees from around the world contributed hundreds of millions of yen from their own pockets, which we doubled through our matching program. Millions of dollars were generated through a charity album, Songs for Japan, produced by Sony Music Entertainment with other music majors. Between these and many other charitable activities, including corporate donations of cash and countless Sony products as well as sending volunteer employees to the affected regions, the Sony Group has contributed to the rebuilding of East Japan, and these activities will continue.

I have no doubt that Japan will be an even more vibrant country after the rebuilding of East Japan, and the same is true for Sony. Today, we are inspired to move forward with an even-stronger sense of unity and purpose.
  • Norio Ohga
On April 23, 2011, we at Sony were saddened by another loss. Norio Ohga, Senior Advisor and former President and Chairman of Sony Corporation, passed away.

A peerless leader, Mr. Ohga pushed forward with and succeeded in achieving the integration of art and technology, and of hardware and entertainment -- the vision of Sony founders Masaru Ibuka and Akio Morita. It is no exaggeration to attribute Sony's evolution beyond audio and video products into music, movies and games, as well as its subsequent transformation into a global entertainment leader, to Mr. Ohga's foresight and leadership. Another of Mr. Ohga's achievements was Sony's commercialization of the world's first CD player in 1982, after he led the development of the optical disc format we know today as the CD. A trained vocalist before joining Sony, Mr. Ohga also remained committed to music, serving as Director of Sony Music Foundation, and was tireless in his efforts to promote greater familiarity with music worldwide.

We will continue to value the spirit of innovation -- Sony's DNA -- that we have inherited from our founders, as well as from Mr. Ohga, as we press ahead with our efforts to achieve growth over the medium term and beyond.
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