Top Management Message April 17, 2002

Dear Shareholders and Investors,

Unfortunately, earnings dropped for the reasons cited when we announced a downward revision to our fiscal 2001 projections in January this year. Existing store sales dropped 3% year on year in the latter half of the year and we were unable to make significant headway with cost-cutting initiatives, as our cost structure had become inflexible. Long-term sustainable growth is premised on having a flexible cost structure.

Kenji Fujiwara President and CEO

Greeting From the New President Elect

I was appointed advisor on March 6 and will formally take over as president on May 29, 2002, pending approval at the Ordinary Annual General Meeting of Shareholders. My first priority will be to accelerate the pace of reform in a drive to enhance our franchised storeowners' earnings - and improve Lawson's profitability.

During my roughly one month at Lawson, I have stressed the urgency of implementing reforms as quickly as possible. It was with this mindset that I addressed analysts at both Lawson's earnings announcement and management strategy presentation on April 17 to announce Lawson's forecasts and explain the core concepts of our strategy. The presentation materials and can be found on this site (LINK). Fiscal 2002 is a pivotal year. It will be crucial for laying the platform for medium- to long-term growth. I will do my utmost to make sure that this happens.

Since March, I have had the opportunity to listen to what Lawson employees working on the frontline are thinking. The experience has convinced me that everybody is eager and ready to reenergize the company. I am confident this can be done. It is my job to keep listening to what they are saying and to ensure that they get the full support they need to deliver maximum results. This should go a long way toward lifting the earnings of franchised storeowners.

I look forward to your support and understanding as we take on new challenges together.

April 17, 2002

Takeshi Niinami
President and CEO Elect

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