At the Taiyo Nippon Sanso Board of Directors meeting held on April 25, decisions concerning major changes in the top management were made.

A decision was made to appoint Hiroshi Taguchi, the current president, to the position of chairman. It was also decided to appoint Konosuke Ose, currently chairman, to the position of Executive Director and Advisor. Hirosuke Matsueda, the current executive vice president, was named to the position of president while Osami Yamashita, the current vice president, will step down. Kazuya Ito, a managing director, was appointed as vice president.

Mr. Ose and Mr. Taguchi were the founding team of the Taiyo Nippon Sanso merger which took place in 2004. According to Mr. Taguchi the president, who set the target at the time of the merger, with the rise in the economy, to be reached in 3 years, "The outlook is now in sight for reaching sales of Ò°400 billion, with net profit of Ò°14 billion, 2 years ahead of schedule." Mr. Ose noted that, "The fusion of the 2 companies, with their different cultures and histories, it could say achieving a passing score of 80 points."

Around the autumn of last year, the foundation and plans were set for a changeover in management. Especially in the international gas market where reorganization is accelerating, such as with the acquisition of BOC by Linde, Taiyo Nippon Sanso, is aiming at being an Asian major with a presence. As a prerequisite for forming the basis for turning into a company with sales of Ò°500 billion, now was judged as the right time for rejuvenating the leadership and for globalizing.

Mr. Ose will, of course, remain as a director of the company. He will be working as a management consultant, making full use of his rich career experience and personal contacts. Mr. Taguchi, president is to be appointed as chairman of JIGA. In addition to being fully engaged in activities for raising the status of the industry, as chairman with representation rights within the company, he will be able to support Mr. Matsueda as chairman.