In August 2012, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) adopted and issued a final rule obliging companies with securities registered in the United States that use any conflict minerals in their products to report this to the SEC pursuant to Article 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which was signed into law in July 2010. Conflict minerals include columbite-tantalite, cassiterite, gold, and wolframite, the four minerals determined to be financing conflicts that are produced in the Democratic Republic of Congo (the "DRC") and adjoining countries (together the "DRC countries"). The goal of this law is to cut off revenues from armed groups that use violence and violate human rights in the conflict-ridden DRC countries.
Because Hitachi, Ltd. has not been listed in the United States since March 2012, we have no legal obligation to report. However, we strive to ensure that we do not, directly or indirectly, abet the human rights violations identified in the DRC countries. To continue our responsible procurement practices, we are working with Group companies, suppliers, and the industry association JEITA to strengthen supply chain transparency and to ensure that the minerals we procure do not finance or benefit armed groups committing human rights violations.