Upon welcoming this brand new year, I am truly happy to be able to exchange New Year greetings with you. To those who have been affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami last March, I would like to offer my heartfelt sympathy and hope this new year will bring them blessings and hope.
Although the business environment surrounding us is uncertain and unpredictable, we should do our sincere best to complete VISION 2012, an indispensable milestone toward a Glorious Excellent Company. To get there, I would like to ask you to keep the following three requests in mind throughout this year.
Firstly, it’s time to start the final spurt towards the goals of VISION 2012.
The current business conditions are far more difficult than we could have anticipated when VISION 2012 was drawn up in 2007. Still, I would like all of you to keep trying your very best in pursuing your duties and targets set by your workplaces as well as in achieving the goals of VISION 2012. Each individual's devotion will ensure Sumitomo Electric Group's success, as the Japanese saying goes: “People who illuminate a small corner of society are national treasures.”
At the same time, to build a corporate structure that can stay imperturbable to any change in the economy, it is essential to reinforce our efforts for SEQCDD (Safety, Environment, Quality, Cost, Delivery and Research & Development) improvement. I would like to ask you to master your basic duties and fulfill them thoroughly, while making sure that everything at your facilities is perfectly in order, so as to prevent any accidents or defect claims.
Secondly, I would like you to improve your ability to deal with changes.
We are currently facing drastic changes in the social structure that could never have been anticipated; however, on the other hand, these changes could provide an opportunity for us to grow further. Throughout its 400-year history, Sumitomo has ensured its sustainable growth and development by demonstrating its entrepreneurship, and it is high time for us to draw on our experience accumulated through Sumitomo’s history. And yet, an organization will never be successful if it operates without firm principles. Therefore, I would like you to fully commit to “the Sumitomo Spirits” and “the Sumitomo Electric Group Corporate Principles” as you promote diversity and other changes in your organization.
In addition, I would like each and every one of you to improve your ability to respond to changes. It is of the utmost importance for you to stay aware of situations around you and to improve your capability to gather information, so that you are able to notice even the slightest sign of change and readily respond to it. To analyze issues and identify the solutions, having multifaceted perspectives is also essential.
For these purposes, I would like to encourage you to develop and improve yourselves making good use of the SEI University and other training facilities as well as practicing self-discipline. This will enable you to gain a wealth of knowledge and techniques used in anticipating latent problems and responding to changes. Constant training and discipline will also help you work on composure and imperturbability to face problems or changes and deal with them immediately and resourcefully.
Finally, I would like you to believe in your dreams and stay cheerful, energetic, and happy.
I want you to cherish your own dreams both in your work and your private life. The process of pursuing dreams one step at a time will not only lift your spirits up but also touch people’s hearts and encourage them.
Issai Sato, a Confucianist in the late Edo period, left a remarkable phrase which is still relevant today. It goes: “When you walk in the darkness of night with a single candle, there is no point worrying too much about the darkness. Just follow the light of the candle and keep walking.” This tells us the importance of moving faithfully forward following your conscience and your own dreams that lead you through your life like a candle can lead you through the night.
For all of you to fulfill your dreams, and to work cheerfully, energetically, and happily, I would ask you to take care of your health and unwind during your private time, so that you can perform efficiently at work and thus increase the Company’s productivity.
I would like to see all employees work autonomously in a warm and supportive environment where they can actively communicate with each other and demonstrate their ability to the fullest working toward the same goals with a healthy dose of tension.