Inviting customers and business partners, we held events to celebrate our 120th anniversary in Osaka, Nagoya, and Tokyo, on June 4, 7, and 15, respectively. (Established in 1897, we marked our 120th anniversary in FY 2017.)
At the beginning of each event, I delivered an opening address, and gave a presentation looking back at our corporate group's 120-year history and explaining our mid-term management plan VISION 2022 toward future growth.
In the 120-year history of Sumitomo Electric, which began its operations even before I was born, we experienced a number of crises, such as wars, natural disasters, including earthquakes and flooding, and economic depressions. However, we overcame all of these crises, before we became what we are today. This is entirely thanks to generous support from our customers, shareholders, business partners, employees, including those who came before us, and all other stakeholders. I would like to express my sincere appreciation to everyone involved.
At the same time, when I reflect on what has made it possible for Sumitomo Electric to survive for such a long time, I find that the key lies in the long handed-down Sumitomo Spirit.
We have always continued our operations conscientiously with our focus on the tenets of the Sumitomo Spirit, namely Banji-nissei (Do your sincere best, not only in business, but also in every aspect of your life); Shinyo-kakujitsu (Place importance on integrity and sound management); and Fusu-furi (Do not act rashly or carelessly in pursuit of easy gains). In other words, we have always been doing our best with sincerity and fairness, and striving to live up to the trust of all of those concerned, without pursuing easy gains. Based on our techniques of manufacturing electric wire and cable, we have been steadily expanding the scope of our technology, and producing new products for society. I believe that this underpins the Sumitomo Electric Group today, and has enabled us to survive to this day.
It is sometimes said that the Sumitomo Electric Group is "too steady" or "unobtrusive." I still believe that it is important for us to continue applying the Sumitomo Spirit as our basic philosophy, and to make steady growth step-by-step, thereby contributing to society.
Each of the three events was attended by many people. At each event, my presentation was followed by a convivial party, at which I went around as many tables as possible. However, I could not speak directly with all the attendees, and I sincerely apologize for that. Some attendees told me about difficulties or achievements that they had experienced together with the Sumitomo Electric Group, making me keenly realize that we have been moving forward together with many supporters.
If I speak about a future vision for the next 120 years, it might sound too ambitious. So, we first would like to dedicate ourselves wholly to achieving the mid-term management plan for the next five years. To realize this plan, we need to make an annual increase in our net sales by 100 billion yen, and in our operating income by 10 billion yen. It is never easy to continue to grow, but we would like to do so by continuing to take a steady approach, as we have done so far, appropriately identifying changes in the times, and creating new products and technologies.
In this regard, we would like to receive your continued guidance and support.