December 19, 2014,14:45 +0900(JST)

Final Presentation Meeting of Executive Training Program

In July in this blog, I mentioned the beginning of the 10th executive training program. The other day, to conclude the half-year training program, we held a final presentation meeting at our Ikoma Seminar House. For the management, including me, such a meeting is an invaluable opportunity to clearly identify various problems that we feel every day.

This year as well, I listened to nine presentations over the two days, and engaged in many discussions. As well as in past years, this year the meeting covered a wide variety of themes, such as corporate culture, ideal governance, diversity, and examination of possibilities of new businesses.

When talking about this training program with people outside Sumitomo Electric Industries, I am often asked how we can secure such a wide variety of themes every year. Actually, not all themes are totally new, but some are similar to past ones. However, not all proposals that gained approval at past presentation meetings have been put into concrete form. Believing that some practical problems must be behind it, we look into the problems more deeply. As a result, I feel that proposals in recent years have begun to feature more sophisticated perspectives and have become richer in content, compared with those at earlier presentation meetings.

I’m confident that promoting these efforts continuously over the past 10 years is an invaluable asset for Sumitomo Electric Industries.

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December 19, 2014,13:20 +0900(JST)

6th Tokyo Institute of Technology and Hitotsubashi University Joint Traveling Seminar

Since 2009, the Kuramae Tokyo Tech Alumni Association of the Tokyo Institute of Technology and the Josuikai Alumni Association of Hitotsubashi University have annually held a joint traveling seminar as an open event for citizens and students, in order to contribute to local communities. This year, the sixth anniversary, the event took place in Nagoya on December 7. As president of the Josuikai, I attended the seminar.

6th Tokyo Institute of Technology and Hitotsubashi University Joint Traveling Seminar

Every year, this seminar features a theme appropriate for the event’s location and timing. The theme of the sixth seminar was innovation. The event consisted of keynote lectures “Innovation in the Process of the Development of the Fuel Cell-Powered Vehicle MIRAI” by Managing Officer Ogiso of Toyota, and “Corporate Strategies and Innovation” by Professor Aoshima of Hitotsubashi University, as well as lectures by the presidents of both universities. Audience members asked many questions of the speakers, and they gave appropriate answers with some humor, which made the audience satisfied with the event.

6th Tokyo Institute of Technology and Hitotsubashi University Joint Traveling SeminarAt the friendly gathering held after the seminar, as usual the Japanese-style cheering squads from the two universities sang their school songs and exchanged yells, which made me feel as if I were slipping back to my university days. We enjoyed talking about our past memories so much that we almost lost track of the time. I feel that the content of this joint traveling seminar is becoming richer and is improved every time. Although no details have been set for the next seminar, if you have interest in the event, why not join it?

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December 15, 2014,09:10 +0900(JST)

To the East, and to the West

The end of the year is coming, and this year is going to pass by very quickly. After the beginning of autumn, I went on many business trips to domestic and overseas business facilities, affiliated companies, and customers, which perhaps has made me aware even more keenly how time flies.

As I’ve already mentioned in my blog, this autumn, I went to the U.S. and Europe once, as well as to China twice. Despite this busy schedule, the number of my domestic business trips that I needed to make did not decrease. Actually, in the final week of November, I couldn’t go home for the whole week, keeping a set of spare clothes in my office.

This month as well, I went to an affiliated company in Toyama. While I was exchanging opinions with the company’s executives after checking its plant, it began snowing more and more heavily. The next morning, although I went to a station earlier than scheduled, I found that the train I was supposed to take had been canceled, as I had expected. Since I had an important meeting with a customer that afternoon, I needed to reach the next business trip destination no matter what. However, the heavy snow prevented me from finding an alternative means of transportation. Although I tried to find another executive from Sumitomo Electric who could meet the customer instead of me, no other executives were available.

Feeling “all was over with me,” I was totally at a loss with what to do, and I checked my railroad ticket. Then, I found that the railway name printed on the ticket was different from the name of the railway that I thought I was going to take. I had expected that I would need to take the same train as usual. It is really important to check this on your own. According to the train operation information board, fortunately, the railway that I needed to take was still running. In Japan, December is called shiwasu, meaning “running priest” in Japanese. It is believed that December is called this because everyone is very busy during the month, and even a Buddhist chef priest, who might be calm in other months, is running about finishing what he needs to do. I hear that this belief is actually not right. Even so, I was running inside the station in the month of “running priest,” and jumped onto my train, able to avoid any problem.

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November 27, 2014,14:15 +0900(JST)

20th Anniversary Ceremony of Tianjin Jin-Zhu Wiring Systems Co., Ltd. and Ceremony to Celebrate the Launch of Mass-Production at Tianjin SEI-Futong Optical Fiber Co., Ltd.

On November 17 and 18, I attended the above ceremonies.

Since my involvement in Tianjin Jin-Zhu Wiring Systems Co., Ltd. dates back to its establishment, I was deeply impressed to find that the company has grown to what it is today, which made me feel “time really flies.” The ceremony held on the 17th was attended by executives from the municipal government, the former deputy-mayor of Tianjin, old friends of mine, and many other people concerned. They gave us many congratulations and encouragements.

Partly due to the infrastructure development at the time of the Beijing Olympic Games, the modernized streets of Tianjin look totally different from what they used to be. At the same time, the rise in the living standard has led to higher levels of payment, making the employment situation tighter than before. In this regard, companies are required to come up with even more ingenious management ideas. I hope that the employees of Tianjin Jin-Zhu Wiring Systems will be able to work even harder than they do now.

I presented the former deputy-mayor of Tianjin with a Chinese poem of four lines with seven characters in each line, to express my feelings. He was kind enough to correct the poem. The following is that “joint work.”

The poem expresses my joy in receiving such a warm welcome from people in Tianjin.

Nothing is better than old friends.

On the 18th, I attended the ceremony to celebrate the launch of mass-production at Tianjin SEI-Futong Optical Fiber Co., Ltd. The ceremony held at the company’s new plant in the high-tech industrial park in Tianjin was attended by executives from the municipal government of Tianjin and the district government of Binhai High-Tech New Area, as well as many people providing cooperation for construction of the plant. We received many congratulations from them. At the ceremony, we pledged ourselves to always remember the spirit of Banji-nissei (Do your sincere best in not only business but also every aspect of your life), and to do our best to secure the growth and development of the new company.

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November 27, 2014,14:05 +0900(JST)

Our Athletics Club Secures a Place in New Year Ekiden

On November 16, the 57th Ekiden (long-distance running relay) for Business Corporations in the Kansai Region was held in Ryujin, in Tanabe City, Wakayama. Our athletics club took second place, enabling the team to compete in the New Year Ekiden to be held on January 1 next year. I would like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation to you all for supporting our team. This will be the second time for the team to compete in the New Year Ekiden, following last year.

On the day of the event, I had to go to Tokyo to attend the 100th anniversary ceremony of the Josuikai Alumni Association of Hitotsubashi University. The university is my alma mater, and I serve as president of the alumni association. Therefore, I was unable to cheer on the team in Wakayama. However, I received a mobile phone call with the exciting news while I was in Tokyo.

In two stages out of a total of seven, members of our athletics club were commended as the fastest runners in their stages. The team reduced its overall time by nearly three minutes from last year. Although our team was overtaken by Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd’s team in the final stage, and failed to win the race by a whisker, I’m convinced that the experience of having such close competition with one of the strongest teams in Kansai will give our team great confidence. I hope that the team will demonstrate an excellent performance in the New Year Ekiden as well, finishing in a much higher place than they did in taking 25th place last year. Actually, I’ve already given the team a specific target figure, but it’s one of our corporate secrets!

I would like to ask you all to continue giving the team your generous support.

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The president's photographProfile

Masayoshi Matsumoto
President & CEO
Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd.

Born in 1944 in Hyogo Prefecture, Masayoshi Matsumoto joined Sumitomo Electric in 1967. After serving as General Manager of Chubu District Office, Managing Director and Senior Managing Director, he assumed office of President and CEO in June 2004.

His leisure activities include jogging, reading and art appreciation. Also a seasoned athlete, he played baseball in junior high school and practiced judo in senior high school. In university, he threw the javelin competitively and participated in all-Japan inter-university competitions.

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