July 18, 2014,11:20 +0900(JST)

The World Cup Has Ended

After nearly a month, the World Cup Soccer has come to an end.

Before the event, anti-World Cup rallies in Brazil and delays in venue preparation were widely reported. Once the event began, however, it seemed the entire world was taken over by the games. Although I’m not sure whether this is good, it is true that sports can be attractive enough to captivate people so much.

Although much expectation was placed on the Japanese team, regrettably, the team was defeated in the preliminary round. Considering that strong teams such as Portugal, Spain and Italy were also defeated, however, it seems to me that it is very difficult to proceed to the final tournament. Moreover, pure chance sometimes decides the outcome of a match. As the maxim goes, people can only learn from their mistakes. I hope that the Japanese team will learn a lesson from their defeat this time and will do their best to proceed farther in the next event.

Another thing that I felt sorry about was the Brazilian ace Neymar, who suffered a serious injury and had no choice but to give up playing in the remaining games of the tournament. Since his performance had lived up to people’s expectations until then, I wanted to watch him playing a little while longer. I know that saying “could have” is useless in sports. But if he had played in the semifinal game, the result could have been different. Anyway, I hope that he gets better soon.

Neymar’s injury reminds me of that of Masahiro Tanaka, a major league pitcher on the New York Yankees. He had continued demonstrating excellent performance since the start of the season, and was selected to the All Star Game. All the more for these achievements, I feel very sorry for his injury. Still, I hope that he takes sufficient time to treat the injury and returns to the field in perfect condition.

While considering the above, I’ve discovered that the preliminary round of the National High School Baseball Championships began in each prefecture. The hot summer for sports fans is far from over. I hope you will enjoy the season without getting out of shape.

Posted by Masayoshi Matsumoto
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July 16, 2014,14:55 +0900(JST)

The 144th Annual Shareholders’ General Meeting

On June 26, Sumitomo Electric held its annual shareholders’ general meeting in Osaka. Despite the hot weather, more shareholders than last year, nearly 700 of them, participated in the meeting. I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to them.

Every year at our shareholders’ meeting, we first report on the Company’s business performance and then hold a question and answer session. As in years past, we received many questions on a variety of topics including global business situations, the Company’s current business results, corporate governance, and new technology development.

Some speakers mentioned that they were attending our shareholders’ meeting for the first time, and others asked questions citing our press release issued on the day before the meeting, which implies that people regularly check our company news. This indicates that an increasing number of people are becoming interested in our company.

Our shareholders’ meetings have a somehow cozy and friendly atmosphere accompanied by occasional laughter (though I always feel nervous during the meeting). I suppose this is partly because of the cheerful nature of Osaka people. In such an atmosphere, I felt our shareholders’ warm support for the Company.

We also received a comment like “How can Sumitomo Electric’s technologies make our life more convenient and exciting? Amaze us.” That’s just what we want to do. Since its establishment as an electric wire manufacturer, the Sumitomo Electric Group has continued tireless efforts for technical development and diversified its business fields. The Group is now trying hard to meet the needs of a future society by utilizing and combining its technologies and products in its three business fields: mobility, energy, and communication. I believe that continuing to generate unique and exciting technologies and products and to present such products to the world is the very mission for the Group, which has always held itself to high technological standards.

Posted by Masayoshi Matsumoto
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June 27, 2014,11:00 +0900(JST)

FY2014 National Special Agents Conference

On June 12, we held a national special agents conference, inviting special agents that are doing businesses with our Smart Infrastructure Systems Sales Unit and Electronics Sales Unit.

Held every year at this time, this conference serves as an important opportunity for us to explain our business policies and exchange information so that both special agents and we can expand our businesses. At the conference, I expressed my appreciation for each agent’s cooperation, and presented letters of appreciation to agents who had demonstrated outstanding performances.

FY2014 National Special Agents Conference

Some of the participants this year were from China. After sharing information on the country’s current economic situation, we encouraged one another, saying that although there are problems to solve, China is still a large market and we should continue cooperating to expand our businesses. By the way, one of the Chinese participants used to do track and field like I did, which made me feel as if I had met a long lost friend.

To know the situation on the business front lines, feedback from special agents is invaluable. Speaking with special agents gives me a perspective different from what I would have if I were listening to reports by our staff members. I would like to continue securing closer communication with each special agent in order to share much more information, promote sales operations ahead of market changes, and make our win-win relationships even stronger.

Posted by Masayoshi Matsumoto
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June 23, 2014,11:35 +0900(JST)

Osaka Summer Fun Run!

On June 15, the Osaka Summer Fun Run! 2014 was held as a preliminary event for the Osaka Marathon to take place on October 26. I attended this event as chairman of the Osaka Marathon organizing committee.

The event drew approximately 1,700 people this year. I wrote in this blog two years ago that the number of Fun Run participants that year was 800, which means that the number has more than doubled over the past two years. Although there was a time conflict between the event and Japan’s World Cup match with Côte d’Ivoire, it can be said that many people truly love running.

After the opening ceremony, I fired the starting gun, and all the participants – young and old, men and women – took off running. They ran the 3.2 km course at their own paces and finished in 30 to 40 minutes. I felt relieved that all the participants, including some wearing stuffed animal costumes despite the hot weather, were able to make it to the finish line.

The race was followed by a fun-costume award ceremony. After impartial consideration, an elementary school student in a kappa (imaginary river child) costume was selected as the best, followed by a women’s team in cake costumes. Subsequently, a lottery event to present various items, including the right to compete in the Osaka Marathon, was held. Some participants gave screams of delight, while others got disappointed.

I feel that partly thanks to the fine weather, all the participants enjoyed a pleasant time.

Posted by Masayoshi Matsumoto
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June 16, 2014,19:05 +0900(JST)

The Japan Championships in Athletics

On Saturday June 7, I went to Fukushima to watch the Japan Championships in Athletics. It was the second day of the event. As the weather forecast had predicted, it rained so heavily that the games were temporarily suspended. However, the stand remained filled with many spectators, rooting for the athletes ardently with their umbrellas open.

Rooting for athletes in heavy rainI looked forward to watching the performance of Yoshihide Kiryu (Toyo University), a sprinter in the men’s 100 meters. Despite the bad weather, he marked a good result in his preliminary race and proceeded to the final without any difficulties, exciting the spectators at the venue. Meanwhile, Koji Murofushi (Mizuno), a hammer thrower, won the championship for an incredible 20 years running. The trajectories of his throws were totally different to those of the other competitors. His performance was so distinguished that it seemed that the record of his successive victories at the championship would continue for many more years to come. However, he must be making more than ordinary efforts to achieve this remarkable feat. As a member of the executive board of the Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, I will have a number of opportunities to meet Mr. Murofushi in the near future. I would like to hear from him about what kind of efforts he is making.

I would also like to comment on the performances of members of our athletics club. On the day of the event, in the women’s 100 meter hurdles, Airi Ito came in second. Considering that she has moved up by one rank every year since she finished fourth two years ago, we can really look forward to a great achievement next year. Meanwhile, in the women’s 200 meter sprint, Naoka Miyake came in seventh.

Ms. Ito in the women’s 100 m hurdlesMr. Konishi in the men’s 400 m hurdles
The following day, I watched the games on TV at home. In the men’s 400 meter hurdles, Yuta Konishi attacked the race aggressively and took the lead until he reached the fourth corner. Putting in an excellent performance, he came in third. Meanwhile, in the women’s 100 meter sprint, riding the crest of the previous day’s success, Ms. Miyake again gave a wonderful performance and finished fifth. In the men’s 100 meter sprint, which was the final race and attracted the strongest public attention at the event, Yusuke Kotani came in seventh. As far as it appeared on the TV, it seemed that there was not such a big difference between him and those who finished in higher places. Considering that the race was held in heavy rain, I feel that his performance suggested that he is a very promising athlete.

I’m very proud that these members of our athletics club competed in the grand setting of the Japan Championships. I was very excited to watch the games. It seems that new talented athletes are emerging one after another in all track and field events. I hope that all members of our athletics club will keep up with their training so that they can fully demonstrate their performance.

Posted by Masayoshi Matsumoto
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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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