September 4, 2015,09:05 +0900(JST) Attended the Opening Ceremony of SEI Thai Electric Conductor Co., Ltd. (STEC)

An Full view of STEC
An Full view of STEC

Ribbon-cutting ceremony
Ribbon-cutting ceremony
On August 21, I attended the opening ceremony for STEC. Located in Amata City Industrial Estate, Rayong Province, Thailand, the company produces and sells three items: copper wire rods, aluminum bars, and electric wire for aluminum harnesses for automobiles. The opening ceremony was attended by about 200 people, including representatives from the government, public administrative bodies, and the Japanese Embassy in Thailand, as well as customers and business partners. All of them celebrated the opening of the newly established company.

All three items produced by the company are process industry products. To gain competitiveness (in terms of quality and cost) and to ensure that the company is highly valued in the market, it is necessary to pay extensive attention to its supply chain, thereby attaining its targets. I requested those concerned to ensure the company's growth by carefully considering not partially right answers, but the entire balance.

Together with local staff members
Together with local staff members
After the ceremony, I visited SHST, which manufactures and sells steel tire cords, as well as SEWT and SEWS-CT, both of which manufacture and sell wiring harnesses and related products, and encouraged the companies' employees, who work very hard despite the severe economic environment.

I also attended a get-together, inviting executive managers from various companies, including those that I could not visit. At the event, I asked the participants to enjoy both their careers and private lives in a cheerful way and maintain good health.

Although the time available was limited, the business trip was truly productive.

August 26, 2015,08:35 +0900(JST) Mr. Tamura Also to Compete in the World Athletics Championships!

 I have already let you know that Yuta Konishi, a member of our athletics club, was selected as a representative of Japan for the World Athletics Championships being held from August 22 in Beijing, China. Now, I'm pleased to announce that Tomoya Tamura has also been selected as a representative of Japan for the event. He is listed in the 4 × 400 m relay member of Japan. I'm truly proud that two members of our athletics club represent Japan at the world's most prestigious meet.

 Mr. Tamura, who joined Sumitomo Electric this year, finished third in the men's 400 m at the Japan National Championships (in June). In addition, he represented Japan at the Japan-China-Korea Friendship Athletics Meeting (in July), and as the first runner in the men's 4 × 400 m relay, he contributed to Japan winning the title. At the beginning of August, he was selected as a candidate to represent Japan at the World Athletics Championships.

 However, as of August 8, when we held a pep rally, the right for Japan to compete in the 4 × 400 m relay at the championships had not been secured yet. Accordingly, it had not been formally settled whether Mr. Tamura could compete in the event or not. Actually, the encouragements for him from many people contained the conditional phrase "if he competes in the meet...." Now that his participation has been finally settled officially, I'm sure that he is preparing for the race with a clear mind.

 At the pep rally, Mr. Tamura greeted participants, saying that he was actually surprised that everything was going ahead without a hitch. But I feel that it is important for him to accelerate his momentum. It might be too demanding if I tell him to stay calm when he competes against the world's top ranked athletes whom we often see on TV. However, I hope that he will fully demonstrate his capabilities in good condition.

Left: Mr. Konishi; right: Mr. Tamura
▲ Left: Mr. Konishi; right: Mr. Tamura


August 6, 2015,17:10 +0900(JST) Group Activities as a Lifeline for Manufacturers

On July 15, a presentation event of group activities (G-katsu) was held at our Osaka Works. The six groups selected as representatives from among our business units and other organizations presented their daily activities and results.

The highest award was granted to the group from the Hitaka Works of J-Power Systems Corporation (JPS). This was the first time for the company to participate. I feel that a good point about the team was that they presented their theme in an easy-to-understand way, for example, incorporating an anecdote of a member with a technical problem having conceived a good idea for improvement when walking his dog.

This time, as a special occasion, members of the "Zero-Line" group from Sekisui Seikei Co., Ltd. were invited to the event, where they presented their efforts. According to the team, by fully observing the principle of Genchi-Genbutsu (actual place, actual thing), and repeating factor analyses and hypotheses testing, they had finally generated excellent results. I feel that their presentation stimulated members of the Sumitomo Electric Group. I would like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation for their wonderful presentation.

With members of the representative groups. I'm carrying the mascot doll of JPS Hitaka Works, whose team won the highest award.
▲ With members of the representative groups. I'm carrying the mascot doll of JPS Hitaka Works, whose team won the highest award.

The Sumitomo Electric Group operates in about 40 countries in the world and has 240,000 employees. What should be done to maintain and improve the entire group's level of SEQCDD*, and supply competitive products and services to the market? What should be done to enhance the motivation of the members, make manufacturing sites even stronger, and raise the unity of the group? One effective solution is G-katsu, which plays an important role in developing human resources, invigorating workplaces, and solving a wide variety of problems.
*Safety, Environment, Quality, Cost, Delivery, and Research & Development

Meanwhile, in the morning of the same day, two company groups highly recognized at the G-katsu presentation event held in China visited me at the Osaka head office. G-katsu is becoming active among our affiliated companies in China as well, with a presentation event in the country marking its 9th anniversary this year. The Chinese event staff told me that the level was increasing year by year, which raised my expectations for them.

With members from Sumitomo Electric Interconnect Products (Suzhou) Ltd. and Huizhou Zhurun Wiring Systems Co., Ltd.
▲ With members from Sumitomo Electric Interconnect Products (Suzhou) Ltd. and Huizhou Zhurun Wiring Systems Co., Ltd.

July 23, 2015,11:00 +0900(JST) My Business Trip to Europe

From July 5 to 8, I went to Europe on business. During that period, a heat wave struck all of Europe, with temperatures reportedly exceeding 40℃ in some regions. In fact, it was awfully hot on the day of my arrival. When I stepped out from the comfortably air-conditioned aircraft into such hot air, I felt my head was spinning.

The purpose of this trip was to express my appreciation to everyone concerned with our group company J-Power Systems Corporation (JPS) having won a contract with Nemo Link Limited (Nemo) for a DC 400 kV. XLPE subsea cable system.

In this project, the cable system consists of a 130-km subsea cable route and an 11.5-km land cable route, connecting the UK and Belgium. Since Nemo, the main body involved in the project, is the joint venture by Belgian ELIA and UK. National Grid, I met the management of the former company in Brussels and that of the latter in London.

In front of the office of National Grid, London
▲ In front of the office of National Grid, London

For Sumitomo Electric, winning this project contract is significant for two reasons. First, we have won a contract for a cable system of the 400 kV class, which is the highest level in the world as a commercial operation voltage for a DC transmission XLPE cable system. The other reason is that we have become the first Asian cable manufacturer to win a contract for a long-distance power transmission line connecting countries in EU. At the meetings, the management of the companies held out their hands, saying "We're counting on you," and I firmly shook hands with them, saying "Leave it to us."

To travel from Brussels to London, I took Eurostar, a high-speed train that Europe boasts of to the world. Even Eurostar takes more than 20 minutes to go through the Eurotunnel (approx. 50 km long) under the Dover Strait. Considering that the cable that JPS is expected to deliver will be nearly three times that distance, I could not stop trembling with excitement.

My first ride on the Eurostar
▲ My first ride on the Eurostar

July 23, 2015,09:35 +0900(JST) I Go to Watch the Japan National Championships

The Japan National Championships was held in Niigata from June 26 to 28. Fourteen members of our athletics club competed there. I also flew to Niigata on the final day, the 28th, and cheered them until my voice went hoarse.

I Go to Watch the Japan National ChampionshipsAlthough it was unfortunately raining, members of our athletics club competed in the finals in four events and showed excellent performances. Yuta Konishi and Tomoya Tamura both finished in third places, in the men's 400 m hurdles and the men's 400 m sprint respectively. I was very pleased to see them standing on the winners' platform at the Japan National Championships, in the uniform of our athletics club. I'm sure that their medals will greatly encourage other members of our athletics club.


At the beginning of the following week, good news was received by Sumitomo Electric, pleasing all the staff at the company: Mr. Konishi, who had won the 400 m hurdles at the Asian Athletics Championships, was selected as a representative of Japan for the World Athletics Championships (to be held from August 22 to 30 in Beijing), while Mr. Tamura was selected as a representative of Japan (4 × 400 m relay) at the Japan-China-Korea Friendship Athletics Meeting (held on July 12 in Hokkaido). I hope that they set ambitious goals and train hard so that they can continue to demonstrate their best performances.

Mr. Konishi (right) on the winners' platformMr. Tamura (second from left) making a final spurt
▲ Photo on the left: Mr. Konishi (right) on the winners' platform, Photo on the right: Mr. Tamura (second from left) making a final spurt

SUMITOMO ELECTRIC President CEO Masayoshi Matsumoto

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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