September 29, 2015,10:05 +0900(JST) Belated Thank You to Your Cheering

As I have mentioned before in this blog, two members of our athletics club made their debut in the World Athletics Championships 2015 held from August 22 to 30 in Beijing, China. I would like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation for your generous support for them.

The other day, Mr. Konishi (men's 400 m hurdles) and Mr. Tamura (4 × 400 m relay) visited me at the office with the General Manager of our athletics club, Mr. Matsumoto. They reported their performance at the Championships. Unfortunately, they were not qualified to compete in the semifinal. They, however, did their best against the world's best runners. "The experience of taking part in such an international competition gave us great motivation to be successful runners in the world. We will continue working hard," they said vigorously.

At that place, they showed me a uniform of the Japanese national team, a memento of running in the Championships. It was brilliant sunrise red as I had seen it on TV, which reminded me of the heated competition.
They autographed on the uniform and gave it to me. I'd like to frame it to display in my office.

It was the first time that the members of our athletics club participated in a world-level athletic meet as representatives of Japan. I hope that this event would encourage all of the members to do their very best in a bid to compete in international meets. I believe that they will continue their efforts to live up to your expectations. I would appreciate your continued support for them.

  • Upper raw: Mr. Matsumoto, General Manager of the athletics club (middle) / Lower raw: Mr. Konishi (far left) and Mr. Tamura (far right)

    Upper raw: Mr. Matsumoto, General Manager of the athletics club (middle) / Lower raw: Mr. Konishi (far left) and Mr. Tamura (far right)

September 11, 2015,17:00 +0900(JST) Visit to New Factory of FSCT

Last week I visited First Sumiden Circuits, Inc. (FSCT) in Manila, Philippines. It was established in 1966 to manufacture and sell electronic products.

FSCT, marked its 20 year in operation, had been constructing a new factory to meet increasing demand from customers, with the wish that the company would further grow. The construction was a rush job that the Group had never experienced before. All the people concerned had done an excellent work together with those in Japan to complete the construction. Learning that, I suddenly took a trip to Philippines to express my gratitude for their hard work.

At the inspection to the new factory, I learned their business plan, technical problems, and initiatives to improve product quality and reduce manufacturing cost, along with their struggles at work. The business trip was meaningful. At a get-together with executive managers, I personally talked with all of them and encouraged each of them, telling "Thank you."

Before starting the day two inspection, I planted a tree of Narra, the national tree of the Philippines. Then all the FSCT members and I, singing its company song, prayed for the future development of the company. As far as I know, it might be that only FSCT has its own company song among the two hundred and several tens of Group's affiliated companies operating outside Japan.

September 10, 2015,17:15 +0900(JST) Heads and Tails

In late August, we held a couple of events in succession, inviting staff from some of our affiliated companies both in Japan and abroad: The Global Leader Program (GLP), through which we aim to develop leaders who work globally; the Sumitomo Electric Group Global Executive Meeting in Japan, which is participated by executive officers and executive managers from foreign affiliated companies who are recognized as Group Global Executive Personnel; and the Sumitomo Electric Group Global Award Ceremony, which honors affiliated companies in the Sumitomo Electric Group inside and outside Japan for their outstanding contributions last year. In either event, I called the participants to further drive diversity.

I always explain to the members of the Group that "Globalization is to diversity what heads is to tails of a coin." If we want to succeed in our business globally, we cannot help facing difficulties that inevitably go with diversity, but on the contrary, we have to learn from these difficulties to enrich our body and soul. The Group operates business in about 40 countries around the world with more than 240,000 employees consisting of males and females of different nationalities, generations, religious beliefs, and cultural backgrounds. When I ask myself if we have progressed the diversity in the Group or if we have transformed these diverse human resources to the strength of the Group, the answer is, "Not yet."

The GLP this time put one theme as the core of the discussion: Promoting enhancement of diversity in the Group. At the briefing session on the final day of the program there appeared awareness of various problems. Those of which speaking of lack of communication, limit with Japanese work system, need for understanding different sense of values, and intention towards the organization and structure of being a global company.

Through such heated discussions via various opportunities, members of the Group will gradually crystalize a universal goal. Then the vectors of the organizations, I expect, will be oriented towards the same direction. If it does, the next step will be to embark on concrete actions with elaborated measures. The thing is to push everything forward steadily while being always conscious of real cases, not to wander about in vain, seeking perfect solutions.

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

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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