October 24, 2008,11:40 +0900(JST) Joint ventures with Futong Group Co., Ltd. for optical fiber and optical cable businesses

In front of the signing ceremony venueAs already announced in Sumitomo Electric's press release, Sumitomo Electric and Futong Group Co., Ltd., headquartered in Hangzhou City, Zhejiang Province, China, have reached an agreement to jointly run optical fiber and optical cable businesses at three bases in China: Hangzhou, Chengdu and Shenzhen (Hong Kong). The two companies held a signing ceremony on October 16, with the highest-ranking provincial and municipal leaders and many others in attendance.

A splendid dinner followed the signing ceremony; attendants were heard cheerfully proposing toasts here and there. The two companies were able to reach their agreement thanks to the dedicated efforts of the working groups involved in consulting and negotiating for over a year. I would like to express my heartfelt thanks and respect for them.

The information industry was seriously damaged at the time of the bursting of the IT bubble. The industry has recovered gradually; outside Japan-in Chinese, US and European markets, demand for optical fibers has been surpassing supply. Today, China is the world's largest optical fiber market, so it is highly significant for us to commence joint ventures at this time with a reliable partner.

In the extremely severe current business situation, with the unprecedented subprime crisis-triggered and financial turmoil seriously affecting the real economy, I attended the signing ceremony with my strong belief in the growth potential of China's information industry and my sincere hope that the Sumitomo Electric strength that we have built up thus far will develop into great success in China.

Visiting the plant siteBusiness projects always have ups and downs. Aware of this, the two companies mutually pledged that we would work together always in good spirits, maintain constructive tension, thoughtfulness and mutual trust, and develop joint ventures as strong and viable businesses.

On the following day I went by car to visit Fuyang, about one hour southwest of Hangzhou, to visit the Futong Group's head office and the plant site under construction. To make the most of this two-day, one-night trip to China, on the second day I woke up early in Hangzhou to enjoy a brisk walk around the famous West Lake for about an hour. More on West Lake in my next entry with my improvisatory poem.

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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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