March 2, 2009,09:45 +0900(JST) Happy 100th Birthday, Mr. Yorozu (2)
It's wonderful to know that encounters between people can develop into strong relationships of mutual trust, which in turn can link a company with a local community, resulting in friendship between communities. In 1980, on the day before NSS operation commencement, an inaugural party was held in the Sapporo Grand Hotel. Some participants' conversation there led to Sumitomo Electric's assuming the role of go-between for a friendship agreement between two towns far from each other, separated by sea and mountains: Naie Town in Hokkaido and former Nariwa Town (present-day Takahashi City) in Okayama Prefecture, where another Sumitomo Electric Group company, Sumitomo Electric Sintered Alloy Ltd., is based. I am very happy to learn that the two towns' exchange has since continued, in the form of educational and cultural programs for elementary and junior high school students, the preservation of Okayama's traditional folk performing art, known as Bichu Kagura, and the like.
The photo shown here was taken after the presentation of the letter of appreciation; Mr. Ryoji Kita, the present mayor of Naie, and Mr. Mitsumoto, deputy mayor, were also able to find the time to join us despite their busy schedules.
During the ceremony for presentation of the letter of appreciation, Mayor Kita told us that he had named a calf born on his ranch "Northern R Igetalloy Hope," by combining his name (kita means "north" in Japanese) and one of the NSS product brands, and that the calf was selected the Best Holstein in Hokkaido and received an "Excellent Award". This got us into an animated conversation about the name of the next calf, which some suggested should be "Glorious." I was deeply touched as I realized how strong was the presence of NSS in the life of the local community, and how much affection the community feels for the company.
While we were talking, I learned that Mr. Yorozu and Mayor Kita are next-door neighbors, and that Mr. Yorozu's parents and Mayor Kita's mother are natives of Awaji Island, like myself. What a coincidence! I couldn't help feeling that we are connected by some mysterious links. The frontier spirit of these men, who have dedicated their lives to Hokkaido's development and progress, inspired me greatly and strengthened my resolution to continue, despite the severe business situation, doing my utmost to make Sumitomo Electric a "Glorious Excellent Company."
Once again, happy 100th birthday, Mr. Yorozu; my very best wishes for your continued good health and success!