January 25, 2011,09:06 +0900(JST) Pledging Success of Steel Tire Cord Joint Venture

At the end of last year, Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd. announced that the company had agreed with Hyosung Corporation (Hyosung), a leading Korean manufacturer of textile tire cord, to jointly set up a new steel tire cord manufacturing company in Thailand, and that the company would expand its business in China by acquiring a 30% stake in a Hyosung Chinese subsidiary. In this connection we last week received a visit from the top executives of Hyosung, including Vice Chairman Sang-Woon Lee.

At the beginning of the meeting, pledging the success of the joint venture, Mr. Lee and I firmly shook hands and exchanged commemorative gifts. From Hyosung we received sterling-silver figurines of sun, clouds, mountain, rock, river, pine tree, turtle, crane, deer, and an herb considered an elixir of life. In South Korea it is believed that collecting 10 such auspicious objects will make your wish most powerful. In return, Sumitomo Electric presented Hyosung with a sterling-silver fan with motifs of pine, bamboo and plum trees depicted on it, wishing that the joint venture will grow more and more prosperous, like the fan broadens towards the ends.

 Ceremonial photo of all participantsHyosung is a leader in the textile cord market, enjoying a global market share of over 40%. By combining Hyosung’s strong sales network, covering most major international tire manufacturers, with our outstanding technological capabilities, we plan to expand our business in ever-growing Chinese and ASEAN markets.

The Sumitomo Electric Group currently manufactures its steel tire cords in Japan and Indonesia, but the Group has been considering increasing its manufacturing bases to four countries, thereby doubling its production capacity.

We have just begun taking concrete actions. Deepening the relations of trust between the two companies, we will work together to ensure that the pledge we made this day will bear great fruit.

January 18, 2011,13:54 +0900(JST) “Banji-nissei” Calligraphy Fires Up R&D Group!

With “Banji-nissei” calligraphyI have been busy these days giving New Year speeches at various functions. Among them, a round of New Year speeches for administrated members has become one of the traditional events held by the head of the company. Starting in the Head Office (Osaka) last week, I visit eight locations around Japan.

I will not detail my speech here; I talked about human resources development, leadership, communications, ensuring compliance and other issues for about 30 minutes, taking into consideration the current environment surrounding the managerial staff.

After speaking at the Osaka Works, I went to appreciate the framed calligraphy work “Banji-nissei,” which at the end of last year was hung on the wall in the reception area of the new research building “WinD Lab.”

We received this calligraphy last September as a gift from Chairman Wang Jianyi of Futong Group Co., Ltd., China. This handsome, powerful piece was created by prominent Chinese calligrapher Wang Jienan at the age of 88. I deliberated for a considerable time upon the frame and the place that would befit the fine work. Concluding that it would be best used to inspire researchers, I decided to hang the calligraphy in the new R&D center, which was completed last year.

Hall clock“Banji-nissei” (Do your sincere best not only in business, but also in every aspect of your life) is one of the abiding principles of the Sumitomo Spirit, which has been handed down in the Sumitomo Electric Group for over 400 years. We expect to see innovative technologies and products created one after another by R&D staff in accordance with this principle.

This hall clock was donated by the family of the late Chisato Kawazoe (former Managing Director of Sumitomo Electric), victim of a plane crash in 1985 (then Senior Managing Director of Nissin Electric Co., Ltd.). Since he had been active in our R&D Group, the clock has been conspicuously placed at the floor entrance as a memento, though I am not going to say that the clock is overseeing the group in his place.

Regarding the 2011 kanji character of the year for the Sumitomo Electric Group, I chose “ten (展),” which means “to unfold” or “to expand.” It is my hope that all members of the Group will work together to unfold new products and technologies and to expand our business in the spirit of “Banji-nissei,” always bearing in mind that we are tackling the challenge of achieving the goals of “VISION 2012.”


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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