October 26, 2011,09:00 +0900(JST) Welcoming New Sumitomo Electric Members


Delivering a letter of appointmentOn the morning of October 3, we held ceremonies to welcome and encourage new recruits joining Sumitomo Electric this autumn. In the evening of the same day, we held a reception with students who will join Sumitomo Electric next spring.


Despite the cloudy weather, the morning sessions had a refreshingly dignified atmosphere, in which I delivered letters of appointment to 28 new recruits.


In my congratulatory address, in view of the currently uncertain business environment, I made the following three requests to the new members, by way of expressing my expectation and encouragement to them:


- Master the basics of work, and follow them conscientiously
- Place importance on communicating with others
- Develop the ability to think from several different perspectives


Giving congratulatory address to new membersBut what the new members must do first and foremost is to adapt to the new environment and lifestyle. I hope that the new recruits will actively get to know the people around them, build close relationships that will function as the basis of their life at the Company, and grow into full-fledged, trusted members of Sumitomo Electric. I also wish to see our new members enjoy rewarding careers, while taking good care of their health and safety.


In the evening, at the welcome reception for the 135 new recruits who plan to join Sumitomo Electric next spring, participants broke up into groups here and there, talking cheerfully about various subjects. Speaking with those young people, who will lead Sumitomo Electric Group’s future businesses, filled me with energy and enthusiasm.


Finally, here is my message to the future leaders of Sumitomo Electric: while you will be kept busy until graduation as you must complete your graduation theses or research projects, I hope that all of you will spend these last months of your student life in a meaningful way. I look forward to seeing you again in good health and high spirits in April 2012, at your company entrance ceremony.

October 24, 2011,10:22 +0900(JST) Message at the Beginning of the Second Half of Fiscal 2011


Currently, automobile-related and other domestic industries are on the track to recovery from the significant downturn that resulted from the Great Tohoku Earthquake. The global economy is, however, seeing mounting concern over further deceleration, with the IMF last month revising its 2011 and 2012 economic growth outlook for Europe and the U.S. down to the level of 1%.


For Sumitomo Electric, a company ambitiously trying to get ahead in the world market in the face of ongoing economic globalization, the stability and growth of the world economy is of course an issue of major concern. Yet what we must do first and foremost is to train our organizational muscles to be stronger and more adaptable to change.


On the morning of October 1, the day that began the second half of fiscal 2011, I delivered a message to all employees, calling on them to brace themselves to achieve the annual targets of SEQCDD (Safety, Environment, Quality, Cost, Delivery and R&D) improvement activities and the SWITCH Plus Campaign.


Specifically, I reviewed the performance in the first half of this year in terms of safety, environment, product quality and office work quality, and informed all Sumitomo Electric members of what we could have done better and what measures to take if we are to achieve substantial improvement in those areas. Like the basic motions in sports, the above-mentioned activities require hands-on learning through repetitive exercise. We will be able to tackle actual challenges (application of basic motions) only after reconfirming and adhering to the basic principles, namely (1) participation of all members, (2) compliance with the rules, and (3) clarification of exit (target) and time frame.


Another point I emphasized in my message is that no company or individual can grow in a hostile work environment. So I called for active and spontaneous participation of each and every employee in the SWITCH Plus Campaign, which is aimed at improving work-life balance through an efficient way of working. Through these steps, I asked all employees to create a warmer and more vibrant workplace and develop human resources that are able to work globally.


As the saying goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” So let us persevere in continuous efforts of the plan-do-check-act cycle so as to ensure steady improvement and, in the end, achieve our greatest goal of zero-accident factories and zero-defect processes. That is what I believe will make us a truly Glorious Excellent Company.

October 21, 2011,09:09 +0900(JST) Chinese G-katsu Winner Teams in Japan


 The other day, the teams that won the gold medal in the Group-wide Kaizen Activities ("G-katsu") Presentation Competitions in China came to Osaka (Head Office) to report on their activities. The teams represented Sumidenso Mediatech Suzhou Co., Ltd. (SDM-S), which is the winner of the competition in East China, and Sumidenso Mediatech (Huizhou) Ltd. (SDM-HZ), which is the winner in South China. I was very much looking forward to their visit.


Team membersTeam members2


Briefing with the membersIn the competitions, the teams presented the "G-katsu" activities that the SDM-S and SDM-HZ teams had carried out to improve productivity in manufacturing wiring harnesses for automobiles and wiring harnesses for solar power generators, respectively. The two teams described their activities and the related difficulties encountered. They accomplished admirable results with their ingenious efforts and enthusiasm, despite obstacles and problems that were specific to their locales and the manufacturing field.


Back in 1992, upon returning from my post in London, I was appointed General Manager responsible for automotive business planning. One of my main projects in those days was the international expansion of the automotive wiring harness business, aiming to develop it into one of the Company's core business segments. Recalling this, I was filled with rather deep emotion when I was made aware of the extent to which the wiring harness business has developed in China.


While meeting with members of the two teams, I first expressed my appreciation for the extra effort that people in the manufacturing field like them made to accelerate the recovery following a sudden output drop due to the supply chain disturbance caused by the Great Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami. I also encouraged them to continue making great achievements, emphasizing that China is in an extremely important sales and manufacturing base. This is very true as the Sumitomo Electric Group aims to win 30% of the global share in the automotive wiring harness market, while solar wiring harness business has also a great potential, given the growing demand for solar power generators and the recent trend of renewable energy source utilization.


I was told that the previous day the teams met with their counterparts from Osaka, Itami and Yokohama Works, the winning teams in the Japanese "G-katsu" competitions. The teams introduced their activities to each other and exchanged ideas and opinions. I hope that the encounter was stimulating and inspirational to them all.


The manufacturing field is the foundation of a manufacturing company like us. At the Sumitomo Electric Group, we are planning to further develop "G-katsu" and other improvement activities involving people working in the manufacturing field on a global scale for the Group's overall manufacturing excellence.

October 12, 2011,17:14 +0900(JST) Sumitomo Electric Version of “Environmental Minister in My Home – Eco Family”


This summer’s keywords were “energy savings.” I’m sure that all of you promoted a wide variety of efforts both at work and home.


We at the Sumitomo Electric Group successfully met the target of cutting peak power usage by 15%. We cut power usage by nearly 30% at our business establishments located in supply areas of Tokyo Electric Power Co., Inc. and Tohoku Electric Power Co., Inc. Moreover, even at our business establishments located in the supply area of Kansai Electric Power Co., Inc., which presented its energy savings request later than the above two power companies, we satisfied the target by cutting usage nearly 20%. This was largely due to the introduction of power generators and LED lighting with an investment of billions of yen, as well as to generous cooperation of our staff members, such as rotating their days off, staggering their working hours, and turning off air-conditioners frequently.
 

In 2007, we launched Eco-Life Activities to promote eco-friendly efforts not only at work but also in each home. Every year, approximately 1,000 people attend eco-life seminars, with a total of 7,000 families currently engaged in the Activities. To identify energy saving results, we used software provided by the Ministry of the Environment under the program of the Environmental Minister in My Home. Unfortunately, after government budget screening, the program was cancelled at the end of March. However, the software was still offered free of charge by the Ministry of the Environment. After adjusting the software to meet our needs, we started this September the Sumitomo Electric Version of Environmental Minister in My Home – Eco Family.


By ensuring that each member cuts his/her daily CO2 emissions by 1 kg, the entire Sumitomo Electric Group strives to cut its annual CO2 emissions by 5,000 tons. To achieve this target, we’d like to spread our activities more widely.


Now, I’d like to say a few words about energy saving efforts introduced at my own home this summer. I did not use any air-conditioners again this year. Instead, at night, I used a cool bamboo pad, ensuring a comfortable sleep. Further, after some deliberation, I changed lights at home to LEDs and purchased an energy-saving refrigerator. Needless to say, I also turned off lights whenever they weren’t in use. Since a water supply needs electricity, I used as little water as possible. I filled the bathtub with water as infrequently as possible, and took only showers. When I did fill the bathtub, we used the remaining water for washing clothes the next day. Under guidance of the Environmental Minister in My Home, I was engaged in full-scale eco-operation.


It seems there’s nothing I can do to save any further energy, and that there’s nothing further to cut in my household eco-account book. However, to prepare for possible power shortages expected this winter, I’d like to demonstrate further ingenuities, under the philosophy of “those who illuminate a small corner of society are truly a treasure of the nation.”

October 3, 2011,09:01 +0900(JST) Kansai Keizai Doyukai (Kansai Association of Corporate Executives) Future Industry Committee Lecture Meeting


The Future Industry Committee of Kansai Keizai Doyukai, which I serve as chairperson, held its first lecture meeting of this year, inviting as a speaker Mr. Tatsushi Shimamoto, Director of the Hakuhodo Institute of Life and Living. He delivered a speech on “Life after 3.11 and future industries from sei-katsu-sha perspective.”


He analyzed the results of the two questionnaire surveys conducted by his institute after the Great Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami, and clarified changes in attitudes and behaviors of the Japanese people, or sei-katsu-sha (which literally means “living person” and is used to express Hakuhodo’s perspective of viewing people as living individuals, rather than simply as consumers). He also talked about what is expected of corporations and offered suggestions regarding new business opportunities.


The director, Mr. Shimamoto identified five notable changes that have been brought about by the disaster. I won’t go into the details, but his speech was very informative. He cited examples of new trends in attitudes and behaviors of the Japanese people, and presented their voices gathered in the surveys. For example, respondents “have concerns but do not complain,” “think better of the ability of the Japanese people,” “want to acquire survival skills,” “act and get involved at their own risk,” and “have become aware of their roles and missions.”


His speech was followed by a lively question-and-answer session, in which participants asked what he thought of the changes brought about by globalization and those identified in the post-disaster surveys; they also sought his specific advice for businesses. Exceeding the specified time, the session must have been very productive for participants.


In my comment, I stated that first of all I felt relieved to hear the results of the surveys. I had expected that people, affected by a catastrophic disaster that occurs once every thousand years or so, would be emotionally devastated. But that is not the case. Japan recovered from its postwar devastation to become a world economic power. Such traits inherent to the Japanese people may have emerged in the face of the devastating earthquake and tsunami.


For corporations like us, it is essential to take care not to spoil these positive new trends, in either operating business or planning future business.

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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