July 29, 2013,16:10 +0900(JST) Attending the Volkswagen Group Award 2013

On June 20, I attended the Volkswagen (VW) Group Award 2013 held in Dresden, Germany. This was the first ceremony that the automobile manufacturer held on a global basis. Approximately 150 excellent suppliers from around the world were invited to participate.

At the event, the VW Group’s top management explained the company’s policy, followed by recognition of the best 20 suppliers for the company. Sumitomo Electric was honored to win the Global Contribution Award. For this honor we received a certificate of commendation and an impressive trophy.

With other recipients

While listening to the words of appreciation by the VW Group’s top management on the podium, a kaleidoscope of memories of our having overcome various difficulties passed through my mind. Realizing that the award was the very result of the passion and strenuous efforts by Sumitomo Wiring Systems, Ltd. and Sumitomo Electric, I was sincerely thanking the employees who have worked hard in this country and staff members who have provided support from Japan.

This award has made me realize once again the importance of moving our businesses steadily forward on a step-by-step basis.

With VW Group chairman Winterkorn (right) and vice president (of procurements) Garcia (left)

July 11, 2013,17:15 +0900(JST) The 143rd Annual Shareholders’ General Meeting

On June 26, Sumitomo Electric held its annual shareholders’ general meeting in Osaka. Although unfortunately the weather was rainy, more than 600 shareholders participated in the meeting. I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere appreciation to them.

At the general meeting, we received about 10 questions and opinions regarding the progress of some of our new technology development, such as superconductivity, as well as regarding our efforts to support the reconstruction of the Tohoku region, and our ideas concerning human resources development. While responding to a wide variety of questions, we felt keenly from each comment and also from the atmosphere at the venue that all the shareholders took an interest in Sumitomo Electric on a daily basis and gave us generous support. This made us feel strongly encouraged. To accommodate expectations placed on us, we will work very hard again this fiscal year.

Meanwhile, the opinion was expressed that Sumitomo Electric’s documents and explanation use too many foreign words written in katakana, making them difficult to understand. It is certain that when explaining our products and technologies, we often use foreign words and jargon terms. Actually, even at in-house meetings, I sometimes ask for explanations of such words, saying “What is this about?”

Nevertheless, it seems that I, myself, tend to use foreign words quite often (although I was not aware of that). According to a staff member of the secretariat for the general meeting, I used many foreign words even in the subsequent explanation. We, including myself, will pay more attention to present easy-to-understand explanations.

July 11, 2013,17:05 +0900(JST) Energy Innovation Symposium in Ishikari

On June 15, I flew to Sapporo, Hokkaido to participate in the Energy Innovation Symposium held in Ishikari. At the New Chitose Airport, it was raining. However, the rain stopped by the beginning of the symposium, and I found the weather particularly comfortable compared to hot Osaka.

This symposium was held to commemorate an experimental research project for a high-temperature superconductive direct-current transmission system, which is to be conducted jointly by Chiyoda Corporation, Chubu University, Sakura Internet Inc., and Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd. under the auspices of the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry.

Superconductivity is a technology that reduces electrical resistance to zero. To be more exact, however, in the case of alternating-current transmission, a slight loss is generated. On the other hand, direct-current transmission is free from such loss. In this regard, there are expectations concerning combination with a direct-current power source, such as solar or wind power generation, as well as concerning use at data centers and other major energy consumers that need low-voltage, high-current electricity.

Sakura Internet Inc., one of our partners for this project, operates a data center in Ishikari. The data center’s energy consumption is reduced significantly by a direct-current supply system and an air-conditioning system utilizing cold open air in Hokkaido. For our experimental research project, we will begin constructing a superconductive direct-current transmission system that includes the data center as a consumer this fiscal year and commence the operation by the end of the next fiscal year.
(⇒Press Release: Experimental Research for High-temperature Superconductive Direct-current Transmission System

Delivering a greeting, saying “I hope that this test operation will help find broader applications for superconducting cables.”Prior to the symposium, I visited the data center in Ishikari. I was impressed by Sakura Internet Inc.’s attitude of incorporating cutting-edge technologies actively.

Hokkaido is blessed with rich sources of renewable energy, such as sunlight and wind. If the project generates favorable results, it will pave the way to the application in a smart community, where a wide variety of energy sources are used.

The symposium was attended by many persons concerned, such as Mr. Chuichi Date, Senior Vice-Minister of the Cabinet Office, Mr. Toshikazu Masuyama, Director-General of the Hokkaido Bureau of Economy, Trade and Industry, Ms. Harumi Takahashi, Governor of Hokkaido, and Mr. Katsusuke Taoka, Mayor of Ishikari City. The event made me aware once again of great expectations placed on us, making me renew my determination to achieve a great success for the project.

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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