October 28, 2013,13:55 +0900(JST) How Can We Foster Our Human Resources?


At the Sumitomo Athletics Festa, I had opportunities to talk to several coaches from the athletics clubs of other companies and teachers from local schools. Most of our discussion was about how we should train our athletes.


- In a small team, instruction methods need to be selected depending on individuals’ abilities and personalities.

- Although it is sometimes effective to change a training environment, including coaches and facilities, a well prepared environment can spoil the athletes, while competitive athletes think for themselves and find their own training methods even under poor conditions.

- Many top athletes do not like to be instructed by others. It is still difficult to know how to maximize their abilities and how to instruct them when their technical week points are found.

- More careful consideration may be required regarding how to praise and coach athletes, rather than focusing on training menus, etc.

We could continue to talk forever about nurturing talent. I found it the same in fostering the human resources of a company.


October 28, 2013,10:55 +0900(JST) Sumitomo Athletic Festa Vol. 2


On October 20, the Sumitomo Athletics Festa was held at the Sumitomo Multi-Purpose Sports Field in Itami, Hyogo. The event started last year, and this year again was attended by many star athletes in Japan including Ms. Kayoko Fukushi (Wacoal Corp.), Mr. Masashi Eriguchi (Osaka Gas Co., Ltd.), Mr. Yuzo Kanemaru (Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.) and Ms. Hitomi Shimura (Saga Athletics Association).

The event consisted of two parts. In the morning, an athletics workshop was held with a attendance of 200 local students. Due to the bad weather condition, the workshop was held in a gym. Mr. Jun Osakada (Osaka Gas) coached elementary school students, while Mr. Hiroki Fujikawa (Sonoda Women's University Track and Field Club) trained junior high school students.


When Mr. Osakada was a student, he had a classmate who ran faster than he. To beat his friend, he trained hard and eventually he got selected as an Olympic runner. Listening to this story from Mr. Osakada in person made the children so excited and motivated.
I hope that many of the students who attended this workshop now find athletics interesting and begin practicing with utmost effort.

In the afternoon, although it was still raining, a meet was held for athletes to challenge the Japanese records. At the reception party held the day before I had encouraged them to be relaxed and enjoy the event but at the start of the meet, everyone seemed to be nervous.

One of the highlights was the men’s 60 m sprint. It is seldom held and the Japanese record (6"69s) has not been broken for thirty years, so naturally expectations were high for a new record. No sooner than I heard the starter pistol, Mr. Eriguchi, who promised me to do his best under any condition, reached the finish line. The electric scoreboard displayed 6"57s and the spectators applauded with excitement. However, the tailwind measured was 2.1 m/s, and his record was not officially recognized. (The maximum tail wind eligible for an official record is under 2.0 m/s.) Although it was disappointing, it was not something we can change.

Rained as though heaven were joining in our tears for Mr. Eriguchi’s vanished new recordMr. Dote (Sumitomo Electric) won the men’s 100m<br />
Receiving huge encouragement from the locals, our athletics club members also did a great job with three winners including Mr. Hiroshi Dote, who won the close race of the 100 m, and Mr. Kensuke Takezawa, who showed off his astonishing performance in the 5000 m.

Partly because of the cold rain, new records were not set. However, I believe that the spectators enjoyed competitive games by Japan’s top athletes with an unexpected result for Japan’s major runner Ms. Fukushi to have come in 4th in the 5000 m.

Mr. Takezawa (Sumitomo Electric) overtook Mr. Matsumoto (Otsuka Pharmaceutical)Ms. Shimura (Saga Athletics) and Ms. Airi Ito (Sumitomo Electric) competed fiercely in the 100m hurdles
Of all the programs, the most popular games were actually the 3000 m sprint by junior high school students. Cheers from classmates, teachers and families never stopped until the last runner finished his race.

Despite the poor weather conditions, the event was a success again this year. I would like to thank everyone, particularly the athletes who did their best, the Kansai Industrial Track and Field Association and the other staff members who organized the event, and the people who gave warm cheers to the athletes.

Ms. Fukushi commenting that she could not perform well todayHigashiosaka College team won the 800m relay setting a new record for Japanese female college students
We will continue to develop this pleasing event for us to share the joy of athletics with local people.

October 22, 2013,17:20 +0900(JST) What the Vehicles and Transportation Systems Will Be Like in the Future


On October 15, I went to the ITS World Congress Tokyo 2013 to see and experience much of the world’s most cutting-edge technologies first hand.

Before the opening ceremony in the morning, the event host and exhibitors, including me, gave a salute to Prince and Princess Akishino. Then I went to our booth to encourage our staff members who had been stationed there, and I had a briefing from them about the exhibitions. With the concept of “Smart Connected Society,” our booth introduced a wide variety of technologies and solutions that we have developed in the fields of automobile, energy, and information and communications technology.

Waiting for the opening at our booth

I also took part in demonstration tests held outside of collision prevention systems developed by Toyota Motor Corporation and Nissan Motor Company respectively, using actual vehicles. On that day, bad weather conditions were expected due to a typhoon, and all the demonstration tests scheduled for the afternoon had been cancelled. I was lucky to be able to reserve a seat for the test driving.

The car stopping sharply

During the test driving, the car was accelerated suddenly and driven directly at an obstacle on purpose. I understood in my mind that the car would stop, but still I could not help feeling nervous. I was almost screaming when the car was about to hit the obstacle. The other passengers and I were so relieved that we felt like applauding.

The system successfully prevents collisions and makes automatic driving safer by continuously monitoring all around the car with many on-vehicle sensors, transmitting vast amounts of data that is processed almost instantaneously to make the optimal decision and control the movement of the car.I wish I could take a look into the minds of the engineers who have written such complex equations.

At ribbon-cutting ceremony (second from left)

Many people visited our booth

Despite the bad weather, many people visited our booth. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the visitors.

October 18, 2013,13:30 +0900(JST) Attended IWCC Board Meeting and LME Dinner Party


Attended IWCC Board Meeting and LME Dinner PartyOn October 8, the annual dinner party hosted by the London Metal Exchange (LME) was held at the Grosvenor Hotel in London, with the attendance of some 2,000 people engaged in the copper industry across the world. In parallel with this party, the International Wrought Copper Council (IWCC) held its board meeting.

As chairman of the IWCC, which has a history of 60 years, I have been struggling to enhance the member companies’ trust and involvement in the council, thereby contributing to the development of the global copper processing industry. For the relationship with the LME, however, it is time for the IWCC to clearly define its position and show the direction it is heading in.

Currently, copper processors have been faced with many challenges such as the response to the wildly fluctuating copper price, insufficient information disclosure (lack of transparency) related to the LME’s business model, procurement and delivery conditions manipulated by non-copper industries that are intervening in LME’s storehouse inventory control (particularly those in the financial field), and additional premium payments. All of these are serious problems that can significantly undermine the business of copper processors.

The LME was acquired by the Hong Kong Exchanges in December 2012, and China will have increased influence over the operation of this organization after 2016. At the meeting, I warned the board members that the IWCC needs to change to address this situation. Otherwise the members would turn their back on it and the council would lose its significance.

October 15, 2013,13:45 +0900(JST) Ceremony to Welcome and Encourage New Staff Members


On October 1, we held a ceremony to welcome and encourage new staff members who began to work for Sumitomo Electric on the day of the event and in the first half of this fiscal year.

The ceremony was attended by eight new graduates and 20 mid-career recruits. Expected to play a major role in the new era to come, these new members with a wide variety of career backgrounds were filled with eagerness and vigor. Although looking somewhat nervous, they listened to me attentively.

Ceremony to Welcome and Encourage New Staff MembersThe essence of my speech lay in the importance of correctly understanding the 400-year-old Sumitomo Spirit and doing creative jobs.

The keywords of the Sumitomo Spirit are as follows:
- “Banji-nissei” - Doing your sincere best as one person in not only business but also every aspect of your life
- “Shinyo-kakujitsu” – Placing prime importance on integrity and sound management and always living up to trust
- “Fusu-furi” – Not pursuing easy gains

Ceremony to Welcome and Encourage New Staff MembersIn addition, as I wrote in my blog the other day, I told the new members that sufficient information and resources were not always provided for jobs. I continued that it was important to do creative jobs in that situation with limited conditions and assumptions, using the wisdom and experience accumulated so far.

To realize VISION 2017 and step forward to the transformation into a Glorious Excellent Company, it is vital for young staff members to demonstrate their potentials. By adapting themselves to a new environment and life, as well as interacting actively with people around them, I hope that they will grow to become trusted employees.

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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