December 27, 2013,15:10 +0900(JST) Thank You for Your Support Throughout The Year

Our new year’s holiday starts tomorrow.

Looking back on this year, the U.S. economy started to gradually recover and the business confidence in Japan showed a sign of improvement resulting from Abenomics, or the government’s economic policies. In parallel with this, the business results of our group have also improved to upwardly-revise the estimates for the entire year as of November. This is greatly attributed to your support and cooperation. I would like to take this opportunity to express my deepest gratitude.

We have a number of challenges ahead for the years to come, including the business planning and commercialization of new technologies and new products which are now in their early stages, such as redox flow battery, and the improvement of our corporate structure to make it a lean and competitive one that is capable of withstanding whatever changes may come. While respecting the basics and learning from our shortcomings, we will strive to be a company that produces innovative products to contribute to society. I would like your continued support and encouragement for the next year.

In closing, I would like to express my best wishes for happiness and good health for all of you and your families throughout the new year.

December 27, 2013,13:30 +0900(JST) Show a Roadmap

At Sumitomo Electric, in-house research presentation meetings are held regularly. Every December, such a presentation meeting takes place at Itami Works, the base of our group’s material development. The other day, six presentations, mainly on material development, were given at the Works. Although I do not have an academic background in science, for a long time after joining Sumitomo Electric I was engaged in a powdered-alloy-related business, and have some knowledge regarding material development. That is why I always listen with strong interest to presentations at Itami Works.

At one of the presentations given the other day, the speaker happened to awaken very fond memories in me by referring to the name of a former senior colleague who took care of me at the company when I was young. The colleague, an expert on ceramics, used to take me out drinking on the way home from work, and passionately tell me - I was still inexperienced at that time - about the potential of ceramics and diamonds as industrial materials.

I remember that in those days I was much occupied with my daily duties, but after listening to him, I felt able to conjure up a picture of the future, though it was just the near future. I now think that he had his own roadmap, predicting that “Material X will be developed next, followed by material Y, which will change the world in the way of Z.”

It can be said that the development of new products is like sailing the ocean without a chart. It is necessary for supervisors to follow the direction in which seabirds fly, check the locations of stars at night, and passionately inform their subordinates that there is definitely a new world ahead of them. Of course, not everything goes as the supervisors plan. However, if they confidently show their young staff the direction to go, and extend their perspectives when they are too occupied with their current duties, they might be the first to find a small sign of an island beyond the horizon.

Checking status of AZ91 magnesium alloy sheet processing line prior to presentation meeting

December 27, 2013,11:40 +0900(JST) Executive Training Program

Two Saturdays ago, I stayed at the Ikoma Seminar House and attended the final presentation meeting of Sumitomo Electric’s Executive Training Program. This year marks the program’s 9th anniversary, and thus far we have accumulated a valuable archive of presentations on various topics. Actually, I myself often read and refer to some proposals made in such presentations. As well, some measures have been introduced into our group’s management from such proposals. At the presentation meeting held this time, there were nine proposals including some from our affiliated companies outside Japan.

In July, a very vague topic was presented to each team participating in the training program. The topic was selected on the basis of the management’s problem awareness. (The topic at last year’s training program was “risks of business development in China.” Right after the selection of that topic, an anti-Japan movement occurred in China. The trainees of the program analyzed and examined the ongoing movement.) We, the management, are genuinely serious about selecting a topic and asking questions of each team regarding its presentation.

Trainees of the program are required to research current conditions regarding the given topic, clarify problems and find measures to resolve them. Since the trainees must carry out these tasks while fulfilling their daily responsibilities, they likely feel that half a year flies by quickly. I know that some trainees use their days off to discuss the topic. However, if their presentation lacks a new perspective or fails to explore the topic sufficiently, I harden my heart and give them harsh comments.

At the other day’s final presentation meeting, I responded with harsh comments to proposals from some teams; all of them lacked philosophy as executive managers. Decision-making requires a firm philosophy, based on experiences and thoughts you have accumulated in your life thus far. It often happens, however, that even if a judgment seems theoretically reasonable, it actually begets opposition and disagreement. In such a case, I believe that your ability as an executive manager to make the right decision with firm resolve depends upon whether or not you have your own philosophy.

December 27, 2013,09:00 +0900(JST) Visit by the House of Representatives’ Promotion of Science and Technology & Innovation Special Committee

On December 2, eight members of the Promotion of Science and Technology & Innovation Special Committee from the House of Representatives visited our Yokohama Works. The purpose of the visit was to observe our demonstration operations of redox flow batteries, concentrator photovoltaic units, and an energy management system combining the batteries and units. This committee was established to develop comprehensive measures regarding the promotion of science and technology & innovation.

-	Guiding members to the demonstration site. The weather was so fine that it was an ideal day for solar power generation.

-	Explaining our efforts at the showroom.

At the subsequent Q&A session, I was asked many questions, such as regarding our business strategy for redox flow batteries, the possibility of making them smaller, and our patent strategy. Although the barrage of questions made me flinch a little bit, it indicated the members’ strong interest in and expectation for our technology.

Their visit ended with the committee’s chair, Mr. Naokazu Takemoto, giving us encouraging comments in the following line with, “We would like to express our high respect for your research and development for the past tens of years. It is certain that this is a technology that Japan should be proud of before the whole world, but I guess there are some difficulties for a private company to further improve such a technology on its own. The national government will aim to provide you with appropriate support, and we hope that you will continue doing your best.”

In the hope that we will live up to the expectation, we intend to accelerate our efforts.

December 10, 2013,14:15 +0900(JST) Tokyo Motor Show

On November 22, I visited the 43rd Tokyo Motor Show 2013.
After the opening ceremony attended by the event’s patron, her Imperial Highness Princess Yohko of Mikasa, I walked around the venue. I heard that there were more world premier vehicles exhibited this year than at the previous event held two years ago. This might have been due to the Japanese economic climate, which is now beginning to revive. At some booths, car show models and other staff members danced to exciting upbeat rhythm music, energizing the event’s atmosphere.

Exhibited at the show was a splendid array of works that represented car manufacturers’ confidence and pride, such as fuel cell vehicles running on hydrogen, which emits no CO2; concept cars equipped with next-generation technologies; and new models to be launched in the market soon. Although I visited the venue before it was open to the public, the atmosphere there was already vibrant.

At our group’s booth, a cross-sectional car model was exhibited in order to introduce our wide variety of technologies, such as battery charge technologies used for PHEVs and EVs, network technologies for connecting the inside and outside of cars, and aluminum harnesses for reducing car weight. I heard that many from the mass media visited our booth.

Many other parts manufacturers also set up booths, where they demonstrated cutting-edge technologies related to energy saving, the environment, and safety. As I felt at the ITS World Congress Tokyo held in October, the automobile industry is now beginning to feature an even broader perspective of how to contribute to the creation of a rich society. Alongside this trend is the increased number of entries into the automotive field by companies from different spheres; Google, for instance, is currently developing car driving technologies. It is naturally expected that competition in developing new technologies will become even more intense. To survive amidst this fierce competition, it is, of course, critical to connect our group’s technological assets with market needs as soon as possible.

Experiencing the “smart rubber sensor” at the Tokai Rubber Industries booth

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.

Recent posts




  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec











About This Blog


This blog delivers updated information in an XML-based content delivery format (RSS). Get the URL into your RSS reader or RSS compatible browser.

Corporate Profile Video
Sumitomo Electric Channel