March 31, 2015,16:05 +0900(JST) Yasuyuki Watanabe to Join Sumitomo Electric

It has been decided that Mr. Yasuyuki Watanabe will join Sumitomo Electric and work as an instructor for our athletics club. He will resign his post as the ekiden race coach of Waseda University's athletics club at the end of this month. On March 19, in Tokyo, I attended a press conference together with Mr. Watanabe.

Yasuyuki Watanabe to Join Sumitomo Electric

Hoping to contribute to the promotion of sports as part of our social contribution efforts, Sumitomo Electric focuses on athletics. Thanks to the support of all of you, our athletics club was able to compete in the New Year Ekiden both last year and this year. In addition, we provide sponsorship for the Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon and the Osaka Marathon. Moreover, I serve as the President of the Osaka Association of All Athletics.

With this as a background, I had an opportunity to talk with Mr. Watanabe. He has been a star in the world of Japanese long-distance races, both before his retirement as an active runner and after beginning to work as a coach. Therefore, before we met I knew of him, though he may not have known of me. When we met directly and talked with each other, we found that we shared many of the same views in terms of how to nurture athletes, making our conversation even more exciting. Afterwards, I learned that he would be leaving Waseda's athletics club, and I invited him to join Sumitomo Electric.

Yasuyuki Watanabe to Join Sumitomo Electric

On the 19th, when we held our press conference, another press conference was being held to announce the members of the men's national soccer team at almost the same time. However, our conference drew about 40 media representatives, and the news of Mr. Watanabe joining us was widely reported in the newspapers and on the Internet. This has made me feel once again that there are high expectations for Mr. Watanabe.

Our athletics club is still a newcomer in the world of athletics. At the press conference, Mr. Watanabe said that he would make a start as a marathon instructor from scratch. However, this suggests to me that he will nurture marathon runners through reasonable and scientific methods based on cutting-edge training theories, rather than sticking to past methods and customs.

In the world of Japanese marathon running, a new record has not been set since 2002, when there was still a possibility that Japanese runners could be competitive with top-level foreign runners. Since then, however, the speed of the world's runners has been becoming faster and faster, leading to the world record being reduced by nearly three minutes. On the other hand, in the list of the all-time 10 best results of Japanese runners, only three records have been set in the past 10 years. Hearing this, I feel that it is of vital performance for us to try new methods. I would be very pleased if people are able to say that "Sumitomo Electric is doing something fun" in the first phase, then say "Sumitomo Electric has changed instruction methods in the world of Japanese athletics," and finally, if the new methods are able to produce Japanese marathon runners who can compete successfully on the global stage.

Nevertheless, human resources development is much like a marathon race. It takes a lot of time, and it is often necessary to consider what should be done while the relevant project is on the move. I would like to ask for your support for our athletics club from a long-term perspective.

Yasuyuki Watanabe to Join Sumitomo Electric

March 25, 2015,10:00 +0900(JST) Graduation Ceremony of Kansai University of Nursing and Health Sciences

Partly because I was born on Awaji Island, I serve as the chairperson of the supporters' association for Kansai University of Nursing and Health Sciences, which is located on the island. The other day, I was invited to the university's graduation ceremony, where I delivered a message to the young people who were about to leave the school. I would like to share part of that message with you.

When I graduated from university, I was advised by one of my instructors as follows: "After you begin work, you will be occupied with your work almost all the time, other than when you are sleeping. So, if you cannot enjoy your work, it follows that you won't enjoy your life itself. It's important to consider what you should do to make your work exciting, and take action."

What should we do to enjoy working?

At the graduation ceremony, I first advised students to fully prepare for everything. Looking back at my career, I find that I have dealt with difficult jobs one after another. If I have made full preparations to the level which I believe to be satisfactory, strangely enough, I have felt encouraged to try harder. In addition, by always trying to make sufficient preparations, I have obtained the trust of people around me.

I also shared with students an episode with the late Masao Kamei, a former president of Sumitomo Electric. While I was accompanying him on an overseas business trip, he told me that wisdom was generated especially in difficult times. If something bad happens, some people tend to give up too soon, saying, "It's over." If things don't go as planned, people sometimes feel discouraged. Every time I feel that way, I tell myself not to become defeated and to remember that wisdom is generated especially in difficult times. This is how I have developed my career to this day.

I assume that nursing and medical care entail a wide variety of problems. However, they are important services that people cannot do without in their daily lives. I hope that each of the university's graduates will be proud of being involved in such vital services. I also hope that they will consider what they should do to enjoy their jobs and find their own styles to do so after a lot of trial and error. I look forward to seeing these young people fully demonstrating their capabilities to society.

March 25, 2015,09:30 +0900(JST) Seminars for Those Promoted to New Positions

Throughout your career, you will experience various important turning points, such as a change in your responsibilities, relocation to a different department or work place, or being transferred to a different company. Added to these are promotions. At Sumitomo Electric, January every year is the time for promotions. During the period from January to around March, we hold seminars for those promoted to new positions, according to the level of the position.

Seminars for Those Promoted to New PositionsThese seminars cover an extensive range of topics, from safety, human rights, compliance with laws and regulations, and diversity, to management strategies. All the topics are those that must be confirmed once again by those promoted to new positions. At the end of these seminars, members of our management share their experiences with the participants. Actually, I deliver messages for new division managers and new section managers every year.

Seminars for Those Promoted to New PositionsI have so many things that I would like to talk about to people who will lead the next generation, although I need to speak within a limited time. So this year, I spoke about several points that I always feel to be important. Specifically, I focused on the importance of communication, the principle of the "three actuals," expectations for leaders, having an awareness of human resource development, the necessity of creative work, and the significance of the liberal arts. Eventually, my message covered an extensive range of topics. Although I frequently refer to these topics, I expect the seminar participants to consider them once again and take action.

As usual, after the seminar, a friendly meeting was held involving the seminar's lecturers, participants, and the management of our company. This was the first time that some participants had spoken with me directly. In addition, for me, this was an invaluable opportunity to learn directly about what is happening on the front line of the company, ranging from the current situation of new technology development to the atmosphere at each workplace.

March 16, 2015,09:45 +0900(JST) Ceremony to Provide Monetary Contributions to University Courses and Financial Support for Academic and Research Activities

Under the themes of "Respect for Human Resources," "Attaching Importance to Technology," and "Creating a Better Society and Environment," the Sumitomo Electric Group promotes social contribution activities in an independent manner. As part of this, in April 2009, we established the SEI Group CSR Foundation in order to contribute toward the development of human resources and the promotion of academic activities in various fields both in Japan and overseas. (In February 2010, the foundation was certified as a public interest incorporated foundation.)

One of the main activities carried out by the foundation is to provide monetary contributions to university courses and financial support for academic and research activities. On March 3, a ceremony was held to provide this fiscal year's donations and financial support for university courses and academic and research projects. The ceremony was attended by instructors from three courses selected as new recipients, from five courses designated as continuous recipients, and from 19 academic and research projects. As usual, we have selected these recipients not only from fields related to our group business domains, but also from more extensive fields, ranging from neuroscience and nano/micro science to economics and pedagogics. In addition, the ceremony was also attended by instructors from university courses that had received donations from the foundation in the past. These instructors presented the research results that they had achieved so far.

When I was talking with instructors after the ceremony, some of them commented in line with the following: "I'm very pleased and encouraged that my inconspicuous research has been selected" or "On top of advancing my research, the donation has helped young researchers in my team improve themselves." I don't feel that the amount of the donations and financial support from the foundation is so large. However, their remarks have showed me that although the donations and financial support might not seem of much use, they are surely useful to these instructors, which makes me feel very happy.

Sumitomo Electric Group's Social Contribution

SEI Group CSR Foundation

March 11, 2015,11:00 +0900(JST) 70th Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon

On March 1, the 70th Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon was held. This was the third time for us at Sumitomo Electric to be involved in the event as the main sponsor; we have been supporting it as the main sponsor since the 68th race. On the previous day, the weather was so fine that the organizers doubted the weather forecast for the next day, which predicted the probability of rain to be 90%. The next day, however, a cold rain fell as predicted.

Even after the race began at 12:30, it continued raining. Nevertheless, many spectators cheered the runners on from the sidelines. Since I needed to attend the award ceremony, I watched the race on TV in a staff room at the stadium. Even through the TV screen, I could see that it was raining heavily. In addition, there was also a strong wind from time to time, making the conditions even more severe for the runners. At the finish line, I welcomed the runners who had completed the 42.195 km course. Getting cold to the bone, all the runners were shivering.

Mr. Fujimura, a member of our athletics club, got leg cramps at around the 8 km point, probably due to the cold weather. He fell out of the leading pack at the 10 km point, eventually finishing the race in 58th place. When he came to greet me and other supporters after the race, he was still shivering violently, even though he was wearing a thick long coat. According to Mr. Fujimura, the wind and rain were so severe that he sometimes could not even open his eyes. However, I believe that the experience of the race under such severe weather conditions will surely benefit him in the future. Mr. Fujiyama, a teammate, did not participate in the race, which might have made Mr. Fujimura feel more pressure. Anyway, I hope that he will continue to train both physically and mentally in order to prepare for his next race.

With this as the background, Samuel Ndungu (Kenya) won the race for the second time after a three year absence, with a time of 2:09:08, more than two minutes in front of the second runner. All I can say is that this was just amazing.

Due to the rain, the award ceremony was held under the stand of the stadium. The leftmost runner is Mr. Ndungu, the winner, while next to him is Mr. Meucci (Italy), the second finisher. The man shaking hands with me is Mr. Bat-Ochir (third finisher, NTN, Mongolia), to whom I presented a laurel wreath at the 2012 Osaka Marathon. The runner on the far right is Mr. Maeda, the fourth finisher (Kyudenko).This was the 13th time in a row for a foreign athlete to become the champion at the Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon. In a race which doubles as a Japan's trial for the IAAF World Championships in Athletics or other competitions, media reports tend to focus on who the first Japanese finisher is, from the perspective of the selection standards. However, I hope that Japanese runners always keep in mind that they compete with athletes from all over the world.

I would like to conclude by expressing my sincere appreciation to all of you who rooted for the runners along the course or in the stadium despite the rain. In bad weather like this, the warm support from you must have encouraged the athletes very much.

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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