October 29, 2015,10:50 +0900(JST) The Osaka Marathon 2015

On October 25, the 5th Osaka Marathon took place. The weather was fine and chilly. At 8:55 a.m., the wheelchair marathon started from the front of the Osaka-jo Castle Park, then at 9:00 a.m., a short course race, the marathon challenge run started. More than 32,000 athletes, which is the largest participant number of this event, started running toward the goal at Intex Osaka.

After seeing them off at the starting point, I went on ahead to the finish line to receive them. The first finisher was Mr. Hiroki Nishida for the wheelchair marathon with a meet record of 1 hour 27 minutes. This is his second victory of the meet for two years in a row. For the men's full marathon Mr. Daniel Kosgei of Kenya won his first victory of the meet. I hear that Kenyan runners have dominated any races except the 2nd Osaka Marathon. It's typical of "Kenya, the master of long-distance running." For women's, Ms. Maryna Damantsevich of Belarus won for two years in a row with a meet record.

I cheered for runners just in front of the finish line.

I cheered for runners just in front of the finish line.

After that, amateur runners in a wide variety of colorful costumes reached the finish line one after another. This year Mr. Jimmy Onishi, a Japanese painter and comedian, assumed a goodwill ambassador and joined the marathon. For him this is the first try of running a marathon. As I congratulated him for his succeeding in completing the marathon, he said "This will be the last marathon for me." So I said to him, "Come on! Please come again next year!"

This event is supported by many people such as runners, volunteers, event-related staff, and supporters who cheered for the runners along the course (I hear that the event gathered 1.32 million spectators this year!). It makes me feel that the Osaka Marathon has now become an invigorating event of Osaka in autumn. As for the "charity program," which is a major characteristic of the meet, the amount of contribution-raised money thankfully increases year by year. This year over 120 million yen had already been donated before the event, which exceeded that of last year.

I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude for your support given to all of these things.

With Sumitomo Electric staff members who finished the race and their families.

With Sumitomo Electric staff members who finished the race and their families.

October 27, 2015,10:30 +0900(JST) Business Trip to US and UK (2)

In Chicago, there had been scheduled an important program, a partnership signing ceremony between the marathon associations of Osaka and Chicago, for the former I serves as chairperson.

In 2012 the two committees signed the agreement for the first time. Since then the both bodies have dispatched athletes to each other and built a good friendship, and therefore, they renewed the agreement for another five years. I signed the agreement smoothly and renewed my acquaintance with Mr. Carey Pinkowski, executive race director of the Chicago Marathon.

The signing ceremony
The signing ceremony

On October 11, the Chicago marathon was held under fine weather and moderate temperature. It was a spectacle that about 40,000 runners competed in the 42.195 km, a course including the lakeside of Michigan in the season of fall. The event attracted 2 million spectators along the route and is said to have had a positive economic impact of over 20 billion yen. Many Japanese runners had participated in the race.

Incidentally, the Osaka marathon gathers 32,000 runners and 1.2 million spectators and has a positive economic impact around 15 billion yen. In any case, it's a big event. The Osaka Marathon organizing committee spends a year to prepare for the event. It's not an easy task.

October 27, 2015,10:30 +0900(JST) Business Trip to US and UK (3)

Leaving the US, I flied to the UK to attend the gala diner of the London Metal Exchange (LME), to which I am invited every year.

The party was attended by more than 2,000 people. It started with the speech of the chairperson of the organization, then those of the visitors followed. The participants seated at the table listened to those speeches and afterwards continued having confabulation until late at night. Light conversations with executives in the nonferrous metals industry, some of whom were familiar figures to me, are important as information. Communicating with such leaders active on the front line are truly sources of living information since the commodity prices continue to stay low globally.

Incidentally, the staff at the Grosvenor House Hotel, they served a hot meal instantly and simultaneously to 2,000 guests. It was an admirable skill!

Before coming back to Japan, I carried out the schedule of various events. I would like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation for all the support provided from the local staff members.

October 21, 2015,15:30 +0900(JST) Business Trip to US and UK (1)

I went on an overseas business trip for two weeks (San Francisco, Chicago, Milwaukee, and London) for the first time in a while. This long-term trip was rich in content and productive. Traveling more than one country at one time --from the United States to Europe--it compelled me to stay up all the time. Suffering from jet lag, it's out of question. In such a trip, I have to be more careful in my physical condition than when I am in Japan. If I came back to Japan with fatigue, I would not be able to fulfill my duty. Moreover, people around me would be worried about me.

At Sumitomo Electric Carbide Manufacturing
At Sumitomo Electric Carbide Manufacturing

The primary purpose of the trip was to attend the Sumitomo Electric Executive Conference of the Americas (SEECA), where the executives of affiliated companies in the Americas meet once a year. In the meeting, each company explains their situation and raises some issues. All the participants discuss them openly to find keys to solve the issues and bring them to constructive actions.

The content of the discussion becomes richer year by year, creating programs that extend across the boundary between companies. I requested them to produce results through these programs and further develop themselves to be good organizations. At the party held after the conference, I felt their enthusiastic sense of unity, which was very dependable.

  • Atmosphere in the SEECA

    Atmosphere in the SEECA

  • The Construction site of Submarine Cable in San Francisco Bay and a floating crane, left, used for installation: Sumitomo's cable is installed, passing under the Bay Bridge, back.

    The Construction site of Submarine Cable in San Francisco Bay and a floating crane, left, used for installation: Sumitomo's cable is installed, passing under the Bay Bridge, back.

October 13, 2015,15:30 +0900(JST) Talk with New Recruits

On October 1, we had another important event. A welcome reception for new recruits who plan to join Sumitomo Electric on the general career track in April 2016. More than one hundred new graduates had conversations with members of our management.

Although I was bit tired after having serious discussion at a meeting in that afternoon, speaking with those cheerful and energetic young people filled me with energy.

Due to a change in the activity period of job-hunting/recruiting this year, both the new graduates and recruiting companies were forced to confront difficult situations in their activities. At the welcome reception, some students said that after prolonged hard activities of job hunting they would be finally able to enjoy their student lives until graduation.

From now on, they have six months until graduation. They can master their study, bring their club activities to successful conclusions, participate in volunteer activities, or set off on a journey. Receive impulses from whatever they do--such experiences with sweat and effort will expand their scope, through which I hope they find their own property that will guide them to progress.

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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