March 24, 2017,09:00 +0900(JST) 72nd Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon

The 72nd Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon, for which we served as the major sponsor, was held on March 5, and I went to Ojiyama Stadium for the event. Partly because the race doubled as a trial for the IAAF World Championships in Athletics to be held in London this August, I feel that it drew much public attention.

Since no runners from our athletics club competed in the race this year, we did not organize an in-house cheering squad, making me feel slightly sad. On the day of the event, however, the weather was good, and the stadium was filled with many marathon enthusiasts, making the atmosphere very exciting.

At the start of the race
At the start of the race

The race started in good conditions, with the temperature being about 12℃, and with little wind. As many of you may have already known, the race first continued at a relatively fast pace, making many spectators look forward to an excellent record. However, a Japanese runner fell back from the lead pack, and then another.
Mr. Abraham Chebii from Kenya made a final surge at the stadium, before successfully winning the race. Meanwhile, the top Japanese finisher ended up in fourth place overall, with a record of over 2 hours 10 minutes. This result was a bit disappointing

To generate the desired result within the limited time available, it is important to clarify one's goals (specific target) and timeframe (method and schedule toward achievement), which also applies to business.
It is only slightly more than three years before the Tokyo Olympic Games. The gap to fill in order to catch up with the world leaders is never small, and I hope that all athletes will continue working hard.

Placing a laurel crown on the head of Mr. Chebii (Photo courtesy of the Mainichi Newspapers)
Placing a laurel crown on the head of Mr. Chebii (Photo courtesy of the Mainichi Newspapers)

March 23, 2017,09:00 +0900(JST) Donations Provision Ceremony and Interaction Meeting by SEI Group CSR Foundation

The other day, the SEI Group CSR Foundation, for which I serve as president, held a donations provision ceremony and interaction meeting, inviting researchers who would receive monetary contributions and financial support from the organization.

With attendees
With attendees

In accordance with the Sumitomo Electric Group Basic Principles for Social Contribution, the foundation, established in 2009, works under the themes of "Respect for Human Resources," "Attaching Importance to Technology," and "Creating a Better Society and Environment." Specifically, the foundation provides monetary contributions for university courses, and financial support for academic research activities in order to contribute to academic activities. The foundation also grants scholarships in order to develop human resources.
This fiscal year, a total of eight university courses, consisting of two new recipients and six continuous recipients, will receive monetary contributions from the foundation. Moreover, the foundation will provide financial support for 31 academic research projects selected from among 168 applicants.

At the donations provision ceremony
At the donations provision ceremony

At the ceremony, five of these recipients reported on their research, followed by an interaction event, where I was able to talk with attendees and found all of their activities very interesting and significant in terms of social contribution.
An innovative science technology deserving of a Nobel Prize does not always come from a big project. Such a technology usually originates from a small, steady research project launched free from stereotypes. I greatly look forward to seeing the recipients' research activities leading to further advances in science technologies, as well as to further development of industrial technologies of Japan as a technology-oriented country.

I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere appreciation to all the screening members, who worked with enthusiasm in examining many applicants during their summer bon holidays.

March 17, 2017,09:00 +0900(JST) Our Athletic Club's Training Camp

The other day, on a business trip to Naha, Okinawa, I visited our athletic club, which was holding a training camp on Miyakojima Island. As their first training camp on the island, the camp was attended by a total of 10 athletes and staff members, including athletes who will join Sumitomo Electric this April.

There were many rainy days during the training camp, and it was cloudy when I visited them. As expected, however, it was warm on the island, and the athletes worked hard on their own training routine in short-sleeved shirts. After their training, I was able to talk with the athletes, each of whom showed a lot of enthusiasm about their future performance.

Together with the members at the training camp
Together with the members at the training camp

Unfortunately, the athletic club could not compete in this year's New Year Ekiden, a long-distance relay road race, making all of the members at the club feel very disappointed. I hope that they will use their frustration as an incentive to try harder.

This year will see the Japan National Championships in June in Osaka, the home of our company, and the IAAF World Championships in Athletics in August in London. I encouraged the athletes and staff in the hope that they will demonstrate excellent performance at such prestigious meets.

March 16, 2017,09:00 +0900(JST) Business Trip to the U.S.

The other day, I had a business trip to California, with a very tight schedule of two days and one night. During my stay there, I had an opportunity to meet with Japanese expats from our group companies in California.

It has been about one month since the start of the Trump administration. What will become of international politics and economics in the future? What should we at the Sumitomo Electric Group do to promote our business amid the uncertainty expected to continue? I avidly discussed these topics with the Japanese expats.

Together with the expats
Together with the expats

On Saturday morning, the day of my return to Japan, I spent the time before my flight strolling around San Francisco. I dropped by a hotel and found a statue of Tony Bennett, who sings my favorite big hit I Left My Heart in San Francisco.

The hotel is where Tony Bennett performed for the first time in his life, and where he held a concert last year. The statue was created to commemorate the tie between the hotel and the singer. In addition, the song's score is displayed at the hotel. While remembering the tune, I appreciated a few moments of relaxation.

  • In front of the statue of Tony Bennett
    In front of the statue of Tony Bennett
  • Score of I Left My Heart in San Francisco
    Score of I Left My Heart in San Francisco

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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