November 4, 2016,16:00 +0900(JST) Attended the 11th Sumitomo Electric Top Executive Conference of the Americas

Recently, I attended a conference for all top executives of our group companies in the Americas. Held in Silicon Valley, it was a two-day event consisting of a dinner party on October 5 for participants in the executive conference and the main session on the following day, October 6.

Containing a wide variety of activities, such as exchanges of opinions on the current situations of group companies and the common challenges they face, reports of each committee's activities, suggestions, discussions, and guidance, the conference is improving each time in terms of its range of themes and quality. This event has made me realize that each group company is increasing its commitment to its local region, leading to the acceleration of localization. The common language used at the conference was English, and the Japanese expats showed a spectacular improvement in their English proficiency. Although I might be too optimistic, I feel that globalization and diversity are finally becoming a part of our corporate culture.

Whenever I see our employees putting in an excellent performance outside Japan, I make a lot of pleasant discoveries. On the other hand, in Japan, which lags behind, I keenly feel the necessity to further promote globalization and diversity.

The venue of the conference was San Jose, renowned for Silicon Valley, near San Francisco in California. Staff members of our group company in Silicon Valley drew up the necessary documents, arranged the venue, prepared an exciting party, arranged the accommodations for the participants, and did all the other necessary things. I would like to express my appreciation for their careful preparations and consideration with due care to even the minor details.

Since I serve as chairman of the Osaka Marathon Organizing Committee, on my way home from this U.S. business trip I also participated in an event held on October 9 to celebrate the eve of the Chicago Marathon, and enjoyed renewing my friendship with the Chicago Marathon Executive Race Director, Carey Pinkowski. Chicago and Osaka are sister cities, while the Chicago Marathon and the Osaka Marathon have also concluded a partnership agreement. Although both Director Pinkowski and I are busy, we meet at least once a year, contributing to grassroots-level diplomacy on behalf of the two cities. Executives at our group company in Chicago arranged for my annual stay in the city, and I would like to express my gratitude to them.

  • At the dinner party
    At the dinner party
  • At the conference
    At the conference
Together with conference participants
Together with conference participants

October 21, 2016,16:00 +0900(JST) Visit to Vietnam

The other day, I visited Vietnam, a country showing remarkable growth.

Even during the Vietnam War, we did not close our office in Saigon (present-day Ho Chi Minh City) and continued our business in a wide variety of fields centering on electric wire construction and infrastructure development. At the time of Saigon's fall in 1975, however, our expats left Vietnam, barely escaping with their lives.

Aiming once again to enter the Vietnamese market, we founded a joint venture with a company affiliated with the country's government and began production of automotive parts in 1996, after the Socialist Republic of Vietnam was established. This company is the first of our 14 group companies, consolidated and non-consolidated, that currently operate in Vietnam. With approximately 34,000 employees, these companies contribute to local society.

While in Vietnam, I remembered the days when, as general manager of the automotive division, I had visited Hanoi a number of times and wrapped up negotiations for the company's establishment in 1996, with the spirit of ignoring minor differences in order to accomplish a common goal. These memories stirred my emotions very deeply, leaving me unable to describe how I felt.

Although it was just a four-day trip, staff members of some group companies in Vietnam, including locally hired executives, held a warm get-together for me each night. I was totally grateful for their hospitality. In addition, when I visited their plants, local executives gave me in-depth explanations, enabling me to see how hard all of the staff members were working. I would like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation to them all.

  • At Sumitomo Electric Interconnect Products (Vietnam), Ltd.
    At Sumitomo Electric Interconnect Products (Vietnam), Ltd.
  • Together with local staff members at a get-together
    Together with local staff members at a get-together

October 19, 2016,16:00 +0900(JST) Autumn Ceremony to Welcome and Encourage New Staff Members

On October 3, we held an autumn ceremony to welcome and encourage our new staff members. The event was attended by those who had just entered the company that day and mid-career workers who had joined us in the first half of this fiscal year.

Compared with the ceremony held this spring, the number of participants, 55, was smaller, but it must have been a special day for each of them.

When each person's name was called in a solemn atmosphere, he or she replied "Yes!" From the serious look on their faces, we felt their expectations and enthusiasm for the future.

Presenting an appointment letter to the representative of the new staff members
Presenting an appointment letter to the representative of the new staff members

In my welcome address, I made the following three requests to the new members, by expressing my warm welcome and encouragement to them:

  1. Ensure that your work is based on the Sumitomo Spirit, understand it well, and implement it conscientiously;
  2. Strive to become professionals through constant efforts to improve and develop yourselves; and
  3. Take great care with your communication with others.

I hope that as members of the Sumitomo Electric Group they will pay close attention to their physical conditions and safety, and develop fulfilling and wonderful careers.

September 30, 2016,16:00 +0900(JST) Sumitomo Electric Joins the Ikuboss Corporate Alliance

We have joined the Ikuboss Corporate Alliance, organized by the specified NPO Fathering Japan.

Advocated by Fathering Japan, ikuboss is an ideal boss model, referring to the top management and managers who consider the work-life balance of their subordinates and other staff members working with them, and support such staff members in developing their careers and enjoying their private lives, while generating desired achievements for their organizations, and enjoying their own careers and private lives as well. Naturally, this concept covers female leaders as well as male managers.

Under a pledge to promote diversity, we have long strived to establish a corporate climate in which all 240,000 employees of the Sumitomo Electric Group can fully demonstrate their capabilities as diverse human resources, regardless of their nationality, ethnicity, gender, age, and other social conditions. Since the concept of ikuboss totally matches our aim, we decided to join the alliance.

I hear that as of the end of August, the alliance has 96 member companies, including Sumitomo Electric. By joining the organization, we would like to learn from other member companies about their measures. We believe that this will help us further enhance awareness among managers, key players in their organizations, and thereby accelerate our diversity management.

  • Signing ceremony
    Signing ceremony
  • With Director Ando of Fathering Japan
    With Director Ando of Fathering Japan

September 29, 2016,16:00 +0900(JST) Our Volleyball Team Wins the Championship!

One of the teams at our volleyball club won the cup in the 69th All-Japan Nine-Man Volleyball Industrial League Championship. This is the eighth time for the team to win the championship, for the first time in six years. Some members of the team visited me to report their victory.

Three teams from our volleyball club, each based at the Osaka Works, Itami Works and Yokohama Works, respectively, competed in the event, and the team from the Osaka Works advanced to the final heat and won the championship.

I hear that because the members work on different shifts, they have only two hours or so for their weekday training, forcing them to really focus during the training and attach great importance to efficiency.
The Osaka Works will celebrate its 100th anniversary this year, motivating team members all the more to become the national champion in their anniversary year. They have successfully achieved their target.

At Olympic Games and other meets, volleyball teams usually comprise six players, leading some people to be less familiar with games with nine players. However, the sport has a long history; in Japan, this form became popular first and was the mainstream for a long time. Even today, many people in different age groups play nine-player volleyball, from elementary school kids to members of corporate teams belonging to the industrial league.

A feature of nine-player volleyball is that there are many positions and the appropriate division of roles is the key. Each player needs to fulfill their role properly in their respective position and make a series of passes through cooperation, thereby aiming for victory.
I feel that this overlaps with the approach that each employee at a company should adopt when working through collaborative efforts. I hope that the team members, who have gained this spirit through volleyball, will steadily bring a fresh breeze to their workplaces.

  • Team photography after the game
    Team photography after the game
  • Players reporting on their victory
    Players reporting on their victory

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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