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.