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

August 31, 2016,10:30 +0900(JST) End of the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games

The curtain fell on the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games, which featured many touching moments. As I wrote in my blog previously, Mr. Tomoya Tamura, a member of our athletics club, competed in the games as the second runner in the men's 4 x 400 meter relay.

On the day of the event, we held a public viewing at the Itami Works. Although I could not participate in the event, it drew many board members and employees of Sumitomo Electric. The event was also attended by Mr. Tamura's family from Aichi Prefecture and Mr. Shinji Aoto from Chukyo University, who instructed him during his university days. I heard that everyone at the venue cheered their hearts out and yelled out to Mr. Tamura on the screen as loudly and enthusiastically as they could.

The result of the Japanese team was 3:2.95, 7th place in the first elimination heat and 13th of 16 competing teams overall. In a TV interview after the race, Mr. Tamura showed his disappointment with the result, commenting that he could not demonstrate his best performance.

This was the first Olympic Games for Mr. Tamura, and he was the first employee of Sumitomo Electric to ever compete in an Olympic Games. I guess the pressure that he felt as a representative from Japan was beyond imagination, but he made it through to the finish line. I hope that he will learn a lot from this invaluable experience and the frustration that he felt, in order to demonstrate an excellent performance at the next Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Thank you very much for the generous support you gave him.

Cheering him on at the public viewing
Cheering him on at the public viewing

August 19, 2016,09:00 +0900(JST) Partners' Meeting

We held a partners' meeting this year again. The event was attended by representatives from many partner companies, which always provide generous support for our group's business.

The meeting consisted of two parts. In the first section, I gave a presentation on the outline of our group's business performance. Also, Managing Director in charge of procurement, Makoto Tani, explained our FY2016 procurement policy, while Managing Director Akira Nishimura described some topics regarding our Infocommunications business segment.
This was followed by a commendation ceremony of excellent partners. This year, I presented the representatives from three companies with crystal trophies and Japanese sake as a commemorative item.

In the second section of the event, we held a gathering, drawing approximately 200 persons from our partner companies, which always support our business. In a friendly atmosphere, the gathering served as a significant opportunity for participants to have a wider circle of interaction with each other.

The problem of the U.K.'s withdrawal from the EU arose, leading to the forecast that there will be great changes in the future environment. However, the meeting made me aware even more that now is the time when we need to further reinforce the ties with our partners in order to overcome a wide variety of difficulties.

With the award winners
With the award winners

August 17, 2016,09:00 +0900(JST) Presentations of Our Group-wide Improvement Activities

On the other day, I attended the annual presentation event of our company-wide group activities (G-katsu). Launched in 1958, these activities have celebrated their 59th anniversary this year, and have now developed into those involving as many as 65,000 participants on a global basis. Selected from among such participants, representatives of each production group give presentations on their themes. I listened to such representatives' passionate presentations.

On the day of the event, I also listened to the presentation by the group winning the best award at the presentation event held in China, which has marked the 10th anniversary this year. Impressed by the high level contents of the presentation, I was keenly aware that our group-wide improvement activities, which we have been developing over many years, are also implemented successfully in China, a country with a different culture. Feeling that this was also one form of diversity, I felt very happy about it. At the same time, I was hoping that these group activities would be spread not only to China, but also to many other parts around the world, and carried out proactively.

Designed to develop human resources and to invigorate workplaces, the group activities are important to the Sumitomo Electric Group, which boasts a long history and tradition. Even if you cannot achieve the goal by yourself, you might be able to do so and accomplish a great achievement, if you work with others and share wisdom through active communication. The repetition of this process will make our workplaces and company even stronger, and based on this belief, I hope that these group activities will be continued.

  • Talking with the winners of the best award of the Chinese event
    Talking with the winners of the best award of the Chinese event
  • With award-winners
    With award-winners

August 15, 2016,13:05 +0900(JST) Mr. Tamura to Compete in the Olympic Games!

The other day, Mr. Tomoya Tamura, a member of our athletics club, visited me to report that he will compete in the Rio Olympic Games. Unfortunately, I could not attend the send-off party for him, held on July 29 at the Itami Works, but I heard that the party took place in an exciting atmosphere with the attendance of approximately 200 employees. I'm very happy that all members throughout the Sumitomo Electric Group are united in supporting Mr. Tamura.

According to Mr. Tamura, although he has traveled to many foreign countries to train and compete in championships, this is the first time for him to visit Brazil. I encouraged him to do his best while taking due care to maintain his physical condition despite the long journey, the different time zone, and the unfamiliar surroundings.

I wrote a message of support for him on a flag, as many other employees have done. The men's 4 x 400 meter relay will be held on August 20, Japan time (August 19, Local time), which will coincidentally fall on Mr. Tamura's birthday. I hope that he will put in an excellent performance in Rio so that he can turn his birthday into a delightful commemorative day. Let's root for him.

  • Writing a message of support
    Writing a message of support
  • Center of front row: Mr. Tamura
    Center of front row: Mr. Tamura

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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