May 6, 2016,13:45 +0900(JST) Visit to Miharu Town of Tamura County, Fukushima

I would like to sincerely pray for the repose of the souls of those who lost their lives in the earthquakes that struck the Kumamoto area. I also would like to express my deep sympathy for those who were seriously affected by the disaster.

On Thursday, April 14, I visited Miharu Town in order to conclude a basic location agreement with Fukushima Prefecture and with Miharu Town regarding the new plant of Tohoku Sumiden Precision Co., Ltd., which will be established as one of our cutting tool-production bases. Last December, we made a public announcement of the establishment of the new plant. In the morning of my visit, it was unfortunately cloudy, but I was able to view a full bloom of the Miharu Takizakura (cherry tree whose flowers spread like a waterfall), before attending the agreement conclusion ceremony.

  • Visit to Miharu Town of Tamura County, Fukushima
  • Visit to Miharu Town of Tamura County, Fukushima

Held at the town's interaction facility Mahora, the conclusion ceremony was attended by Fukushima Governor Masao Uchibori, Miharu Town Mayor Yoshinori Suzuki, Director-General for Regional Economic and Industrial Policy Setsuo Iuchi of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, and other parties concerned.
Around Miharu Town are our major customers in the field of cutting tools. In addition, the city serves as a traffic hub. Maximizing these geographical advantages, we would like to further expand our sales and ensure that Tohoku Sumiden Precision develops together with the local community for many years to come.

After the ceremony, I spoke with former Mayor Hiroshi Ito of Miharu Town. We had quite a good time talking about Prof. Tsuru, who had taught both of us at Hitotsubashi University, our alma mater.

April 19, 2016,11:00 +0900(JST) Centennial of the Foundation of the Osaka Works

On the first Sunday of April every year, we hold the Inari Festival at each of our works, in order to pray for the safety and health of our staff members and the prosperity of our business. This year, at the Osaka Works, we held not only the festival, but also a ceremony to celebrate the centennial of the foundation of the works.

In the past few years, when we held the Inari Festival, although it was spring, cold weather always returned. This year, however, it was fortunately warm, and although the weather forecast had said that it would rain, it did not. Under the full bloom of cherry blossoms at the works, a Shinto ritual began at 9:30 a.m. at Takakura Inari Shrine. Afterwards, a ceremony was held at a different venue. The ceremony was attended by approximately 300 people, including those from public administrations, neighborhood associations, schools, subcontracting companies, and unions, as well as retirees of our company and other people who continually provide us with generous cooperation.

  • Centennial of the Foundation of the Osaka Works
  • Centennial of the Foundation of the Osaka Works

Our company was established in 1897, with a factory located in the area where the Osaka Municipal Wholesale Market is currently located. In step with the growth in demand, the company relocated and expanded the factory in 1916, and this was the forerunner of the present Osaka Works. Afterward, the plant prospered as a base for manufacturing power cables and other products underpinning social infrastructure, as well as a base for our research and development. At the end of last year, we launched a demonstration experiment of our redox flow battery system in Hokkaido; these batteries are manufactured at the Osaka Works.

The Osaka Works has not always enjoyed smooth sailing over the past century. Not only has it experienced ups and downs in its business, but the works have also undergone a wide variety of difficulties, such as flooding due to the Muroto Typhoon, and grave damage due to air raids during the Second World War. Nevertheless, we are now able to celebrate the works' 100th anniversary, and this is totally thanks to the understanding and cooperation of all those concerned, including the works' neighbors. I would like to express my sincere appreciation to all once again.

As our flag plant that has inherited Sumitomo's copper business and spirit, the Osaka Works needs to continue to earn trust from all of you and contribute to society. While speaking to many participants at the ceremony, I renewed my determination to achieve the mission.

  • Centennial of the Foundation of the Osaka Works
  • Together with people who used to work and currently work for our company
    Together with people who used to work and currently work for our company

April 19, 2016,10:00 +0900(JST) Message to Our New Staff Members

On April 1, we held a ceremony to welcome our new staff members. We are truly pleased that we were able to welcome many fresh members to our group once again this year.

At the ceremony, I stood on the stage, and each of the new staff members was called by his or her name, and then responded to the call before standing up. From the stage, I was able to see each of their faces clearly. While some looked nervous, some appeared confident and some uneasy. When I was a new employee, I guess I looked spineless.

  • Message to Our New Staff Members
  • Message to Our New Staff Members

Afterwards, I delivered my message to the new staff members, which could be summarized in the following three points:
- Master the basics of your work and do your work conscientiously based on the Sumitomo Spirit
- Strive to become a professional through constant efforts to improve and develop yourself
- Take great care of your communication with others

Although they will experience many ups and downs in their careers in our group, I am sure that they will be able to overcome their difficulties, as long as they always remain strongly aware of the above points. I sincerely hope that while taking due care of their health and safety, they will enjoy working in our group and demonstrate their capabilities to the fullest extent possible.

April 19, 2016,09:00 +0900(JST) Message to Our Managers

From January to March every year, I visit some of our branch offices and affiliates located in different parts of Japan, and also take the opportunity to participate in seminars, in order to speak to our managers about the appropriate attitude to their work.

I always speak about very similar topics every year, such as the Sumitomo Spirit, thorough implementation of SEQCDD* improvement, communication, leadership, and human resources development, but it is difficult to ensure that my message gets through. I hear that one top manager said that a message will finally begin to get through only after it has been delivered about 20 times. I totally agree with this assertion. On top of that, the moment that listeners feel "This is the same old story again...," the message will begin to slip out of their minds.

This year, I referred to the congratulatory address given by Dr. Kotaro Honda (1870-1954) of Tohoku Imperial University in 1939 at a factory completion ceremony of a company. Dr. Honda was the world-leading authority in the fields of metallurgy and material properties. He was also the inventor of KS steel, a steel whose name bears the initials of Kichizaemon Sumitomo (the 15th head of the family business), and thus was deeply connected with the Sumitomo Group.

In his speech draft, which remains today, he made the following assertion: "In the field of industry, no matter how skillful you are, you can never make truly excellent manufactured goods if you do not have sufficient professional ethics. Only persons of integrity can understand how important their work is in society, and realize the gravity of their responsibilities. Only after working faithfully whether or not anyone is watching, can you make excellent products at low cost."

Although it has been more than 70 years since this congratulatory address was delivered, this is a universal message from which even today's workers can learn a lot, and thus I introduced it to our managers.

* SEQCDD: Safety, Environment, Quality, Cost, Delivery, and Research and Development

April 8, 2016,11:05 +0900(JST) Toyota Motor Corporation Awards Received

At the Toyota Global Suppliers Convention, held at the end of February, we had the honor of receiving four awards: the Global Contribution Award, Technology & Development Award, "Superior" Value Improvement Award, and "Excellent" Value Analysis Award.

Technology & Development Award presented by President Toyoda (far left)

Technology & Development Award presented by President Toyoda (far left)

Of particular note is the Global Contribution Award. As one of only three companies selected from among about 400 companies, we received the award as the result of the comprehensive assessment of our contribution to the Toyota Motor Group both domestically and globally. This is the highest honor a supplier like us can receive, and all of us at the Sumitomo Electric Group are truly pleased. This is the fifth time that we have received this award after going nine years without it.

Meanwhile, we received the Technology & Development Award for the first time in 10 years. We received this award in recognition of our motor coil wire for hybrid cars. Although this is not a new product, we have reviewed its raw materials and production method, which has enabled the item to be smaller and more fuel efficiency for hybrid car motors.
Although our typical product in the automotive products field is the wiring harness, we manufacture many other excellent products in that field and many other fields. We would be happy if you take the opportunity of our winning these awards to learn more about our products.

The "Superior" Value Improvement Award and "Excellent" Value Analysis Award also indicate that our steady efforts in the Sumitomo Electric Group have been highly recognized. I'm sure that these awards have given great pleasure to our employees.

Encouraged by our receiving these awards, we will continue to make every possible effort to promptly accommodate a wide variety of customers' needs.

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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