October 19, 2012,10:25 +0900(JST) Osaka Marathon 2012 Warm Up Fun Run!

On September 8 I attended the Osaka Marathon 2012 Warm Up Fun Run! held at Nagai Stadium in Osaka City, as chairperson of the Osaka Marathon organizing committee. This is a preliminary event held to give wide publicity to the 2nd Osaka Marathon scheduled for November 25.

After I delivered opening remarks, about 800 men and women of all ages worked up a good sweat by running Nagai Stadium’s long distance track (approx. 2.8 km) in about 20 minutes. Runners enjoyed the event in their own styles, some with family members, some with co-workers, and others in wheelchairs. The event was blessed with fine weather and people seemed to take pleasure in running together. I think the event also provided a taste of the real marathon to come.

I served as starter of the Fun Run

After the Fun Run, one of the event’s charity supporters Mr. Norihiro Akahoshi (former Hanshin Tigers player) gave a talk. Also held was a prize drawing, drawn by Mr. Akahoshi and me for participants, with one of the winners receiving an entitlement to take part in the Osaka Marathon proper, which generated much excitement.

The course of the Osaka Marathon starts at Osaka Castle Park and takes in many famous Osaka neighborhoods and landmarks, such as Midosuji, Nakanoshima, Namba and Tsutenkaku. More than one million spectators and numerous volunteer staff members are expected to line the streets to cheer the 30,000 expected runners. Runners will be entering from over 40 countries and regions, indicating the heightened international attention the event is receiving.
We hope the marathon, Osaka’s new festival supported jointly by citizens and the community, will invigorate Osaka and the Kansai region, and look forward to your warm support.

April 20, 2012,13:50 +0900(JST) Graduation Ceremony

This year, I again attended graduation ceremonies held by Hitotsubashi University, my alma mater, and the Kansai University of Nursing and Health Sciences, for which I have been serving as chairperson of the support association. It is a great honor for me to be given an opportunity to deliver a speech at such ceremonies. As a senior in the working world, I made a somewhat presumptuous speech. Here is the gist of what I said.

Your bright, hopeful faces remind me of how I felt 45 years ago. I hope you will try hard to reach your full potential. Don’t be afraid of failure, but be meticulously careful and take full precautions. Never seek the easy way out. By handling a given task in a fair, sincere and conscientious manner, you will eventually win others’ trust and confidence.

Let me cite the Sumitomo Spirit of “Banji-nissei,” which means: do your sincere best, not only in business, but also in every aspect of your life. I understand it is very difficult to put this philosophy into practice, but I hope you will make your utmost efforts not only in your work, but also in your community, in society, and at home.

In closing, to celebrate the graduates’ new start, I recited part of one of my favorite poems: the third stanza of “A Psalm of Life,” written by Longfellow.

I hope they will do their sincere best in their respective workplaces and positions, as the Japanese saying goes: “People who illuminate a small corner of society are national treasures.” It is also my hope that they will eventually become leaders in their respective fields in society.

July 27, 2011,08:43 +0900(JST) Smile Relay

While this blog has entered its fifth year, as I wrote in the previous entry, it now has a sister blog, "Sumitomo Electric Group Citizenship Activity: Smile Relay," which started in May 2011.

The new blog features entries posted by Sumitomo Electric Group companies or their individual employees around the world, who report on their local community or CSR activities from the standpoint of organizers of or participants in such activities.

Sumitomo Electric Group companies have for some time been carrying out various community and corporate citizen activities around the world. However, there have been few opportunities to introduce those activities to the general public; some have remained completely unknown, even within the Group. The "Smile Relay" blog is expected to change this.

At the moment, there are only a handful of posts on the blog, but Sumitomo Electric Group companies in the respective countries and regions will soon be actively taking turns, introducing their activities and relaying smiles. I hope you will start visiting and enjoying the new blog as much as this one.

Related link: Smile Relay http://global-sei.com/smile/

April 20, 2011,09:27 +0900(JST) It's Still There! (My Yew Table)

Someone at our London office contacted me in a hurry about the office furniture that was made of yew. He says that it is probably still there.

Posted in London since February, he had recently gone through the ledger of company assets and discovered that the office furniture from those days, too large to be used in the current office, were stored in a warehouse. He had thought about selling the furniture to an antique shop, and planned to take a look at the actual items.

I asked him to arrange to have my old table shipped to Japan. I'm happy to learn that something from my London years has survived, even after closure of the original office.

They're not using it in London, so I can have it here-- but where should I put it? This is a fun question to work on for a while.

January 20, 2010,13:09 +0900(JST) The World’s First Commercial Production of AZ91 Magnesium Alloy Sheet

Solid sheetWhen you were a student, did you use mnemonics for the periodic table, which contains H, He, Li, Be, B, C, N, O, F, Ne, Na, Mg, Al, Si, P, S and others? The 12th element, magnesium (Mg), whose specific gravity is about 2/3 that of the 13th element, or aluminum (Al), and 1/4 that of iron (Fe), is the lightest among structural metals. Magnesium, which is abundant in nature, is known to be virtually inexhaustible. The bittern used in preparing tofu is also a magnesium compound. Magnesium is recyclable through a low energy process, and has therefore been the focus of attention as an environmentally friendly, lightweight material.

AZ91 alloy is a magnesium alloy to which are added approx. 9% of aluminum and 1% of zinc, in order to improve corrosion resistance. No sheet of this alloy existed due to the difficulty of rolling and forming. Sumitomo Electric developed its own original casting and rolling method on the basis of technology developed through wire production, and has succeeded in mass producing AZ91 magnesium alloy sheet for the first time in the world.

In terms of strength and corrosion resistance, this new alloy sheet surpasses AZ31 sheet (Mg with 3% Al and 1% Zn), which is already in use. It has a smooth surface due to its fine crystal structure. AZ91 sheet exhibits substantially higher elongation and strength than AZ91 cast material. It is suitable for press working, aesthetically pleasing coatings, and surface treatment, making optimal use of its beautiful metallic texture. This alloy sheet has superb vibration and shock absorption, and dent resistance in the event of dropping or other impact and is expected to find widespread applications, such as in portable devices and in-vehicle components.

Prototypes (card and media cases)I will show you some prototype card and media cases fabricated in-house for public relations purposes.

You cannot experience the sensation of lightness or the actual luster via my blog, but these cases are surprisingly light in the hand. Magnesium is a beautiful metal, as indicated by the Chinese character for magnesium, which consists of the symbols for “metal” and “beauty.” The prototypes truly demonstrate the metal’s bright beauty. Incidentally, I like the nearest elegant tortoiseshell colored case.

This success was brought about through years of effort by our researchers. Their efforts will be wasted unless the products are put into commercial use. The AZ91 alloy sheet appeared on the front page of the Nikkei Business Daily dated January 14. We will promote the sales of this novel material, so that you will be able to see the product firsthand on an early occasion. Your support would be most appreciated.

■ Press Release:
The World’s First Commercial Production of AZ91 Magnesium Alloy Sheet

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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