April 18, 2017 11:00 AM

Koya Pond Restoration Project

Hello! I'm Fukumoto of the Safety & Environment Group of Itami Works.

In this post, I'd like to introduce one of my tasks - coordinator for the Itami Works in helping to improve the local environment.

As the name suggests, the Safety & Environment Group works on matters regarding "safety" and the "environment."
The environment team, to which I belong, carries out environmentally friendly activities, such as energy saving and waste reduction, while always paying attention to drainage, noise, vibration, and the air, in order to prevent environmental accidents damaging our surrounding area.

In Itami City, where our Itami Works is located, an exploratory committee for restoration of the waterfront environment of Koya Pond has been established for the purpose of preserving and restoring the area's natural environment. Committee members, along with citizen volunteers, carry out activities of the Association to Preserve and Grow the Nature of Itami. The association consists of three respective sections in charge of forests, ponds and rivers, and each month we participate in the forest section's activities.
At the Itami Works, six total members - two from the Safety & Environment Group and four from each plant who change month - join the activities. It has been nine years since we first participated in April 2008, with the total number of people from the Itami Works now reaching about 580.

To maintain the environment of Wild Bird Island, an artificial island in the shape of the Japanese Archipelago built in the center of Koya Pond, we weed the island, prune withered branches, plant saplings, and erect weed prevention sheeting. Although Wild Bird Island was once rich in greenery, many of the tress there have now withered and become severely damaged due to droppings from great cormorants, making it difficult for the environment to recover on its own. This was the background of why the activities were launched.

Koya Pond Restoration Project
Koya Pond Restoration Project

We can enjoy the activities in the comfortable seasons of spring and autumn, but our bodies become sweaty all over from the June rainy season to October's lingering summer heat, requiring us to take care not to suffer heatstroke. When we view the beatified island after finishing our activities, however, we feel a sense of fulfillment that cannot be described.
Also, when passing by Koya Pond Park, we see Wild Bird Island without realizing it. Seeing the thick and lush trees, we feel pleasure, and at the same time, can't help hoping that the saplings grow well, rather than wither.

In November last year, the first national ranking of municipalities with biodiversity was released based on an assessment of the municipalities' efforts regarding biodiversity. Of the 665 municipalities in Japan, Itami City was selected No. 1, together with Toda City in Saitama Prefecture, Kawasaki City in Kanagawa Prefecture, and Kobe City in Hyogo Prefecture.
Itami City was highly recognized for its cooperation with local companies, and this especially is great to hear for participants like us. Since we feel the opportunity here gives us a valuable experience, we'd like to continue actively participating.

If you have an opportunity to come to Itami City, please visit Koya Pond Park and check out Wild Bird Island. If you have any interest, why don't you join us in the forest section's activities? You're always welcome!

February 28, 2017 9:00 AM

Commended for Our Akasaka-Aoyama Cleanup Campaign!

Hello, I'm Nagaki of the Administration Div., Tokyo Head Office in Japan.

On January 20, we participated in the Akasaka-Aoyama Cleanup Campaign, organized by the Regional City Office of Akasaka, Minato Ward, and received a letter of appreciation!

Held every month, excluding the summer season of July and August, around the stations in the areas of Akasaka and Aoyama, the cleanup campaign draws participation of the neighborhood associations and companies located in these areas. We join this campaign every month. The cleanup place changes each month within the Akasaka and Aoyama areas, such as around Akasaka-Mitsuke Station and Aoyama-1-chome Station.

At the beginning of the recent campaign, we received a letter of appreciation in recognition of our continuous participation in the cleanup campaign of Aoyama-1-chome Station for three years from FY 2013 to FY 2015. Continuity is the father of success!

Receiving the letter of appreciation

Receiving the letter of appreciation

Commendation for our continuous cleanup

Commendation for our continuous cleanup

After receiving the letter of appreciation, we began cleaning our assigned area. There is almost always little litter in the area, and it might seem that there is no rubbish on the streets, either. However, we often find a wide variety of garbage, such as PET bottles, paper scraps, and cigarette butts, under plants along the streets. While walking from place to place to pick up trash on the streets, we find that the amount in our garbage bags is gradually increasing.


About an hour later, we returned to our meeting place at Aoyama-1-chome Station, where we finished our activity that day after receiving PET bottles of warm tea from campaign secretariat staff.

While picking up trash, we wore jumpers with the Sumitomo Electric logo. Those joining the campaign from other companies asked us, "Is the Sumitomo Electric office located around here (Aoyama/Akasaka)?" Such interaction is one of the attractive points of this campaign.

We would like to continue to participate in this campaign so that we can contribute to beautifying Akasaka/Aoyama and raising people's awareness of the importance of good manners!

January 26, 2017 4:00 PM

Attendance at Our Scholarship Awarding Ceremony in China

Hello! I'm Akihito Ikeda of the secretariat of the SEI Group CSR Foundation.

Soochow University

Soochow University

First, let me explain the aims of our foundation.
The SEI Group CSR Foundation was established in 2009 for the purpose of realizing a social contribution appropriate for the Sumitomo Electric Group. This was based on the Sumitomo Electric Group Basic Policies on Social Contributions, which had been formulated to commemorate the 110th anniversary of the establishment of Sumitomo Electric. Our foundation has been certified as a public service corporation.
The foundation is mainly engaged in the following three activities: "monetary contributions to university courses" and "support for academic and research activities," both of which aim to provide support for academic and research efforts, and "granting scholarships" to support students studying in Japan and abroad.

Shanghai International Studies University

Shanghai International Studies University

For granting scholarships, we provide financial support to students studying in Japan, as well as students in China, Thailand, and Vietnam.

In December last year, I visited China and attended our scholarship awarding ceremony together with staff members from Sumitomo Electric Management (Shanghai) Co., Ltd.
The ceremony was also attended by representatives from Soochow University and Shanghai International Studies University, as well as Wuhan University of Technology, whose students have been selected as new scholarship recipients.

Wuhan University of Technology

Wuhan University of Technology

After delivering an address at the venue university with faculty members in attendance, I presented each of the scholarship recipients with a certificate of eligibility. Although the ceremony was held in a solemn atmosphere, many questions were asked by students in the Q&A session. I was surprised to find that they were very interested in the Sumitomo Electric Group.
In addition, I was very pleased to receive much appreciation for our scholarship program from students, with whom I seldom have opportunities to meet directly.

I truly look forward to seeing these scholarship recipients making an excellent contribution to society in the future.

For details on the foundation's activities, please visit the following page:
♪ Related link:SEI Group CSR Foundation

November 22, 2016 4:00 PM

Participation in the Osaka Marathon as a Water Station Volunteer!

Hello! I am Fujima of the Public Relations Department.

October 30, the 6th Osaka Marathon was held with support from Sumitomo Electric, and I participated in the event as a volunteer. On the race day, I worked at a water station together with about 20 other volunteers from Sumitomo Electric Group. Being a big event with 30,000-some participants running through Osaka, we prepared many paper cups with drink in them to ensure that runners could get water smoothly. We also collected used paper cups on the road with rakes so they would not interfere with the runners.

I Participated in the Osaka Marathon as a Water Station Volunteer!
I Participated in the Osaka Marathon as a Water Station Volunteer!

While working, I personally felt that the most important role we volunteers could play was to root for the runners. I was at the 17 km water station, where many runners gradually started feeling tired. When I told them while smiling to "Keep it up!" it seemed like their tired faces lit up a little, and that they got a boost of energy and felt "Here I go again!" In addition, some runners encouraged us in return, saying "Thank you very much!" or "Thanks for volunteering!"

"Keep it up!" "Thank you!" --- although these were fleeting statements on the spot between strangers, it was a very warm moment when we shared our hearts. I'd like to participate again next year.
All the runners participating in the event, those who cheered them on, and all the volunteers, thank you for your hard work!

September 7, 2016 9:30 AM

Launch of the Seka-Waku Book Campaign, a Second-Hand Book & CD Collection Campaign to Make Donations

I'm Mitsuhashi of the Administration Div., Tokyo Head Office.

In March at the Tokyo Head Office, we launched the Seka-Waku Book Campaign, which is a second-hand book & CD collection campaign to make donations.

To contribute to society, we have so far conducted a PET bottle cap collection campaign to make donations, introduced the TABLE FOR TWO program*, implemented local clean-up campaigns, and held fairs of local specialties from the Tohoku Region to support the restoration from the Great East Japan Earthquake. The Seka-Waku Book Campaign is our newest initiative following these previous activities.

In this campaign, we collect second-hand books and CDs through cooperation from employees working at the Tokyo Head Office, sell them, and donate the sales to the Japan Committee of the incorporated NPO Vaccines for the World's Children (JCV). Vaccines purchased with this money are provided by the JCV through UNICEF to children in developing countries.

Setting up two collection boxes for this campaign at the Tokyo Head Office, we asked for cooperation from all the staff. As a result, more than 300 second-hand books and CDs were collected by the end of June. These items were collected by the Tokyo Office of Sumiden Friend, Ltd.

We'd like to continue working to make our social contribution activities even more vigorous.

Staff of the Tokyo Office of Sumiden Friend, Ltd.

Staff of the Tokyo Office of Sumiden Friend, Ltd.

* TABLE FOR TWO (TFT) Program:
Administered by the incorporated NPO TABLE FOR TWO International, this program strives to realize a combination of social contribution and health management. In this program, one low-calorie and nutritiously well- balanced menu item is served every day at each participating restaurant or the cafeteria of each participating company. Of the sales, 20 yen per meal is contributed to African countries to cover the cost of school lunches.

Sumiden Friend, Ltd.

Sumiden Friend, Ltd.
Established in July 2008 (head office: Sumitomo Electric's Itami Works). This is Sumitomo Electric's special affiliate company,* established based on the Sumitomo Electric Group Basic Principles for Social Contribution, in order to make a further contribution to society.
* Subsidiary established by a company for the purpose of employing disabled people, based on the Act on Employment Promotion etc. of Persons with Disabilities. To establish such a company, an authorization from the national government is necessary.

August 25, 2016 9:00 AM

Joint Effort with the University of Tsukuba to Support the Career Development of Young Human Resources Expected to Become Doctors - Part 2

Hello! I'm Takeuchi of the University of Tsukuba. Last autumn, we started working on a human resource development project in cooperation with the Agri-Science Department of Sumitomo Electric. Generally speaking, the main focus of industry-university cooperation is on joint research or technology transfer. As a new effort, however, we tried human resource development in the style of project-based learning (PBL). Participants in this project, most of whom were graduate students and postdoctoral researchers, were from a truly wide variety of fields.

Racking their brains with an interdisciplinary approach, the participants worked on the challenge given by Sumitomo Electric. What was desired in this program was for a group of human resources from different fields to conceive unexpected ideas. Moreover, as a member of the faculty, I hope that participants will find something new and achieve growth through cooperation with a company. How have their views about society and occupations changed after working with Sumitomo Electric, facing social (industrial) problems, and engaging in in-depth discussions with members from different fields? I truly look forward to knowing the answer.

Joint Effort with the University of Tsukuba to Support the Career Development of Young Human Resources Expected to Become Doctors
Joint Effort with the University of Tsukuba to Support the Career Development of Young Human Resources Expected to Become Doctors

Below are some comments from participants after the completion of the project.

Hiroyuki Yanagisawa (Graduate School of Pure and Applied Sciences, University of Tsukuba, 3rd year, Doctoral Program)
Although I was overwhelmed at first by the often too lively discussions, I was able to train myself to create ideas through the various activities carried out each time. Thanks to the cooperation with members from different fields, I've obtained many new perspectives.

Hiroshi Yoshino (Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Tsukuba, 5th year, Five-Year Doctoral Program)
The project has made me truly realize that logical thinking developed through research activities is considerably useful, even in the world of business, and that interaction between doctoral-level students from different fields leads to the creation of high-level and diverse innovation.

*The affiliations are those at the time the comments were provided.

We would like to continue to consider how to use the unique views and thinking abilities of young human resources expected to become doctors for the benefit of society (and the world of business). We would like to express our sincere appreciation for the invaluable opportunity of working with Sumitomo Electric.

August 23, 2016 9:00 AM

Joint Effort with the University of Tsukuba to Support the Career Development of Young Human Resources Expected to Become Doctors - Part 1

Hello! I'm Baba of the Agri-Science Department. Let me introduce Sumitomo Electric's joint effort with the University of Tsukuba to support the career development of young human resources expected to become doctors.

From October 2015 to February 2016, we carried out a joint project in cooperation with the University of Tsukuba's Global Leader Career Development Network*. In this project, together with young human resources expected to become doctors, we worked on the marketing and branding of agriculture-related business. Although the main purpose of this effort was to provide support for the career development of such human resources through an internship program, it also served as a good opportunity for us to review some of our new, ongoing projects from a wide variety of perspectives. Serving as the instructor for this project was Professor Atsushi Kogoma from SANNO Institute of Management.

Joint Effort with the University of Tsukuba to Support the Career Development of Young Human Resources Expected to Become Doctors
Joint Effort with the University of Tsukuba to Support the Career Development of Young Human Resources Expected to Become Doctors

At the report meeting held on February 18, project participants gave presentations to 30 employees of Sumitomo Electric about what they had considered, which was followed by a very lively Q & A session. Expertise in linguistics, physics, chemistry, biology, and the arts, the participants had a number of unique points of view, leading to many new discoveries. The report meeting concluded with the presentation of project completion certificates to the participants.

In the next article, I'll introduce some of the comments from the participants in this project. I sincerely hope that all participants will take advantage of their experience of working together with Sumitomo Electric and fully demonstrate their capabilities in the future.

*University of Tsukuba's Global Leader Career Development Network
The network has been established for the purpose of providing support for the career development of young human resources of the University of Tsukuba who are expected to become doctors. Designed mainly for graduate students and postdoctoral researchers, the network provides global leader career development seminars (education/training programs), and opportunities to participate in long-term internship programs.

April 12, 2016 10:30 AM

Participation in Volunteer Activity for Restoration from the Great East Japan Earthquake - Part2

Hello again! I am Okazaki of the Human Resources & General Administration Group, Hitachi Area of J-Power Systems Corporation (JPS). I would like to continue my report on our participation in the volunteer activities.

On the second day, at the Minamisoma Municipal Disaster Reconstruction and Restoration Volunteer Center in Fukushima Prefecture, about 30 people, including us, again participated in volunteer activities.

There were two requests that day, and we cut down trees in gardens and cleaned up, as we had done on the previous day. We needed to cut down several trees with diameters from 30 to 100 centimeters. However, since we had not received any specific training in using chainsaws, we cut down branches from fallen trees and carried them to a disposal place. Some trees were more than 10 meters tall, so we kept close communication with those around us to ensure safety.

In the area where we worked this time, decontamination was underway, making us recognize once again that it will take a lot more time before the restoration is complete. Hitachi City in Ibaraki Prefecture, where we live, actually suffered damage from the earthquake and tsunami, too, and received warm support from many people. To return the favor as much as possible, I would like to continue joining volunteer activities like this.

A group photo of participants in front of  Minamisoma Municipal Disaster Reconstruction and Restoration Volunteer Center

A group photo of participants in front of Minamisoma Municipal Disaster Reconstruction
and Restoration Volunteer Center

J-Power Systems Corporation

J-Power Systems Corporation
J-Power Systems Corporation (JPS), headquartered in Tokyo, was established in July 2001, and in April 2014 became a wholly owned subsidiary of Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd. The company offers comprehensive services from research, development, design, manufacturing, and sales to installation of electric power cables, overhead power transmission lines, and their related systems. Through these business activities, JPS supports a stable and environment-friendly power supply for an advanced energy society. The company will continue to strive to become a world top-class cable manufacturer that contributes to the protection of nature and the creation of a comfortable society.

April 12, 2016 10:00 AM

Participation in Volunteer Activity for Restoration from the Great East Japan Earthquake

Hello! I am Okazaki of Hitachi Human Resources & General Administration Group of J-Power Systems Corporation (JPS).

For two days on October 1 and October 2, 2015, 17 staff members - those newly employed in the Hitachi Area and their instructors - participated in volunteer activities for restoring Minamisoma City, Fukushima Prefecture from the Great East Japan Earthquake, as part of the training program for new employees.

Such volunteer activities are conducted in areas where preparation is underway to lift evacuation directives (i.e. areas where it has been confirmed that the annual accumulated dosage is 20 mSv or less). The Minamisoma Municipal Disaster Reconstruction and Restoration Volunteer Center draws about 200 volunteers from across Japan every week, accommodating various requests from residents, such as cutting down trees and mowing weeds in their gardens and cleaning up their houses.

On October 1, about 30 people, including us, engaged in volunteer activities. We cut down trees and mowed weeds in gardens, and dismantled plastic greenhouses. Being unfamiliar with such work, confusion sometimes arose, but we worked very hard with our first priority on safety. After the work was completed, local residents gave us appreciative words in tears, making us realize the significance of our volunteer activities once again. Not only new employees, but the other members too spent significant moments like these.

Participation in Volunteer Activity for Restoration from the Great East Japan Earthquake
Participation in Volunteer Activity for Restoration from the Great East Japan Earthquake

April 12, 2016 9:30 AM

Participation in Reed-Cutting on Lake Biwa!

Go-anzen ni (Maintain safety)!
I am Isomichi of the Itami Sales Branch, SEI Business Creates Inc.

On Sunday, January 31, I was invited by Mr. Maeda and Mr. Fujimoto, senior employees at my workplace, to join the campaign of cutting down reeds on Lake Biwa, held in Otsu City, Shiga Prefecture.

Sumitomo Electric, which served as a special sponsor for the 71st Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon, held on Sunday, March 6, actively participates in environmental preservation activities for the lake, including the reed-cutting campaign. Although the reed field was very wide, almost all the plants were quickly cut down by the approximately 500 participants present, making the field very clean again.

Participation in Reed-Cutting on Lake Biwa!
Participation in Reed-Cutting on Lake Biwa!

I hear that some of the cut reeds were used as torches in a ceremony in March to pray for safety at the start of the lake's sightseeing season. Meanwhile, the fields are left to dry for a while after the reeds have been cut, and then burned off. I hear that this means other weeds' seeds and disease germs are also burned, which helps new reeds to sprout in spring and leads to the regeneration of very large fields of reeds.

Mr.Maeda (left) and Mr. Fujimoto (right)

Mr.Maeda (left) and Mr. Fujimoto (right)

It has been said since long ago that reeds function to clean the water. My participation in the reed-cutting campaign this time served as a good opportunity for me to learn more about reeds and water sources. Some water from Lake Biwa flows into the Yodo River, and the water is used as a valuable resource by those living along the river. I feel that it is significant that not only residents living around Lake Biwa, but also that so many others benefitting from the lake are engaged in environmental preservation activities.

If there is another opportunity to participate in such an environmental activity, I want to volunteer for it again.
Why don't you participate in such activities too?