The Great Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami struck on March 11, 2011, causing massive damage to Tohoku, Kanto and other areas, mainly along the northeast and Pacific coasts of Japan. I would like to offer my sincere prayers for the repose of the souls of those who lost their lives in this disaster and my deepest condolences to those who have lost their loved ones. I would also like to offer my heartfelt sympathy to all others who have been affected. While paying our respects to those who so selflessly engaged in the rescue and restoration activities, we at the Sumitomo Electric Group are committed to doing our utmost in our post-disaster restoration efforts, attaching the greatest importance to human lives.
The Sumitomo Electric Group set up our earthquake crisis headquarters immediately following the outbreak of the disaster, to confirm the safety of employees and their families and commence repair and restoration work at our affected facilities. As the scale of the disaster gradually became clear, we were deeply struck by its severity. I sent out an emergency in-house message to the entire Group, believing that for the Sumitomo Electric Group to overcome this difficulty as one, it is essential that we all share a common understanding of the situation, our responsibilities, and what each of us can do in our respective positions.
In my message, I recalled that our Group is charged with the mission of assisting disaster-stricken areas and customers in their restoration and recovery efforts by providing our products and services that support social infrastructure. I also emphasized that to overcome various difficulties that may arise in the process of restoration and recovery, it is essential that we do our sincere best in our respective positions and capacities, in the spirit of solidarity, while maintaining close communication and strong teamwork with related parties. I also asked the members of the Sumitomo Electric Group, as corporations, to offer active support in the form of donations, human resources and materials; and as individuals, to consider taking part in volunteer support activities.
While all-out nationwide recovery and support activities are underway, we have been deeply touched by the warm support received from all over the world. The Sumitomo Electric Group operates in more than 30 countries around the globe, and our customers and employees in all those countries have sent us numerous e-mail messages of sympathy and encouragement. This has made us recognize anew the importance of the precious ties we have with our friends all over the world. We truly cherish, and must also look after, this network of friendship and solidarity, throughout this crisis and beyond.
Major earthquakes, massive tsunami, nuclear power plant incidents, power shortages … events of unexpected magnitude have unfolded one after another. In such a situation, I believe that it is vitally important for every one of us to hold out hope for the future, confirm our personal determination for restoration and recovery, and take action in the spirit of the saying: "illuminating a small corner of society is what makes a national treasure." Let us exert the Sumitomo Electric Group's best united efforts for the earliest possible reconstruction, as a product and service provider, and as a member of society.