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President’s Message
Newsletter "SEI WORLD" Vol. 453

Masayoshi Matsumoto President & CEO

Railroad Continues

When visiting our customers, business facilities, and affiliated companies around Japan, I always travel according to a minute-to-minute schedule arranged by my secretary. When I go to a rural place on a business trip, my schedule is sometimes a little less tight than usual, partly due to train connections. From the window of a non-express countryside train running with only a few passengers on it, I view paddy fields flooded with water, and a band of lush mountains behind them, which reminds me of scenery that I used to see when I was a child.

Do you know that there used to be a railway service on Awaji Island, where I grew up? Launched in 1922, the railroad ran diagonally across from Sumoto City to Nandan Town (currently Minami Awaji City), when I was a child. A train consisting of one or two cars traveled through forests, across streams, and beside people working on farms. Despite the train’s somewhat modest scale, it was popular among residents as an important means of transportation. Imagining the new world to which it would take me, I felt very excited when I first boarded a train and arrived at the destination. I still remember the sensation that I felt at that time.

Thus, railways provide their users with a kind of warmth, which is one of their attractive points. The feature article of SEI WORLD of this month deals with our products used for such railways. All the items introduced in the article are typical of our products in that they play a behind-the-scenes role. However, all of them, including contact wire, which has been on the market for one century, and the air spring, which underpins the comfort for passengers on trains, are highly valued by customers.

Affected by the spread of vehicular road traffic, the railroad on Awaji Island eventually closed down in 1966. In Japan today as well, railroads, especially those in rural areas, are experiencing a severe environment, due to competition with other means of transportation and decline in population living along railway lines. I hope that such railroads will continue to demonstrate their capabilities as transportation infrastructure that supports everyday lives of local residents and can be used by anyone from senior citizens to children.

Masayoshi Matsumoto President & CEO

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