1947 Sumitomo Electric Making A New Start
In June and July 1945 (during the last months of the Pacific War), the Osaka Works of Sumitomo Electric was hit by four air raids, causing 30% of the facilities to be burnt to the ground. The raids caused heavy casualties among the employees.
On August 17, two days after the end of the war, then President Sadatoshi Bekku summoned all employees to a communication cable plant that had survived the firebombing and thanked them for their hard work. He said, “Japan will have to be rebuilt as a cultured nation. Our products will play a key role ... so I ask for your commitment to production of electric wires and cables. We must manufacture as many products possible to fulfill the mission.” Sumitomo Electric made a step forward to reconstruction.
The Company was overcoming challenges such as restoration of production equipment, shortage of materials and soaring prices in 1947, when Emperor Hirohito’s visit to the Kansai area was decided. Sumitomo Electric was chosen as one of the destinations.
It was perfectly fine on the day of the visit. The Emperor arrived in front of the building of the ultra-high pressure experiment room, and President Bekku explained the Company’s history and current situation. The Emperor gave an encouraging message: “You are doing important work, so I hope you will do your best.” He also visited the casting plant, wire plant and coated cable plant, and offered many inspiring messages to employees.
The year 1947 fell on the 50th anniversary of Sumitomo Electric’s founding, and marked a new start for the Company, which had revived to a level that deserved the Emperor’s visit.