From October 5 to 7, I stayed in Raleigh, North Carolina, to attend the Sumitomo Electric Top Executives' Conference of the Americas, an annual event for those in charge of our group companies in the Americas.
The conference is improving each time, especially in terms of the quality of the discussion that takes place. This year, we had a constructive discussion exceeding the boundaries of group companies, based on the theme of the current situation of and challenges faced by group companies. I would like all the attendees to continue to participate in such conferences in order to broaden their horizons, while leaning from other group companies and improving their own weak points.
The common language used in this international conference was English. Not only Japanese expats, but also other Japanese staff demonstrated notable progress in their English skills. However, our domestic efforts regarding globalization and diversity are still insufficient. Realizing that most of the conference attendees were men, I was keenly aware of the necessity to employ more talented women.
The conference was followed by a dinner party, where Sumitomo Electric Lightwave Corp. (SEL), the host company of this year's conference, presented me with a replica of the Wright Brothers' Wright Flyer, which made the first powered flight in North Carolina, as a commemorative gift. Their notes and other documents suggest that the brothers had a sincere attitude toward making things without giving up and were willing to take on challenges. I hope that our employees do their very best in fulling their duties regardless of the scale of work, just like the Wright Brothers did.
Lastly, I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the staff of SEL and all the other people who worked hard for preparing and running the conference with such attention to detail.