I'm very pleased that we welcomed 400 new staff members to our company on April 1 this year.
Amidst the ongoing spread of the novel coronavirus, we held this year's welcoming ceremony not at a single venue, but at several business bases of ours, and moreover in several rooms in each of the locations in order to reduce the number of people gathering in one spot as much as possible, along with a reduction in the content of the ceremony. In addition, I delivered my messages to each location via video.
It was a pity that I could not speak to the new members face to face. In this emergency situation, however, I have to be content just to deliver my messages. I feel sorry that the new members did not have opportunities to meet with one another before starting OJT. Although they have joined the company in the middle of an emergency, we would like to work hard together with them to overcome the situation.
When I joined Sumitomo Electric in 1975, the situation was harsh due to the aftermath of the oil crisis, and our welcoming ceremony was postponed for two weeks. Afterwards, we received an extended period of training (three months at a plant and six months at an office), because it was difficult for the departments, to which we were expected to be assigned, to accept us at that point. I remember in those days that I wanted to start to do actual work as soon as possible.
I know that the present situation is different from the one we experienced back then, but all the more for this severe environment, I hope that the newly hired staff members understand the importance of their training and work hard to take advantage of the opportunity for the future. In my messages to the new staff members, I requested them to 1) while respecting the basics of work, take on challenges toward achieving innovation, and 2) ensure good communication with others. I would like them to take the first step in their careers with full awareness of "voluntary" growth. I hope that each of them will stay healthy and safe and build an excellent career at our company.