July 2011

July 25, 2011 11:10 AM

We Participated in the Ohmi Eco-Foster.

Nice to meet you all! I'm Kishimoto from the Accounting Div. of the Administrative Dept., Sumitomo Electric Wintec, Inc., in Shigaraki.

In front of the company is the first studio to produce a Shigaraki ceramic featuring the figure of a tanuki (raccoon dog)!

▲ In front of the company is the first studio to produce a Shigaraki ceramic featuring the figure of a tanuki (raccoon dog)!

Shigaraki is renowned for producing Shigaraki ware. Located in the southernmost part of Shiga Prefecture, Shigaraki is a very beautiful town featuring a vast area of lush forests and mountains. This town experiences drastic changes in temperature between winter and summer. The temperature in winter is often below 0°C, and powder snow sometimes falls even in early April. On the other hand, temperatures on recent sweltering days have often exceeded 30°C... (^^;)

Under the fundamental principle of the importance of establishing a sustainable and environmentally-friendly society, Sumitomo Electric Wintec strives to continuously and steadily promote environmental conservation activities from a global viewpoint. Through providing magnet wires and related products, we aim to make a valuable contribution to society.

As part of such efforts, we support the Ohmi Eco-Foster, a project launched by Shiga Prefecture in 2000. Ohmi Eco-Foster is a coined term consisting of "Ohmi," the old name for Shiga; "Eco," representing the environment; and "Foster," indicating growth. In the project, local residents, companies and other participants carry out activities to beautify and conserve the environment surrounding public places. They clean up the designated area as volunteers, with affection and responsibility. The project strives to raise public awareness of the importance of environmental beautification, to prevent the streets from being littered with trash, and to promote local activities with cooperation between Shiga Prefecture and residents, companies and other organizations.

Since August 2003, we've been doing a cleanup once a month, excluding the times we couldn't do so due to rain or snow. Over 10 members participate in each cleanup in turn. In July 2011, we completed our 90th cleanup!

Divided into two groups, the cleanup participants walk about 1 km from the company along National Route 422.

▲ Divided into two groups, the cleanup participants walk about 1 km from the company along National Route 422.

At first glance, the road looks like a perfect complement to the rich and beautiful nature, but actually there's some litter...

▲ At first glance, the road looks like a perfect complement to the rich and beautiful nature, but actually there's some litter...

All the participants are working very hard picking up litter using garbage tongs and bags. So many cigarette butts!

▲ All the participants are working very hard picking up litter using garbage tongs and bags. So many cigarette butts!

On their way back from the pachinko parlor, the participants are carefully checking the road again to pick up any litter that they didn't notice the first time.

▲ On their way back from the pachinko parlor, the participants are carefully checking the road again to pick up any litter that they didn't notice the first time.

Walking down National Route 422 from a parking area near the company to a pachinko parlor located to the east a few hundred meters from the company, participants clean both sides of the road. It's a little tough on scorching summer days and snowy winter days.

Look at this large amount of litter picked up in just about 30 minutes! Let's stop littering!

▲ Look at this large amount of litter picked up in just about 30 minutes! Let's stop littering!

This is the fifth summer since I was transferred to Shigaraki without my family. Compared with the first time I participated in a cleanup, I think there's less litter on the road, although I can't deny the fact that there are still many cigarette butts...(>_<) The participants separate their litter, such as empty cans and PET bottles. The cleanup is concluded by taking a group photo to remember the day.

Next year, it will be 10 years since Sumitomo Electric Wintec was established. As a member of the local community, we will continue to actively work on environmental beautification activities together with people in the community.

 ♪ Website of Ohmi Eco-Foster (Shiga Prefecture) (in Japanese):

Sumitomo Electric Wintec, Inc.

Sumitomo Electric Wintec, Inc.
In October 2002, Sumitomo Electric Wintec, Inc. was established after a full merger between Sumitomo Electric's magnet wire business section and two other companies. Since our establishment, we have been fully developing our magnet wire business even in overseas markets, and continuing to grow as one of the world's top comprehensive magnet wire manufacturers both in reputation and quality.
Magnet wire plays an important role in a wide range of fields related to our daily life. Such wire is used as a key component in information-communication equipment, electronic parts for automobiles, industrial motors, household electric appliances, etc.

Website of Sumitomo Electric Wintec, Inc. (in Japanese):  http://www.sei-wintec.com/

July 22, 2011 3:00 PM

Open-Air Market Held by Sumitomo Electric Fine Polymer, Inc. to Support the Recovery from the Earthquake

I’m Saiki from the Administrative Dept. of Sumitomo Electric Fine Polymer, Inc., located in Kumatori-cho, Sennan-gun, Osaka Prefecture, near Kansai International Airport.
I would like to express my sincere condolences and deep sympathy to those who lost their lives in or have suffered from the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11.


From March 21 to 25, Sumitomo Electric Fine Polymer placed a donation box in our in-house shop in a bid to raise a relief fund for victims of the disaster, resulting in the collection of a total of 175,499 yen. The money was sent to the affected areas through the Sumitomo Electric Group.
At the same time, we discussed support measures other than such donations. Considering that it was important to restore the economy of the affected areas to that existing before the disaster, we decided to organize an open-air market featuring rice, vegetables, fruits, drinks, processed products, etc. made in Fukushima. With the cooperation of Nuclear Fuel Industries., Ltd., located next to our property, we held the event for the employees of both companies.
We bore the cost of the transportation of sales items from Fukushima Prefecture to Kumatori and the brokerage charge for the open-air market. We will continue to hold such an event three to four times a year for the next three years.
Nothing pleases us more than to see the smiles of many people eating food from Fukushima.
The photographs show part of the first open-air market held on June 10.


Although it was sometimes drizzling, the weather was pleasant enough to continue holding an open-air market, and the event ended successfully.
Mr. Kikkawa of the Osaka Office of Fukushima Prefecture participated in the market, and Derector Mouri of Wago Co., Ltd., the broker for the event, came all the way from Tokyo.
Incidentally, the orange aprons and the adorable flags were provided by courtesy of Fukushima Prefecture. Although the open-air market was planned to be held during the lunch break and also after office hours on the event day, all items were sold out during the lunch break, with sales totaling approximately 300,000 yen.

Some of the employees said, “I’ll buy more sake at the next market,” or “I wanted much more fruit.” In response to these comments, the next market will be organized in autumn, the harvesting season.


Sumitomo Electric Fine Polymer, Inc.
Sumitomo Electric Fine Polymer, Inc. (Kumatori-cho, Sennan-gun, Osaka) was spun off from Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd. in July, 1999. The company’s two major business domains handle irradiated products, represented by Sumitube™ and Irrax™ tube, and polymeric products such as Sumiflon™ and Poreflon™. Using its unique technology, the company contributes to a wide range of industries, including automobiles, information and communications, home electronics and infrastructure.

Website   http://www.sei-sfp.co.jp/english/

July 8, 2011 8:59 AM

Osaka Works Hosts Rose Garden Open Day!

Hello, I’m Nose, from Osaka Works HR & Administration Group :-)


Today, I’d like to write about the rose garden open day at the Osaka Works on Sunday June 12, 2011. We have already mentioned in this blog the rose garden’s open day that took place last November. To let more members of the public enjoy the roses, this time we also advertised the event to residents of Konohana Ward.

Initially, we thought we’d be lucky if more than 300 visitors showed up. However, 685 visitors arrived that day, far exceeding our expectations. Thank you all for coming! :-)) Although it was in the middle of the rainy season, the weather was pleasant, with very little rain.


Presently, some 1,000 roses from 133 species are cultivated at the garden. Visitors enjoyed discovering their favorites among the myriads of shapes and colors. Among the large number of visitors were keen photographers intent on shooting flowers, couples, families with children, and groups of friends. We were very happy to receive positive comments from visitors as they left, such as, “The roses were beautiful, thank you for showing them” and “I look forward to coming back next year.” The occasion seemed particularly memorable for former Sumitomo Electric employees, who marveled at the beautifully transformed grounds, now much more lush. Visitors also enjoyed hydrangea and other flowers in the garden, and many also visited our showrooms.

Double Delight rose

▲ Double Delight rose

We heard visitors say that growing roses must be hard work: it is, actually. They require almost year-round attention: weeding the roughly 2,000 m2 grounds, pruning, and spraying to prevent diseases are all very labor-intensive. However, thanks to the sweat (and sometimes tears?) of members of our staff, we were able to present our roses in their prime, and it is our utmost joy to have been able to provide visitors with a pleasant time.

Please look for next year’s open day, when we intend to welcome visitors with even better roses!

July 6, 2011 9:40 AM

Tokai Rubber Holds Its 9th Forestry Volunteer Event

Hello, I am Tonari, and I work for the Corporate Citizenship Office at Tokai Rubber Industries, Ltd. I am writing today about Tokai Rubber's forestry project, which we employees look forward to participating in every season.

In July 2008, our company decided to support "Forest Adoption Promotion Project" of Nagano Prefecture and signed an agreement to "adopt" a forest in Ikeda Town, Kita-azumi County.
Why Nagano Prefecture, you might wonder, where none of our business sites are located?
At first, our company had no experience in forest conservation activities and didn't know where to start. After some research, we found that Nagano Prefecture had the most well-devised program and best public-authority support, which made it an ideal place for us to gain practical experience. We chose Ikeda Town because it is located in the Azumino area, which offers beautiful views of the Hida Mountains. The idea, advocated by residents of Ikeda Town's Hirotsu District, of utilizing the forest conservation project to rejuvenate the depopulated community also struck a chord with us. Our company thus made a commitment to care for a 38 ha plot in Omine Highland in Ikeda Town's Hirotsu District, where our employees will engage in volunteer work three times a year in spring, summer and autumn to maintain the forest, each time spending two days and one night.
The very first forest thinning took place in 2008, in which our president himself participated. The forestry project in May this year was the 9th such occasion since we became a sponsor. Each time we enlist 30 volunteers, which are chosen by lottery nowadays because there are more applicants than available places.
This spring, forestry project took place on May 14 and 15. Volunteers traveled to the site in two microbuses, where they checked on the growth of hinoki (cypress) trees planted in spring 2009, and then planted young Sargent's cherry trees. Stakes supporting the cherry trees bore the names of volunteers, which made the experience even more special. Afterward, the volunteers gathered sansai (mountain vegetables) in the forest bursting with new growth, and took group photos in front of the "adopt sign" (erected in the forest and bearing the name of its adopter) with the Hida Mountains in the background. In the evening, volunteers enjoyed a barbecue with members of the local community.

Experiencing forest-thinning

▲ Experiencing forest-thinning

Planting young Sargent's cherry trees

▲ Planting young Sargent's cherry trees

The next morning, volunteers engaged in rice planting at a rice terrace situated in the mountains, for which our company had signed up for conservation activities. Although the unfamiliar task of hand-planting rice was a challenge, we managed to complete it, and the water from the clear stream where we washed our muddy feet felt cool and refreshing. We can't wait to taste the sun-dried, tasty rice in autumn. For lunch, we enjoyed traditional local cuisine. Guided by local people, we made dumplings called oyaki, a specialty of Nagano, broiling them in ashes in the traditional manner. We enjoyed the oyaki with sansai tempura and pickles.
Many of the employees have been forestry volunteers more than once, and have become friends with the local seniors, who make them feel at home each time they return. This summer and autumn, as in previous years, we are planning to engage in thinning, maintenance of forest roads, some agricultural work, woodworking and buckwheat-noodle making, among others, thereby interacting with local people and helping them rejuvenate their community.

Group photo of participants

▲ Group photo of participants

More than 60 companies take part in Nagano Prefecture's forest adoption program, we received the Taihoku Region Forestry Grand Prize at the Taihoku Satoyama Regeneration Symposium in February 2010 as a model program involving local communities. In March 2009, Nagano Prefecture introduced a system that recognizes companies' forest conservation activities by converting the activities into amounts of carbon dioxide absorbed, and our company became the first to receive accreditation under this system.
Building on our experience to date, we launched in August 2010 another forest project, this time in Mie Prefecture, where our Matsuzaka Works is located, by entering into an agreement with Mie Prefecture, Matsuzaka City and the local Seizu District.
To live in harmony with the environment, Tokai Rubber will continue activities to preserve the country's forest, in partnership with local communities.

Tokai Rubber Industries, Ltd.

Tokai Rubber Industries, Ltd.
Tokai Rubber (headquartered in Komaki City, Aichi Prefecture), celebrated its 80th anniversary in 2009. The company supplies industry with rubber products utilizing its composite material technologies and advanced processing technologies, which include not only its core business of auto parts, but also precision parts for office equipment and other industrial materials. The company has expanded its production facilities to eight countries in four core regions of the world, where it aims to maintain uniform quality worldwide and achieve the world's top quality.

Tokai Rubber Industries, Ltd. website: http://www.tokai.co.jp/english/